Why Halo Infinite's campaign is going to be something special

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

While Microsoft and 343 Industries have been very forthcoming when it comes to Halo Infinite's multiplayer content, it has taken a long time for the developers to share details about and show off the Halo Infinite campaign. After its controversial debut during the Xbox Games Showcase in 2020, information and updates about the campaign have been pretty rare. Thankfully, though, that is no longer the case.

Recently, 343 Industries released a Halo Infinite campaign gameplay overview video that gave fans a close look at the game's open world-style gameplay systems and many of its environments, and it also included some additional hints about the story as well. After watching the video through and learning what to expect from Master Chief's next adventure, I can say with confidence that I believe Halo Infinite's campaign is going to be something special (it may even end up being one of the best Xbox games ever). Here's why.

The most expansive campaign yet

Source: Xbox Game Studios (Image credit: Source: Xbox Game Studios)

Halo Infinite's open world elements represent a new and exciting direction for the series.

The main thing that has me excited to play Halo Infinite's campaign is how incredibly fun it looks. Like previous Halo games, Halo Infinite is placing a huge emphasis on sandbox variety — both in terms of the enemies you fight as well as the weapons and vehicles in play on the battlefield. However, what sets Halo Infinite apart is its focus on open-world style elements.

Banished patrols comb each level to try to hunt you down, but as the day/night cycle progresses, their patterns change, giving the player unique opportunities to set up ambushes or try out new strategies. There are also several different side objectives in each area that players can engage with, such as destructible Banished outposts, groups of Marines that can be saved, and minibosses that will likely give the player a reward when killed. Players can even take control of outposts themselves, using them as a resupply area to call in specific pieces of ordnance.

Halo Infinite's campaign will also have a progression system that allows players to improve the effectiveness of various equipment pieces, such as the Grappleshot and the Repulsor. Players can do this by finding or earning Spartan Cores in-game and then using them to unlock a desired upgrade. One such upgrade gives the Grappleshot a shock damage effect that allows players to stun enemies as they grapple them (it might even EMP vehicles!).

Finally, previous developer comments have indicated that the campaign will feature dynamic enemy spawns that change based on what weapon, vehicle, and equipment the player is using. This system will ensure that you'll always have a balanced experience that never feels too easy or too difficult, regardless of what you're taking into battle.

Overall, the game simply looks like a ton of fun, and I'm excited to see how a more open Halo game plays compared to the series' traditional linear style. Halo Infinite is returning to its roots with its sandbox-focused design while simultaneously moving in a bold new direction with an open world-style experience, and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

A character-focused story

Source: Xbox Game Studios (Image credit: Source: Xbox Game Studios)

I'm also very excited to experience Halo Infinite's story, which has appeared to be very character-driven ever since the "Deliver Hope" trailer released in 2019. Aside from the Master Chief, the narrative seems to primarily focus on "The Pilot" and "The Weapon," both of whom have given Halo Infinite a distinctly human and relatable feel so far. After the mess that was Halo 5, I'm ready for a powerful story that, like Halo 2 and Halo 4, features meaningful themes and character development.

Master Chief in particular seems to be more expressive than usual in Halo Infinite, which I love. In every trailer or gameplay showcase released so far — including the new campaign overview — Chief's dialogue and body language have made it clear that he cares about the people around him and wants to protect them. This has always been core to who Master Chief is as a character (mainly in the series' novels), but I've always felt that Halo 4 was the only game that put those heroic qualities front and center. Halo Infinite looks to be exploring that side of Master Chief again, and I couldn't be happier.

Vastly improved visuals

Source: Xbox Games Studios (Image credit: Source: Xbox Games Studios)

It's unbelievable how much better Halo Infinite looks in 2021.

Finally, it's incredible how much better Halo Infinite looks visually compared to the original showcase from 2020. The enemies and environments in the original debut looked flat, bland, and lifeless. Now, after a year of extra development time, those same enemies and environments are now rich with depth and detail. Halo Infinite's lighting effects are nothing short of gorgeous, and the game's textures and visual effects look excellent, too. It's not the best-looking game out there, but it looks fantastic nevertheless.

Issues like texture pop-in, draw distance concerns, and janky LODs that were visible in the 2020 debut have been fixed as well, which is awesome. Based on what was shown in the campaign overview, the game world will look great regardless of whether you're looking at it up close or from afar.

Ultimately, the game looks great now, and in the future it will look even better when 343 Industries adds support for ray tracing at some point after launch. This will allow players on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, or Windows PCs with ray tracing-capable GPUs to use ultra-realistic lighting that will likely bring out even more of Halo Infinite's beautiful details.

Halo Infinite's campaign is launching alongside the game's free-to-play multiplayer on Dec. 8, 2021, for $60. It will be available on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One consoles, and Windows 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.