Halo Infinite: 5 gameplay details you may have missed

Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite (Image credit: 343 Industries)

The gameplay of Halo Infinite, the next big entry into the Halo franchise, was finally revealed at the start of the Xbox Series X July event. Fans got to see a stint of gameplay that was over eight minutes long, featuring plenty of action between Master Chief and Banished forcesas well as new weapons, abilities, and more. However, while most of this gameplay showcase was straightforward, there are a fair amount of interesting details that will go under the noses of most. Here's a breakdown of five interesting things you missed from the Halo Infinite gameplay reveal.

A map that suggests open-world gameplay

Halo Infinite map image

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

One of the first things that I think a lot of fans will miss watching this gameplay reveal is the fact that there are quite a few things in the game's map screen that suggest that Halo Infinite will be open-world to some extent. The map is only open for a few seconds, but in that time we can see that players have the ability to view different missions available to them and then also the ability to choose which ones to do. Difficulty and what appears to be mission completion rewards are highlighted next to the mission icons as well. Lastly, players can set waypoints for themselves in the world, which we see Chief do in order to approach an anti-aircraft gun.

All of these things ultimately make it seem like players will have the freedom to opt-in and out of certain missions in the world as they see fit, which is a common feature in most open-world games. In addition, the ability to navigate through the world using waypoints is something nearly all open-world games have. Therefore, the map screen and its contents strongly imply that Halo Infinite will have open-world elements.

An upgrade system

Halo Infinite

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

Another thing revealed in the map screen is that there's an upgrade system, as there's a tab labelled "upgrades." These are likely what players will be able to spend their earned experience from completed missions on. However, what players will actually be upgrading was unclear until 343 Industries Studio Head Chris Lee provided some insight into the manner in an interview with IGN.

In the interview, Lee specifies that the upgrade system is relatively lightweight and will be centered around pieces of equipment that Master Chief can pick up and use. "We do have a light upgrade system for Chief as he explores this ring. He'll be able to upgrade equipment items," said Lee. "The grapple and the drop shield that we showed are kind of in that concept of a spiritual reboot that harken back to the equipment system in Halo 3. Those are two new equipment items that Chief will be able to find and use as you play through the game."

A possible Palace of Pain

Thirdly, as Master Chief goes up the lift during the gameplay demo, a tall, pillar-like structure can be seen that closely resembles the description of something called a Palace of Pain. These sinister locations from the Halo novels were home to unethical testing of the Flood on ancient humans by the Forerunners, who were trying to find a cure for the parasite.

While the Flood from the original trilogy of Halo games have been contained and/or destroyed, it's entirely possible that a new Flood outbreak could occur if Master Chief or the Banished accidentally let Flood forms out of one of the Palace of Pains. Considering the return of the Flood in Halo Infinite is completely plausible, the appearance of one of these locations in this gameplay reveal is very interesting.

Damage to the Halo ring

In the very same lift sequence, you can also spot what looks to be a significant crack in the structure of a part of the Halo ring in the background. Since the whole ring has been shown significantly damaged before in other Halo Infinite media, this fits what we know about it already. However, what makes this visible damage particularly interesting is how close it looks like it is to the player's location. If Halo Infinite is as open world as it seems it will be, there's a solid chance that we'll be able to explore damaged parts of the ring such as this one freely — something Halo fans have never been able to do before. It would be awesome to have certain areas where low-gravity and pieces of the ring detaching are just as much of a threat as the Banished are.

Brutes and Elites fighting together

Halo Infinite

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

Though it's hard to spot since they're only on-screen together for a few seconds, it's significant that Halo Infinite marks the first time in the mainline games where Brutes and Elites are fighting together. Typically Brutes and Elites are either fighting each other or fighting you independently; they've never been deployed against you simultaneously before (unless you forced them to do so in custom Halo: Reach Firefight). Considering the Brutes are aggressive and tanky while Elites are agile and adaptive, it will be incredibly interesting to see how these two enemies cooperate to try and take down players.

Your thoughts

What did you think of the Halo Infinite gameplay reveal? Let us know. Halo Infinite is expected to launch during Holiday 2020 for 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.