5 things you missed from the E3 2019 Halo Infinite trailer

Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite (Image credit: Microsoft)

Halo Infinite, the next entry in the legendary Halo series, is slated to launch alongside the next Xbox console (codenamed "Scarlett") during the holiday season of 2020. At E3 2019, the game got a brand new trailer, which contained some hints about how the game will potentially start, while also introducing us to a brand new character.

However, there are tons of small hidden details sprinkled throughout the trailer too, and they just might point to some important things about Halo Infinite. Here's what those details are.

More Zeta Halo hints

When the stranded Pelican pilot goes to the cockpit in order to try and figure out what the signal his ship is receiving is, you can see the words "Local Ref Zeta" within the small gray box, just underneath the central radar and above the position coordinates. It's really difficult to make out on a computer screen, but if you blow it up on a large television as I did, you can just make out the words. This is significant because it's another in a long line of hints that Halo Infinite may take place on Zeta Halo, which is a Halo ring that has never been seen in a Halo game.

In addition, we see a Halo ring later in the trailer, and it's clearly destroyed with a huge piece of it missing. "Local Ref Zeta" likely means "local reference point at Zeta"; all of these things together could indicate that we'll explore Zeta Halo in Halo Infinite, but it won't be functional.

Going back to basics

There has been a lot of speculation within the Halo community that due to Cortana's ability to cause electromagnetic pulses with her Guardian forces, the UNSC will be forced to utilize some older, more outdated technology and gear in the fight against her in Halo Infinite. There are two things in the E3 2019 trailer that suggest this theory may be the case: the pilot's uniform having the old UNSC logo on its shoulder, and the fact that Master Chief is seen arming himself with what looks like an MA37 Assault Rifle from Halo: Reach — which, in the lore, is an inferior rifle to the newer MA5D Assault Rifle seen in Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians.

While it's entirely possible that these changes are simply aesthetic-only, there's a chance that the theory will end up being true, which may mean that we'll get our hands on some other weapons from the previous Halo games, like the old shotgun or battle rifle.

The latest and greatest

While it's possible that the UNSC overall will have to resort to outdated gear in Halo Infinite, it looks like the Master Chief himself has gotten an armor upgrade. When the pilot character in the trailer powers his suit up and we get a glimpse of the diagnostics system running, you can catch an armor identification line that says that the armor Chief is wearing is a "MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor System Generation III" suit.

This is the first time that we've seen this version of the MJOLNIR armor, but what it specifically improves on from the previous generation is unknown. The Spartan Field Manual book does reveal, though, that it's supposed to be a combination of the best of both the Generation I and Generation II armors. It's entirely possible that we may see new gameplay mechanics or abilities in Halo Infinite that result from the enhanced power of the Generation III MJOLNIR suit.

Cage the threat

When Chief places what appears to be a new AI chip into the back of his helmet, a message appears on his heads-up display: a notification that a "weapon containment device" was inserted, and that there is no AI detected inside. Since the bit about there not being an AI is red and flashing, most viewers tend to focus on that. However, the classification of the chip as a weapon containment device is potentially much more important.

To me, this seems like a plan Chief has to remove Cortana as a threat. I think that in Halo Infinite, Master Chief is going to try and find a way to get Cortana to upload herself into the chip in order to contain her and prevent her from commanding her Promethean and Guardian armies.

Cortana countermeasures

During the sequence of the trailer where Chief's armor is running through its diagnostics, you can briefly see that an AI countermeasure system called System Peril Distributed Reflex, or SPDR, is booting up. In the lore, this system is designed to help UNSC AIs fight off intrusion and to help them repair themselves after damage.

When you consider the previous hint about the chip that's designed to contain an AI, I think the SPDR system is going to be hugely important. I think what's going to happen in Halo Infinite is that Master Chief will trap Cortana in the chip, and then when he puts that chip in his helmet, his armor's SPDR software will "work its magic" on her (for the lack of a better word). Alternatively, there's also the possibility that the chip is supposed to contain an AI designed to counter Cortana, and that it uses the SPDR system in Master Chief's new armor to do so. Either way, the specifics of these potential story paths are sure to be explored over the course of the game — if I'm right, of course.

Your thoughts

What do you think of these hidden hints? Do you think that my theory about the rough plot of Halo Infinite is likely to be true? Let me know what you think, and make sure to check out my Halo Timeline series of articles if you want to get a condensed lore lesson on the major events in the Halo universe.

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 that most players will have a good time with.

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PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox One ($20 at Amazon)

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Talon PDP Xbox media remote ($20 at Amazon)

The Talon PDP Xbox media remote is great for watching shows on your console.

Xbox One S vertical stand ($10 at Amazon)

Stand your console upright with this accessory.

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.