Halo Infinite E3 2019 trailer left us with 5 burning questions

Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite (Image credit: Microsoft)

During E3 2019, 343 Industries revealed a trailer for Halo Infinite that featured the return of the Master Chief in a brand new suit of armor, as well as a new Pelican drop ship pilot character (who has already become a fan favorite!) that will presumably be Chief's companion. The trailer reveals that a large battle occurred that seemingly wiped out all of the UNSC forces in the area and caused the destruction of a Halo ring, with Chief and the stranded pilot as the only survivors. Near the end of the trailer, the Pelican is attacked by an unknown force, and Master Chief opens the back hatch in order to deal with the threat. Then, in an "epilogue" sequence, Master Chief is shown walking towards a large projection of the broken Halo ring while a heartfelt message from Cortana plays.

The trailer itself was incredible, but after watching it, I have plenty of questions about what it may mean for Halo Infinite's story — and whether or not some other unsolved story threads from other parts of the Halo universe will influence Halo Infinite.

What exactly happened before the events of the trailer?

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite (Image credit: 343 Industries / Xbox Game Studios)

Arguably the biggest (and most important) question there is to answer about the trailer is, what happened before it? The Pelican pilot has seemingly been stranded for months after what could only have been a huge battle, or potentially maybe even a war on the surface of the nearby Halo ring — and apparently the events in that conflict resulted in the ring's destruction. The pilot notes that the UNSC lost the conflict, and this is reinforced by the fact that he was stranded for so long. The conclusion of the fight also apparently incapacitated Master Chief and left him adrift in space, as the pilot ends up finding him when his Pelican's scanners pick up the signal coming from Chief's armor.

The events of Halo 5: Guardians naturally lead me to believe that the conflict was between the UNSC and Cortana's Promethean military, but that's also a little predictable. Perhaps 343 Industries has a whole new enemy faction for us to deal with in Halo Infinite.

What happened to the characters from Halo 5: Guardians?

Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5: Guardians (Image credit: 343 Industries)

Since Master Chief was left adrift by himself after whatever battle occurred before the trailer, I'm curious to know what happened to characters like the Spartans in Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris, as well as the Arbiter, Sarah Palmer, Captain Lasky, and other members of the Halo 5: Guardians cast that were at Master Chief's side when the credits rolled in that game. Many of those characters are fan-favorites and have extensive backgrounds in the lore of Halo, so I doubt that they would be killed off-screen. However, I wonder if they managed to escape the devastating fight that we see the aftermath of in the trailer, and if we'll end up running into them during Halo Infinite's campaign.

Who (or what) attacked the Pelican?

Though it's obvious that someone (or something) attacks the Pelican with an electromagnetic pulse near the end of the trailer, it's completely unclear what the threat itself is. My initial guess was that it was a Guardian under Cortana's control, especially since Guardians are shown using electromagnetic pulses by the end of Halo 5: Guardians. However, the extremely bright light that fills the Pelican after Chief opens up the back hatch makes me question whether or not it is. The EMP blasts that the Guardians have used before don't cause a blinding light like that, and no part of their "body" has been shown to, either. However, it is important to consider that we may not have seen the full capabilities of a Guardian yet. If it isn't a Guardian, then it must be some type of new threat we haven't seen before.

Will Cortana end up being a friend or a foe?

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

The bit of the trailer that has Cortana commenting on how "she chose right" when talking about choosing Master Chief as her partner suggests a possibility that she may not be as malevolent and evil as she was in Halo 5: Guardians. Though it's likely she will start the game off that way, it's entirely possible that she'll end up trying to become an ally once more. However, when you consider everything she did in Halo 5: Guardians and onward, she may not be accepted by Master Chief and the rest of the UNSC. After all, she has killed countless people and forced the galaxy to live under her reign, and when Master Chief trusted her, she locked him inside of a Forerunner Cryptum so that he couldn't stop her. If this rejection occurs, she may remain an enemy.

Will Halo Wars 2 tie in?

Halo Wars 2, the latest game in the real-time-strategy Halo Wars spin-off series, is absolutely ripe with characters and groups that could make an appearance in, or maybe even be a large part of, Halo Infinite's story. The Brute-led Banished and the battle-weary servicemen and women of the UNSC Spirit of Fire are (as far as we know) currently at war with each other on The Ark, and Professor Ellen Anders encountered one of Cortana's Guardians in the game's epilogue scene. While it's true that none of this has anything to do with the new Halo Infinite trailer itself, I think it's a question that's important to ask about Halo Infinite overall.

When you consider the fact that Atriox and the Banished in particular had an entire comic series dedicated to their backstory and rise to power, it seems likely that 343 Industries has big plans for the Banished. It's definitely possible that they don't want to use the Banished for Halo Infinite and are saving them for a later game, but there's a considerable chance that the Banished will be involved in Infinite, too.

Your thoughts?

What do you think of my questions? Are there any you have that you want answered? Let me know in the comment, and make sure to check out our guide to everything there is to know about Halo Infinite so far. The game is slated to be released during the holiday season in 2020 and should come alongside the new Xbox console, which is code-named "Scarlett." It should be available for that console, as well as Xbox One and PC.

Great Halo games

All the greatest Halo games are available now on Xbox and are heading to PC too throughout 2019 and beyond.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection ($30 at Microsoft)

The Master Chief Collection is a fantastic game that lets you experience the entirety of Master Chief's saga in one convenient package.

Halo Wars 2 ($40 at Microsoft)

Halo Wars 2 is arguably the best real-time strategy title on Xbox One, offering players a wealth of incredibly satisfying, Halo-themed content.

Halo 5: Guardians ($20 at Microsoft)

Halo 5: Guardians is the latest Halo first-person shooter title, and it's got plenty of good content within.

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Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.