Enter Halo Infinite

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Portaleer, Jul 24, 2020.

By Portaleer on Jul 24, 2020 at 7:38 PM
  1. Portaleer

    Portaleer THE FORGERUNNER
    Staff Member Forge Critic

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    -Five years. Five long years. That’s how long it took us to get HALO back.-


    Five long years, indeed!

    Greetings! I am 343 Guil-... nevermind. Portaleer here! Hello, friends new and old! Thursday was a very special day for XBOX, the Halo franchise, and its community! After approximately five years of dust and echoes, 343 Industries’ silence was shattered with our long anticipated Halo 5 sequel taking front stage and center at the XBOX2020 Games Showcase in full force. After these five agonizingly long years of anticipation, and a mouth-watering nine minutes of juicy campaign gameplay reveal, the wait is finally over.

    The next great chapter of Halo is finally upon us. Without further ado, let’s jump in- plenty of details to dissect and discuss.

    - Halo Infinite-

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    Right away, our eyes are beheld with Halo Infinite’s title screen, dawning (or dusking, no?) the great expanse of Halo ring Installation 07: Zeta Halo, our new setting for Chief’s latest story. Along with the presence of captivating Halo vocals making my hairs raise on end and a shiver ripple up my spine, the most obvious and eye-catching thing on screen to anyone is the center active portal encompassing Halo’s title. These are confirmed now to be one of the many seemingly old and eroded ring structures present on Halo’s surface. They first appeared in Infinite’s initial announcement trailer reveal at E3 2018, pictured below.

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    - A Galaxy at War-

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    It’s May 28th, 2560- a little over two years since the events of Halo 5: Guardians. Humanity has lost their war presumably against the collective of galactic law-imposing oppression from the Created along with other forces, and their vehicles of such enforcement, the Guardians. It appears the UNSC has sustained heavy casualties close to the likes of which we’ve never seen before, save for Reach. What has always been humanity being beaten back, this time, seems like we’re utterly driven to the brink of extinction. Now’s a good time to stick together with what little we have left and not run if we can help it but fight.


    -A Familiar Face-

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    Speaking of sticking together, we see the return of Chief’s rescuer (the pilot from last year’s “Discover Hope” cutscene, dubbed “Bro Hammer” by the community) standing with Chief and observing a holo-projection of the damaged Halo ring.

    Upon the opening cutscene, Chief and Pilot are scrambling to hold on and remain in control of the pelican just as an enemy AA cannon (Anti-Air cannon) opens fire lobbing two shots at the rapidly descending drop ship falling toward Halo’s surface, a throwback not unlike situations of Halo past.

    Here we find the pilot erupting in a moment of frustration and sense of hopelessness, but not before our calm and collected hero quells his anger upon speaking some sense into him. With literally one word, actually. Pilot wants to go home, and I don’t blame him, but the reality of the situation is that he and Chief are caught up in a predicament out of their control. After a small exchange of game-plan to possibly recover a slipspace drive from a nearby downed Condor, Chief requests Pilot stay behind, ensuring his safety as he scouts ahead seeking to neutralize the AA guns that brought them down.

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    -A Whole New World-

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    New horizons. Literally. As Chief exits the pelican, we’re quickly slipped back into the helmet and boots of our John 117 once again and the sense of nostalgia the world emanates forth hits hard. The nod to Halo: CE is clear, and to revisit that feeling renewed after nearly 20 years feels fantastically refreshing. Mind you, this is the first time since Halo 3 that we’re returning to a Halo ring in a core FPS entry to the series. The incredible scope and scale and vistas of the Halo ring make it quickly apparent what kind of lengths 343 Industries has gone to, all but confirming our long suspicions of an open-world Halo campaign environment.

    Regardless of whether or not the new Slipspace Engine is built for a literal “open world” in a similar vein to Skyrim or Destiny, what’s undeniable is that this world is going to be BIG. Free-roam on epic proportions never before seen in Halo, exceeding even that of Halo 4 and Halo 5 combined.

