5 questions we have after the Halo Infinite gameplay reveal

Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Halo Infinite's gameplay reveal was a huge one, showing off new combat abilities, weapons, Halo Infinite's open world-style structuring, and more. However, as enticing as the gameplay footage was, it also left us with plenty of questions about the upcoming Halo game as well. Here are five of the biggest ones.

How open is the open world?

Halo Infinite

Source: 343 Industries (Image credit: Source: 343 Industries)

While it has been widely confirmed that Halo Infinite will be taking a more open world approach than Halo has ever before, the scope of the open world remains unclear. Will the game be split into a series of smaller non-linear levels, like Metro Exodus? Or will the entire game world be one seamless playable space? Considering the linear structure of the previous Halo games, I think something like Metro Exodus' approach is more likely. However, it's also entirely possible that 343 Industries will go all-in with the open world approach and surprise us.

We also don't know much about the systems that will support the open world outside of the ability to select missions to do. Will we be completing missions to progress side stories and improve the odds of a UNSC comeback against the Banished? Will mission completions provide experience for upgrading equipment (read about the upgrade system here)? Ultimately, only time will tell.

How did the UNSC lose to the Banished?

Halo Infinite

Source: 343 Industries (Image credit: Source: 343 Industries)

During the speech by the leader of the Banished in Halo Infinite, War Chief Escharum, he mentions that the Banished, together with an individual or faction called "the Harbinger," were able to defeat the UNSC forces on the Halo ring without much difficulty. Considering humanity usually puts up a hell of a fight in Halo, this raises a question: how did the Banished and the Harbinger beat the UNSC?

The most likely possibility is that the Banished have access to some sort of superweapon that allowed them to significantly reduce the UNSC's ability to fight back in some way. This would have allowed them to achieve the swift and easy victory that Escharum mentions. If the Harbinger is a Forerunner entity of some sort, perhaps it supplied the Banished with a weapon that was capable of quickly taking out the UNSC Infinity. This would explain why the Pilot and Master Chief were stranded in space close to the Halo ring.

What damaged the Halo ring?

Halo Infinite

Source: 343 Industries (Image credit: Source: 343 Industries)

The Halo ring that Halo Infinite takes place on has been shown damaged in nearly every piece of promotional material for the game so far, and that includes the new gameplay footage. During the gameplay you can see a massive crack in part of the ring, and the cutscene with Escharum also shows a moment when the Master Chief and the Pilot look to be discussing it. So what exactly caused so much damage to the ring in the first place?

If the Banished and the Harbinger used a superweapon of some kind, it's possible that they may have accidentally damaged the ring. It's also possible that the UNSC forces were primarily located on the part of the ring that was destroyed as well, and damaging the ring was considered worth it in order to wipe the UNSC out in one fell swoop.

Who (or what) is the Harbinger?

Halo Infinite War Chief Escharum

Source: 343 Industries (Image credit: Source: 343 Industries)

The identity of the Banished's ally, the Harbinger, is a huge mystery. Many fans have speculated that the Harbinger refers to Cortana, but I think that's unlikely considering she would have no reason to ally with the Banished. if anything, she would oppose them with her army of Guardians. A possibility that I think is more likely is that the Harbinger is a new Forerunner entity of some kind.

However, Escharum also mentions that both the Banished and the Harbinger fight for the will of Atriox. This makes me wonder if the Harbinger isn't an individual, but rather a separate group of ex-Covenant forces taken by Atriox's vision for the galaxy — something that's supported by the appearance of Brutes and Elites in blue armor in the gameplay footage. The Banished have been exclusively shown in red and gray armor in the past, which makes me wonder if the troops wearing blue are part of a different faction.

Where are Atriox and Cortana?

Finally, a massive question on everyone's minds following the gameplay reveal is this: where are Atriox and Cortana? These two antagonists have been front-and-center in recent years, but both of them are absent in this gameplay reveal save for the mention of Atriox by Escharum.

Perhaps Atriox is still at the Ark fighting Captain Cutter, engaged in the war that was started in Halo Wars 2. It's also possible that he's dead by the time Halo Infinite takes place, though I think most Halo fans would find that to be incredibly disappointing since he's only been in the franchise for a few years. As for Cortana and her Created allies, there are many possibilities. She may appear in the campaign as a sort of wild card enemy who is hostile to both the UNSC and to the Banished. Alternatively, it's possible that she may choose to ally herself with the UNSC against the Banished as well. She could even end up being the Harbinger, although I doubt it.

Your thoughts

What questions do you have about Halo Infinite after watching the gameplay footage? Let us know. There are still lots of things we need answers to, such as what the Auditorium that Escharum mentions is. Make sure to check out our article on five things you may have missed from the gameplay reveal as well.

Halo Infinite is expected to launch during Holiday 2020 on Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and Windows 10 PCs.

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.