After five years of development and weeks of teasers, Microsoft has finally given us a better look at the Halo Infinite campaign. This "spiritual reboot" from 343 Industries is set on two years after the event of Halo 6 and are designed in a way so that players new and old can jump into the story.
First, the good. The classic Halo look is back! Gone are the horribly mutated lizard people, back are the sleek elites! The Jackals and Grunts are given a redesign and are now more closely resemble their Forerunner trilogy counterparts. The Brutes are back as well, this time as part of the Banished faction from Halo Wars 2.
The gameplay is now open world, and set on a damaged Halo installation. The environment is strongly reminiscent of the early missions of Halo: Combat Evolved, with some odd Minecraft like mountains thrown in. There are also some new addition to gameplay mechanics and abilities, such as Masterchief's new grappling hook and a "Drop Wall" cover. The former can be used to grab objects in for sounding environments, which then can be thrown at the enemy. You can also use the "Grappleshot" to melee nearby enemies or even grapple onto ledges. On the other hand, "Drop Wall" shield is an enlarged version of the deployable cover that can be placed to protect against incoming fire.
To navigate the vast expanse of installation, Jhon-117 has been given a large 3D map of the installation. The map screen contained two interesting tab, Upgrades and Database. 343 did not disclose what exactly they are for, though the names themselves are pretty self-explanatory. Hovering above the icon will show up a brief information card and two other stats, the use of which are currently unknown.
Now, the bad. Despite going back to the old art style, the in-game items still lack the rough and worn out textures of the old games. Most equipment looks pristine or brand new, devoid of all the scratches and dents caused by heavy use. The Banished Spirit dropship we see in the game lacks the graceful flight characteristics of its Covenant counterparts and flew as it was put on rails. Flying units in the game act like they are on rails, as displayed by the Spirit dropship. The Brute units encounter also noticeably lacked visual expression, and the graphics tend to pop in at random.
The game is set to come out on at the end of this year.