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Halo Infinite: Rumors, release date, plot, and gameplay

Halo Infinite Xbox Series X
(Image credit: 343 Industries)

Xbox Series X has a clear lead on the PS5 when it comes to hardware, with the possible exception of the SSD, but one edge the PS5 still enjoys is its superior collection of exclusive games. 

While we are still somewhat in the dark regarding which PS5 games will be available at launch, it’s virtually undisputed that Sony had the superior lineup in the current console generation, and most of those titles will eventually carry over. The one potentially huge difference-maker for Xbox Series X is Halo: Infinite. 

While the last installments in the Halo series have been a disappointment to fans, the series as a whole still has a tremendous amount of goodwill, and the team at 343 Industries has spent years working to correct the mistakes of the previous games. 

We’ve taken a look at all of the rumors and statements regarding Halo: Infinite to see if the series can once again be a system seller for Microsoft.

Halo: Infinite release date

Halo: Infinite is a launch title for Xbox Series X, so we will see it in that “Holiday 2020” window Microsoft is giving as the Xbox Series X release date. Halo: Infinite will be a crucial game for Xbox Series X but it will also be available on PC.

We strongly expect to see the console launch in mid-November, which should mean Halo: Infinite will surface at the same time. Given that Halo: Infinite is the highest-profile exclusive launch title for the Xbox Series X, it’s difficult to believe Microsoft would let that date slip unless absolutely necessary.

Halo: Infinite is confirmed as one of the games that will be shown off at the Xbox 20/20 event scheduled for July. It’s possible that we’ll finally get an official release date at that event.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Halo Infinite on Xbox Game Pass

Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, confirmed back in February that Halo: Infinite will be available at launch to Xbox Game Pass subscribers. That's huge news for a service that continues to build steam.

Halo Infinite Smart Delivery

Halo infinite is also going to be part of Smart Delivery, as are all Xbox Game Studios titles, which means that if you buy the game for Xbox One, you will still have access to it if you eventually upgrade to an Xbox Series X.

Halo Infinite trailer and plot (Potential spoilers!)

We’ve had two teaser trailers for Halo: Infinite so far, the first at E3 2018 and the second at E3 2019, which was a doozy at nearly 6 minutes long. As you would expect, given that we're so far out from launch, both were entirely cinematic trailers with no actual gameplay shown. If you are looking to stay 100% spoiler-free then don’t keep reading this section, but really, what are you doing reading an article about Halo: Infinite in the first place?!

In the trailer from E3 2018, we basically have a series of cuts appreciating nature on a seemingly tranquil world that eventually reveals evidence of a recent battle on the planet. Towards the end, the camera pulls back from wounded soldiers to reveal Master Chief standing on a hill. At that point, it picks up for the last few seconds with a vehicle speeding across the landscape towards an enemy base.

While I have no doubt that the general plot was already fleshed out by then, it’s hard to infer too much from this trailer apart from the return of Master Chief.

The E3 2019 trailer could still fit with what we saw in the 2018 trailer, but it would make for a slightly confusing timeline.

The 2019 trailer opens with a sole survivor on a ship who is starting to lose his grip on reality when he stumbles on Master Chief drifting in space. He brings him in and powers the suit back on to bring Master Chief back from an emergency cryo sleep.

Just as the survivor reveals to Master Chief that they lost the battle, the ship comes under attack and Master Chief rushes out to join the fight. One of the few things we know about the plot of Halo: Infinite is that it is going to be entirely centered around Master Chief; The team at 343 Industries acknowledged that fans weren’t thrilled with the split in Halo 5.

At a minimum, we will be getting another trailer at the Xbox 20/20 event in July and we are all hoping that we finally get a look at some actual gameplay.

Halo Infinite gameplay

We know virtually nothing about the actual gameplay of Halo: Infinite at this point. We haven’t even seen any compelling rumors yet, and we only know the team doesn’t want to play off of what is popular currently. 

At the same time, Chris Lee, Studio Head of FPS at 343 Industries, said following the 2018 trailer launch that the goal is, “to make a great Halo game for our fans that also invites new players into our franchise. We will have some new and unexpected directions to take folks in and I believe the way we achieve that is to build alongside our community, iterating and improving as we go.”

It’s interesting that, given that focus on community feedback, the company has managed to keep so much of the game a complete mystery with now less than six months to go before its launch. 

Again, we can’t wait to see some actual gameplay in July as that should finally give us an idea of what to expect from Halo: Infinite.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Halo Infinite game engine

One of the reasons gameplay is such a mystery for Halo: Infinite is that 343 Industries developed a new game engine called Slipspace. One of the focuses with this game engine, as reported by Gamesradar back in January, is to allow new features that weren’t originally planned to be introduced later in the development process than previously possible.

It’s a slightly terrifying thought, as it sounds like the sort of thing that may have you second-guessing your decisions for a game until late in the process, but it also leaves the studio open to pivot if necessary, even after the game’s release.

The other goal with Slipspace, which aligns nicely with the previous focus, is to enable much faster prototyping than what was available previously. So when they do decide to make a change based on internal or community feedback, it can happen quickly.