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    Take a gander at the new pause/menu map screen. Yes, Halo is bringing us a world/vicinity map and navigation screen, and not only a map screen, but a selection of brand new tabs and mechanics coming to Halo which together further prove a revolutionary step in Halo Infinite’s incredibly scaled environment. These tabs include of course the interactive "TacMap" topographical layout displayed below (an evolution of Halo 3: ODST’s), an “Upgrades” tab, suggesting an RPG or leveling approach element to the game, and last but certainly not least, “Database”.

    Halo fans have been clamoring for a database for years. We can only hope it will properly consist of all manner of discovered wildlife creatures, items, places, characters, etc, making for a robust bestiarium and encyclopedia accessible to Chief on the fly.


    -Familiar Foes-

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    Like any Halo title before it, Infinite includes the familiar core Covenant classic conglomeration of Grunts, Jackals, and Elites. All of which are thrown at you without hesitation to engage the player straight back into familiar Covey-shooting, Grunt-popping glory, accompanied by a new pistol variant, the "MK50 Sidekick" and Chief’s already depicted weapon of choice in the above screenshot- the Assault Rifle.

    Shortly after clearing the immediate area of Covenant (or ex-Covenant rather for years now) Chief scoops up a brand new automatic tactical rifle, the "VK7B Commando". Yes, it does sport quite a presence. Leading up to the next moment we find the triumphant return of classic grenades, including Spike grenades, and portable equipment, such as the beloved fan-favorite deployable cover/shield.

    Bigger is better...

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    This includes but is not limited to a certain piece of gear/device mounted on Chief’s left wrist which fans have been suspicious of leading up to the Campaign Gameplay Reveal.

    When brainstorming with the question of keeping up on modern movement and evasion after seemingly disposing of thrusters from Halo 5, 343 had a void to fill. Feast your eyes on Chief's hookshot- I mean grappling hook. With it, you can pull surrounding items to you, and Chief can just as well pull himself to heavier objects too, including foes. It cleverly doubles as both a practical tool to cover considerable distances quickly and potentially a weapon of sorts (more on that in a moment).

    What I thought to be a rather corny inclusion to Chief's arsenal is anything but. The now confirmed "Grappleshot" is not to be underestimated and will earn a respectable place among Chief's vast array of tools and weapons.

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    With that established, all of sprint, slide, and clamber have remained as base movement.

    Please do not freak out. While this is a relief for many, and also “bad” for many, 343 has already stated that considerations will be made between Campaign and Multiplayer to properly tweak and accommodate both modes, respectively. Let’s be real, that sounds reasonable enough to me.

    speaking of movement and moving items, Just wait until you see what this thing
    does next.

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    Traditionally, we’d want to strategically time and shoot these to take out enemies, so isn’t grappling hold of one probably a really dangerous idea?

    Wrong answer!

    Remember how I just mentioned the Grappleshot being treated as a "weapon"? Well, kind of. It can be used to pull small explosives to you like this one. Yes. Chief can literally hurl a picked up fusion coil at the opposition, going out with a good ol’ blue plasma blaze of glory.


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    -The Disdained, the Defected, the Banished-

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    Also no stranger to the Halo franchise are the Jiralhanae, or more commonly known as Brutes. These aren’t just any Brutes, they are Brutes of the ex-communicated, ex-Covenant mercenary faction known as The Banished. Previously introduced in the events and story of Halo Wars 2 in 2017, The Banished are made out in prominence to be involved with the most recent onslaught against humanity. As far as Chief is concerned, the Banished must be stopped at all costs and are responsible for the downed Pelican. And yes, as a last-standing Brute, 343’s first-ever FPS Brutes will berzerk toward you, just like old times.

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    -Weapons, Weapons, and Even More Weapons-

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    Seen here is Chief hands-on with a brand new addition to the sandbox. Introducing the Banished “Ravager”- a rifle which fires serial rounds of what appears to be red-hot superheated Banished plasma.

    Plasma damage...

