Is old-school Halo multiplayer back? Xbox unveils the first look at Halo Inifinite's free-to-play multiplayer.

Halo Infinite Multiplayer Gameplay Revealed Ahead of Holiday 2021 Release

Is old-school Halo multiplayer back? Xbox unveils the first look at Halo Inifinite's free-to-play multiplayer.

Microsoft’s big E3 2021 showcase allotted some time to their biggest unreleased title, Halo Infinite. Despite the uneasy air surrounding the game’s release date, Microsoft reinstated its intentions to stick with the Holiday 2021 release window. 

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Both Halo Infinite’s single-player and multiplayer will launch simultaneously, with its online portion arriving as a free-to-play portion, and its campaign arriving on Game Pass at launch. 

Starting off with crisp-looking in-game cinematics that then smoothly transitions to some brief gameplay, players got a look at Master Chief traversing his way through a recently devasted crew. As expected, Chief will face his “greatest challenge yet” and the cinematics also reveal the return of AI Cortana. 

However, the multiplayer was front and center in this E3 2021 presentation, with Microsoft keen to emphasize its free-to-play status. While what we saw was largely edited in-game footage of multiplayer matches, we did catch glimpses of classic weapons, Spartan’s boosting through the air, and even what looked like fan-favourite maps. Powered by next-gen consoles, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer can support up to 120fps. 

Capturing a mix between the new and old seems to be at the heart of Halo multiplayer with the Halo Waypoint blog stating

The team at 343 Industries is embracing the franchise’s legacy while imbuing it with new modern twists to lean into the series’ strengths while simultaneously laying a foundation on which to grow and further evolve in the months and years beyond launch.

By adopting the free-to-play model, Microsoft and 343 are clearly keen to push Halo multiplayer into the realms of live service, much like Call of Duty, Destiny and Rainbow Six Siege have become. 

While we don’t have a release date set in stone, we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for when Halo Infinite launches Holiday 2021 on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC. The development team will be hosting a Halo Infinite multiplayer overview on its YouTube channel on June 14. 

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Aaron Bayne
I am a freelance journalist from Scotland, writing, debating and sometimes video making about all things film and games.