The headline act for the Xbox Games Showcase was Halo Infinite. And while the nearly nine-minute gameplay video focused more on setup and a bit of action, IGN followed up with a series of exclusive interviews providing more Halo Infinite details. Minor story spoilers follow the video below.
Following a snazzy cinematic where we see Master Chief’s armor being assembled, Halo Infinite transitions into its classic first-person gameplay. The world Chief steps into is rendered in gorgeous detail. It’s also huge.
At one point, we get to see a portion of an open-world map — a first for the series — and there’s a lot to explore. According to one IGN interview, the Ring opens up tremendously a few hours into the game. From there, you’re free to explore as you see fit, and 343 Industries says there are plenty of story reasons to explore every nook and cranny, even when it isn’t connected to finding upgrades.
Speaking of upgrades, you’ll come across a number of them to pad out Master Chief’s arsenal and defenses. There’s no experience-based or skill-based upgrade tree, though, as the goal is making everything feel like a natural part of the game. One of Master Chief’s upgrades is the brand-new grappling hook, which you’ll use to get around the environment and deal with enemies in new ways.
Halo Infinite takes place after Halo 5, with Master Chief still in space following the events with Cortana. 343 Industries intends Infinite as an end to the Forerunner Saga and the beginning of something else, with The Banished taking the role of the central enemy.
At their head is War Chief Escharum, the loud hologram in the gameplay segment. Halo Infinite’s position between two sagas means it’s a good jumping in point for newcomers while rewarding those who’ve stuck around and absorbed the lore since the very beginning.
We can expect to see more Halo Infinite for a while. 343 said it’s the start of a model they’ll be using for the next several years. Halo Infinite will continue being expanded and further developed, though they note it isn’t a live service game.