Everything we know about Halo Infinite – release date, gameplay, and more

Master Chief's next outing is nearly here, so get up to speed with all the latest news on the next Halo game

Master Chief in front of a space backdrop

Ever since Microsoft teased Halo Infinite two years ago, fans of the franchise have been desperate to get a closer look at the game. Well thanks to the Xbox Games Showcase, we’ve finally got a better idea on what to expect from Master Chief and friends when the game arrives later this year.

Not a lot is known about the FPS, which is being developed by 343 Industries and SkyBox Labs, except that it will be the sixth game in the series and the fourteenth overall. We also know that we’ll be rejoining Master Chief for the Reclaimer Saga just after the end of Halo 5: Guardians, but other than that information is pretty sparse.

So, since we’ve been drip fed information for the last two years, we’ve put together a handy guide on all the latest information you could possible want to read about Halo Infinite coming to Xbox and PC.

Halo Infinite release date

Here’s the question on everyone’s lips at the moment: when exactly is Halo Infinite coming out? Well, all we know so far is that the Halo Infinite release date is fall 2021. Unfortunately the game was delayed from its original November 2020 date due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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Halo Infinite platforms

Halo Infinite isn’t just going to be a shiny new game available for those with the latest tech, it’s going to be available on pretty much the entire Xbox ecosystem. To put it in other words, Halo Infinite will release on multiple platforms when it finally arrives. So expect to be able to play it on the Xbox Series X|S, its predecessor the Xbox One, and, of course, on PC.

One of the beneficial points of this system is that cross-play and cross progression will be available, no matter what platform you play on. In an update on the Xbox Wire blog, Matt Booty the head of Xbox Game Studios, noted the game’s multiplayer would support both of those when it releases later this year.

Plus, it’ll also come with the Smart Delivery programme. So if you buy it for Xbox One and later upgrade to Series X, you won’t have to purchase the game again.

Halo Infinite battle royale mode

It’s the question on everyone’s lips: will Halo Infinite launch with a battle royale mode? We’re afraid the answer appears to be no, unless anything has changed during development.

During a livestream, Halo franchise and narrative writer Jeff Easterling explained, “the only BR we’re really interested in is Battle Rifle.” This unfortunately shut down any rumours of battle royale back in 2018. However, if there is a Forge mode like the other Halo games, you might be able to make your own unofficial 1v100 mode to suit your tastes.

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Halo Infinite Gameplay

As expected, the Xbox Games Showcase kicked off with a big Halo Infinite reveal and well, it delivered. We got our first glimpse of Halo Infinite gameplay with an eight-minute long demo, which shows Master Chief attempt to take down three AA guns.

He explores an open world, which 343 Studios claims is “several times bigger” than any other Halo game. He also rides a Warthog and hops out of the vehicle to kill a load of Covenant enemies. And hey, remember those rumours about the grappling hook? Well looks like that’s true, because as you can see in the gameplay video above, he can use it to work his way around the world, giving Halo a new level of verticality.

Quinn Delhoyo, 343’s lead sandbox designer, also confirms in an ‘#Ask343’ video that you can use your grappleshot to grab weapons from afar and even use it to “skyjack” Banshees – although he warns that plenty of skill would be needed to pull off such a manouevre.

He also explains that there are plenty of weapons yet to be announced, including some “never before seen weapons” like a heavy shotgun which will be revealed in the coming months. More weapons, and tweaks to existing weapons, will continue to be added after the game’s release.

Big changes are also coming to vehicles, which will now suffer damage depending on where they are hit, explains Delhoyo. You’ll be able to blow out a specific tyre on a Warthog, for instance, in order to “reward our pilots and drivers,” and create more complicated tactics when taking on opposing vehicles. “There’s more to it than simply health,” he explains.

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The second ‘#Ask343’ video looked more in-depth at gameplay, including focusing on the day/night cycle and dynamic weather that will impact the campaign. There will be more patrols at night, but Grunts may be “sleeping on the job,” allowing you to get the jump on them.

As well as “making the rain feel real,” there will be all kinds of wildlife of The Ring to help bring it to life. From “space gophers” to “bird creatures,” the wildlife may also point you in the direction of events or locations: birds may circle over a point of interest, for instance.

While weapon upgrades won’t be a thing in Halo Infinite, some equipment will be able to be upgraded, according to gameplay director Troy Mashburn. There will also be unlockable weapon variants to change things up throughout the campaign.

The campaign itself will feature multiple diverse biomes, cave systems, and of course Forerunner architecture, which you’ll be able to explore as a part of 343’s “most ambitious” campaign yet. The developer also confirms that Halo Infinite will feature a semi-open world and will run at a “flawless” 60 frames-per-second, so you can enjoy bigger battles and epic vistas.

Halo Infinite multiplayer

In December 2020, 343 Studios published a massive deep dive into Halo Infinite, which included some information on its approach to multiplayer and a sneak peek at one of the game’s maps.

Although yet to be confirmed, a prominent Xbox Games Studios insider has reported that multiplayer will be free to play, and that Arena mode will aim for 120fps.

All of the new weapons from the campaign will also be on offer in multiplayer, but they’ll only be available to pick up around the map as equipment weapons, according to a 343 blog.

Unfortunately, Quinn Delhoyo confirms that dual-wielding will not be making an appearance in Halo Infinite. You will not be able to play as Elites either.

As mentioned above, the multiplayer will feature cross-progression and cross-platform play, allowing you play on whatever platform you want with friends, while having the ability to switch and have your setup carry over.

HALO INFINITE FREE-TO-PLAY

Halo Infinite will reportedly have a free-to-play multiplayer mode, however this is yet to be confirmed by 343 or Microsoft.

While the base game will cost, it’s multiplayer should be free for Xbox and PC players according to a Halo insider who verified earlier leaks from a retailer’s pre-order page. This could help attract even larger player numbers to Halo Infinite and may also pave the way for there to be cross-play in the game between Xbox consoles and PC.

With the success of other shooters like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare giving fans a free experience in its Warzone battle royale mode, Halo appears to be heading down the same route.

Halo Infinite esports

Although the Halo Infinite release date is a little way away, 343 is clearly thinking about its epsorts scene. In April 2021, Halo’s esports lead Tahir ‘Tashi’ Hasandjekic says a date and location for the first Halo Championship Series event has been locked in already. In other words, we will see a Halo Infinite tournament by the end of 2021.

More details are expected in the summer.

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