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    Introducing the “Pulse Carbine”. Obviously a relative model to our beloved classic, the Covenant Carbine, this cousin model fires multiple-round bursts appearing pretty similarly in function to the Promethean Bolt Shot but with what I would expect to be added range and precision, naturally, as a rifle. A Banished "BR" equivalent, perhaps.

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    This little revolving chamber and action-clad piece of Banished goodness is another cousin model, seemingly related to the Mauler. The “Mangler” appears to be a small shotgun/pistol crossover, possibly even a replacement for the Mauler but I wouldn’t make any such assumptions just yet. Even so, The Mangler, for all intents and purposes is our Banished counterpart of this beloved Halo 3 sidearm.

    Next up is the "CQS48 Bulldog", a brand new UNSC shotgun variant to which Chief uses to clear the surrounded AA cannon of all nearby hostiles. Shot after shot, the lawn beneath the cannon is mowed as Grunt, Jackal, Brute, and Elite, fall silently straight to their feet.

    That might've rhymed...

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    -A Newfound Nemesis-

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    As the close of our action-packed, modern blended with nostalgia-fueled campaign demonstration draws near, Chief ascends the gravity lift into the hull of one of the three AA cannons where he activates a control panel. Before his eyes, a deep crimson projection of a Banished Brute emerges from a holo-projection table, almost welcoming and anticipating Chief’s arrival. The warmongering and blood-thirsting Brute proclaims the UNSC’s already months-long defeat and absolute Banished domination over control of Halo. The War chief, “Escharum” spits in hate that our people are scattered and broken and finished, and that nothing will remain of our human infamy as “The Harbinger” (???- Alright, now I'm genuinely intrigued) and the Banished share the same goal. He declares a welcomed encounter to meet with our green hero in battle.

    John 117 is told to "fight hard and die well" as the story of their battle will outlive them both, becoming the stuff of legends.


    -Infinite Expectations-

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    The screen closes, advertising the title’s ever-so-close release window and availability across multiple platforms. There’s a lot to take in from roughly nine minutes of gameplay but it's left us thirsting for more, and now it’s finally yours to absorb after so much time since Halo 5. Our big sequel is upon us and I’m incredibly excited about what’s in store for us as Halo fans, and we are still in the infancy of introduced content next to the sheer ambition and Halo delivery that awaits. This game looks to merge the best of both worlds of classic and Modern Halo together in an effort to create both a healthy, and fair balance for the community to offer the quintessential Halo experience.

    Halo: Infinite stands poised to usher in a great installment to the franchise with an already historied setting from extended universe canon, serving as a Pandora’s Box of rich storytelling potential.

    I hope you enjoyed this in-depth breakdown and review of our glimpse of Halo: Infinite, and I look forward to sharing what appears to be a promising future and new chapter for this franchise with you- the community.

    Until next time, Portaleer out.
     
    #1 Portaleer, Jul 24, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
    cluckinho, REMkings, Nitro and 3 others like this.
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Comments

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Portaleer, Jul 24, 2020.

    1. Preacher001
      Preacher001
      You must have the inside scoop because based on what we've seen shown so far . . . .

      Hope is all I've got left
      Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
      JurassicWeeMan and Portaleer like this.
    2. ScaredHitman086
      ScaredHitman086
      I know a lot of people are worried about this game but I am personally really excited for it. Complaints like graphics are valid and I agree, but we are still a long way off launch and I have faith it will turn out well. Open world is the kind of replayability we have missed in Halo Campaign for a while now. The only reason I have replayed the Halo campaigns recently is to complete them on LASO(big mistake).

      I am excited to see how the rest of the game plays and excited to see how multiplayer movement changes from campaign.
      Portaleer likes this.
    3. JurassicWeeMan
      JurassicWeeMan
      Port, you write a damn good article and I loved your presentation of it. I am highly concerned based on the demo we saw, but hey, we might get to "Forge a New Halo" again, so I have hope it will be another Great Journey.
      Nitro and Portaleer like this.
    4. Portaleer
      Portaleer
      Thank you!!

