With several years since the last major Halo game, it's time to start looking forward to the franchise's future. Microsoft's beloved first-person shooter series is due for a new entry, with development underway behind closed doors. A while Halo Infinite only saw a brief reveal at E3 2018 there's still a lot we currently know.

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for previous Halo titles.

Halo Infinite: Development and reveal

Halo Infinite is the next major entry to the main line of Halo games, following on from 2015's Halo 5: Guardians. The game's debut trailer opened Microsoft's E3 2018 press conference, providing the first look at the Master Chief in three years.

With the Halo franchise assigned to 343 Industries after Bungie's shift to Destiny, Halo Infinite will also be developed solely under the same roof. Based in Seattle, Washington, 343 Industries remains one of Microsoft's flagship game development studios, having worked on Halo 4, Halo 5: Guardians and Halo Wars 2, among other titles. Comprised of hundreds of employees, including veterans of Halo franchise, the team houses a powerhouse of talent in the first-person shooter space.

Halo Infinite is built on the new "Slipspace Engine," developed internally at the studio alongside the game. The in-engine reveal trailer focused heavily on showcasing its potential, indicating the game will offer a significant visual upgrade over previous titles.

Halo Infinite: Story

Halo Infinite is expected to fall under the "Reclaimer Saga" – a series of Halo games outlined by 343 Industries, following the events of Halo 3. Diving deeper into the Master Chief and his relationship with Cortana, games in this saga have carried heavier emotions and higher stakes than the original trilogy. After the events of Halo 5: Guardians, we can expect a new-found partnership between the Master Chief and Spartan Locke. With Cortana fighting for control of the Halo rings, a new dynamic is set to be established as humanity fights back against Cortana's uprising. Interestingly, we also see Master Chief inserting a chip into his helmet during the reveal trailer – could he be siding with Cortana once again?

Speaking with GamesTM magazine, Frank O'Connor admitted the studio received "some digs for storytelling in Halo 5," indicating a new approach for its successor. Expanding, O'Connor acknowledged fans generally "wanted more Chief," after Halo 5's focus on Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris. At the reveal, Microsoft once again emphasized Chief will play a key role in the title.

As discovered by inquisitive Reddit users, Halo Infinite's opening trailer contains morse code, transcribing to "SOS ZETA HALO GRD." In existing Halo lore, Zeta Halo is Installation 07, one of the seven remain Halo rings in the universe. And as referenced in the Halo: Hunters After Dark book, the installation is home to deer-like creatures – likely the animals featured during the trailer's opening scenes.

Halo Infinite: Gameplay

As seen in previous games, Halo Infinite is expected to stick to the FPS gameplay formula that makes the series unique. From tight, responsive gameplay to slow times to kill, the core values of the Halo will likely be adopted, while evolving with new ideas.

While Halo 5: Guardians brought cutting-edge visuals to the Halo franchise, sacrifices were also made to achieve this. Local split-screen multiplayer was controversially axed, removing the social living room experience cherished by long-term fans. Speaking at DICE Summit in 2017, studio head Bonnie Ross discussed painful learning experiences, stating that future entries will "always have split-screen going forward." Assuming 343 Industries still adheres to this approach, Halo Infinite will mark the feature's return.

Halo Infinite: Release date and pricing

With little indication of when Halo Infinite will be revealed, it's hard to pinpoint the game's release. With gameplay at the show and no sign of a release window, we could be waiting a couple years. Microsoft has previously committed to beta tests for future Halo games too, meaning a chance to play should arise before launch.

Halo Infinite set to launch for Xbox One, with compatibility across Microsoft's complete family of current generation consoles. The game will be the first mainline Halo game to release for Windows 10 PCs, via the Microsoft Store. Support for its latest flagship console, Xbox One X, is also likely, delivering a 4K resolution among other visual upgrades.

Like most big-budget games of this generation, Halo Infinite is expected to cost $59.99 at launch across all platforms. The game will also be available with an Xbox Game Pass subscription like other first-party titles from Microsoft. In line with many of Microsoft's "games-as-a-service" titles, also expect regular updates and content drops in the months, or years, following release.

An infinite wait lies ahead

Details on Halo Infinite may currently be limited but keep an eye out for further information in the months ahead. What are you looking for from the next Halo game? Drop into the comments section with your thoughts.

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Updated June 11, 2018: Added details on Halo Infinite following its E3 2018 unveiling.

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