So Microsoft recently announced Halo: Infinite, allegedly the ‘Halo 6’ that everyone has been anticipating. Since no tangible news or updates about Halo 6 have surfaced in the 3 or so years since Halo 5: Guardians was released, this new trailer for the newly confirmed Halo: Infinite is the first glimpse at what lies in store for Halo in the future. And boy, did it look tantalizing.
For a start, and let’s get the obvious out of the way first, Halo is back. And I don’t just mean the franchise – I mean the ringworld. The essential setting for Halo as a series in the glory days, the cradle of the classic, lore-rich, atmospheric and iconic series is back and it looks better than ever. The graphics in this trailer are, hopefully, a sign of how the game itself will look when it launches, as everything look beautiful – the ground, the wildlife, the trees and especially Chief’s armor. Oh, and on that topic…
Yep. Chief is back. And the classic art-style is too. I was a heavy critic of 343 industries’ design overhauls back in the day, but eventually learned to live with them – but Halo 2: Anniversary showed us what classic Halo could look like updated for modern graphics, and 343 industries has clearly realised that the fanbase prefers Bungie’s look and feel of the games. As good as 343i’s effort to put its own stamp on Halo was, they clearly understood the wisdom of giving fans what they want in this regard, and the results speak for themselves.
From the look of the trailer, the game will feature more ambient wildlife, which is an interesting thing to focus on – Halo has certainly had ambient wildlife before, such as the Moa in Halo: Reach back in 2010, but on the whole wildlife has never been much of a focus. Interestingly, however, ambient wildlife was a focus of a Halo E3 trailer – that being the original demo for Halo: Combat Evolved back in 2000. A subtle link, but a link nonetheless, and perhaps a deliberate one.
This trailer also shows some of the state of the wider universe – we see a downed modern-era Pelican, representing the scattered and vulnerable UNSC forces in the wake of Cortana’s AI invasion at the end of Halo 5: Guardians, as well as a cave with Covenant writing scratched into the walls – a message? A warning? The shot in the Pelican also focuses on a radio, implying that various factions across the galaxy are responding to a message of some kind, although that’s only a guess.
Hopefully, characters who were present at the end of Halo 5: Guardians will make a return, such as the Arbiter, Catherine Halsey, Lasky, Fireteam Osiris and Blue Team, and presumably the rampant Cortana will return also. However, could more classic Halo characters be returning given the general feel of this game appears to be invoking that classic feel? Could characters like 343 Guilty Spark or the Gravemind, both characters who were disposed of in Halo 3 but have the potential to return, have a part to play in t this new game? Or perhaps characters with more rooting in the lore, such as 032 Mendicant Bias or perhaps the original Didact, Bornstellar? Time will tell.
Ultimately, its looking more and more like 343 industries have learnt their lesson and may finally be coming out of their ‘rebellious’ phase and back on target for delivering Halo games that we love. Given the chance, Halo: Infinite could well go on to save the franchise.
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