      What aspect of the demo are you concerned with? I'm aware the graphics have been almost universally criticized so far. From what we actually know , the campaign demo presented is an older build and not the final version that will ship this year. This was confirmed by Halo Infinite Studio Head, Chris Lee, in a Q&A with Halo YouTube community voice HiddenXperia.

      I also have a bit of a hunch that demo was specifically intended for E32020, making it something that was prepared quite some time ago.

      There's actually a considerable amount of exciting info. that was confirmed in his Q&A video not mentioned by any 343'ers live on stage, once again due to no E3, thanks to COVID....

      There is definitely H O P E for the future.
      Preacher001 and JurassicWeeMan like this.
    5. JurassicWeeMan
      JurassicWeeMan
      Graphics is my main concern, regardless of covid, it's been 5 years so what we saw was concerning. This then makes me wonder what else are they hiding...like, are the gamemodes going to be missing, or is forge going to be spectacular or just the same as 5? etc., etc. I still have hope though, and I will say I'm digging the Chief and Pilot story a LOT more than H5. At this point, I'm basically predicting a Halo 5.2, with a better story than 5.
      Portaleer and ScaredHitman086 like this.
    6. cluckinho
      cluckinho
      Great work on the article my friend.

      As for infinite... graphics I can forgive... I guess. They should have made up for it with a bigger presentation. What I saw wasn’t like wow this is next gen halo. It looked like a modded halo. Show me what’s new besides some gimmicky mechanics. Setpieces, exploration etc all don’t need graphics to impress me. This just seemed like such an average slice of campaign.
    7. Portaleer
      Portaleer
      I hear you. While I was definitely excited about some aspects of the reveal there were also a handful of others that felt underwhelming and I think almost all of us pretty universally agree on this; but the game holds promise. Infinite has been built intended to not be just an individual sequel, but an evolving platform to build on Halo for years to come. While unpolished the visuals might've seemed in places, there's still polish the game will receive and it will be a living, breathing thing that will continue to grow over the years.

      It was also 100% confirmed yesterday by Studio Head, Chris Lee, that our new Halo setting is indeed Installation 07: Zeta Halo. There's a lot to get excited about but there's also still a lot we don't know.

      Yes, what we were shown after five years and nine minutes of reveal simply wasn't enough for us. All in good time. More info. will be released from here on out now and we're almost there!
    8. Portaleer
      Portaleer

      I will need to find the source but Infinite will also be getting a post-launch Raytracing support patch.

      In other words, the game is going to look at it's most optimal on the Series X, as it should.
    9. cluckinho
      cluckinho
      No classic magnum or shotty confirmed
      JurassicWeeMan likes this.
    10. JurassicWeeMan
      JurassicWeeMan
      Not surprised. They might very well add them at later dates though, just like H5 got new toys. I was actually a fan of the Halo 2 magnum, change my mind (could use a damage buff, but I liked the fast fire rate and role it had as a sidearm, not a primary). The range on the new shotty looks like a good thing, and I like how the sidekick pistol is getting relegated to "sidearm" rather than primary. The BR might very well return to being a more dominant-yet-not-OP precision weapon...that is, if that full-auto DMR doesn't take over...The aesthetics on the new weapons are...inferior to classic Halo designs though, for sure.
    11. Preacher001
      Preacher001
      No classics make me sad
      JurassicWeeMan likes this.
    12. Portaleer
      Portaleer
      I think it's fair to say that Infinite is classic-looking enough. There are two generations of Halo aesthetic here appreciated by different crowds and at the end of the day we're all Halo fans and deserve a piece of something from everything for everyone.

      That's fair.
    13. HeX Reapers
      HeX Reapers
      fair fair fair see it's fair I think it's fair 343 is fair we should be fair ok let's be fair they did their best and that's fair for what's expected and at the end of the day that's fair so let's be fair back to 343 for being fair since it's only fair fair
      Preacher001 and Portaleer like this.
    14. Preacher001
      Preacher001
      Fair point

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