5 things we want to see in Halo Infinite — and 3 we don't
Halo Infinite is only months away. Here's what we want to see from the next entry in Xbox's biggest franchise.
Halo Infinite, the next mainline entry in the Halo series, is slated to launch alongside the Xbox Series X during the holiday season in 2020. With the game's release fast approaching (as well as the fact that Halo Infinite will appear at the Xbox Series X July showcase) we've got a lot on our minds in regards to what we want from Halo Infinite — as well as what we don't. Here's a full breakdown of everything we are (and aren't) hoping to see.
Want: A bold campaign
Between the campaign of Halo 5: Guardians leaving many disappointed, and Halo Wars 2's playing things on the safe side, I think Halo Infinite's campaign needs to wow players with some bold choices — both story and gameplay-wise. In terms of writing, it would be fantastic to see the character of the Master Chief explored on a deeper level. Halo 5 failed to explore the nuance of his character, which was a shame following the impactful narrative of Halo 4. Halo Infinite has a chance to right that wrong.
Related: New audio clip suggests the Banished will be in Halo Infinite
When it comes to gameplay, I think Halo would lend itself very well to some non-linear levels. Though Halo has always been designed primarily linearly, a few campaign missions in the past have shown how well the series can lend itself to open, expansive environments. If 4A Games can take the hyper-linear focus of the Metro series and create an open-world experience as excellent as Metro Exodus, than I fully believe 343 Industries could successfully do the same with Halo Infinite.
Don't Want: Lots of microtransactions
In Halo 5, you can't unlock armor or weapons for the Warzone gamemode by earning them directly. Instead, you have to open loot box/slot machine REQ packs, either by purchasing them with in-game currency earned through playing, or by buying them with real money. This system has been widely panned by the Halo community overall, and most players are hoping that the REQ system (or something like it) doesn't return in Halo Infinite.
While I wouldn't be surprised if Halo Infinite has some type of microtransaction system, there should at least be more direct alternative routes to unlock desired items if there is one. The issue with Halo 5 is that even if you opt to grind for earning in-game currency for REQ packs, your loot is still randomized. This artificially steepens the player's grind and encourages them to spend money to speed up the process, which is something that players will near-universally hate.
Want: A mindblowing Forge mode
Ever since it was introduced in Halo 3, the Forge mode map editor has become a staple feature in the franchise. Each new iteration of it has improved upon the last, and Halo 5's was stellar. It included scripting functionality, thousands of objects, and a suite of different options to change a map's fog, skybox, lighting, and more. Fans took these new tools and ran with them, creating plenty of awesome custom maps.
Supported by the power of Xbox Series X and PC hardware, I think Halo Infinite's Forge has the potential to blow minds. Features like full terrain editing, placeable AI enemies/allies, more advanced scripting options, and more would allow fans' creativity to flourish even more than it could in Halo 5, should they be implemented.
Don't Want: A lacking customization system
Customizing your Spartan has always been a huge part of the Halo experience, but Halo 5 let a lot of people down on that front. You could only change your helmet, armor, and visor color. Previous options from Halo: Reach and Halo 4, like changing your shoulder, arm, and leg armor, were removed. Additionally, the ability to create your own emblem was removed as well. Though Halo 5 had many options to choose from in regards to armor, a lot of them were only slightly different from one another, leading to the customization pool feeling bland.
With Halo Infinite, we're hoping that Halo customization makes a comeback. The return of all previous options from other games would be fantastic, and giving players more options for armor color and detail would be excellent, too. Adding in skins for weapons and vehicles would also be a welcome addition, provided that players are given the option to turn them off if they want to prioritize visual clarity in-game.
Want: Playable Elites and Invasion mode
Halo 2 was the first game to make the Covenant's Elite species playable in multiplayer, and in Halo: Reach, Bungie even designed a special objective-based gamemode called Invasion around Spartan and Elite players duking it out. However, from Halo 4 onward, the ability to play as an Elite has been absent.
Adding playable Elites (and, perhaps, Invasion) back in Halo Infinite would be excellent. Not only would it give players even more customization options to enjoy, but it would also allow players to design fun custom games around the concept of playing as an Elite. Playable Elites is also a feature that assists machinima (fan movies made in-game) producers as well, as they will be able to add Elite characters to their productions.
Want: New weapons and vehicles
Each new Halo game has added new weapons and vehicles to the franchise's sandbox. With Halo Infinite, it would be awesome to see this trend continue. Considering it looks like the Banished faction will be in the game, getting to control some of its unique vehicles such as a Blisterback artillery craft or a Marauder light tank would be fantastic. Fans have been asking for a Forerunner/Promethean ground vehicle for a long time, too, so we might have a chance to get behind the wheel of one of those as well.
As for weapons, it would be cool to see some new Brute weapons alongside returning ones from the older Halo games to go along with the return of the Banished. The ability to wield a Promethean melee blade like the Promethean Knights use would be sweet, too.
Don't Want: A disappointing launch
When it launched, Halo 5 lacked features and gamemodes that most fans consider staples. This included Big Team Battle, Infection, Forge mode, a wide selection of maps, and many gameplay options in the Custom Games tab. Though most of these were added months later, the lack of this content at launch still disappointed many fans and it caused a lot of people's excitement about the game to deflate.
For Halo Infinite, this can't happen, especially since the game has been in development for five years and Halo's fanbase has been anxious to see what the next installment has to offer. There's a lot of hype riding behind Infinite, but all of those high expectations would make another lacking launch feel even more painful.
Want: Lots of post-launch support
Halo Infinite would benefit greatly from having lots of post-launch support. While the initial lack of content in Halo 5 was disappointing, the consistent updates to it did add lots of cool stuff like variants of different gear and creatively designed maps. These additions making their way into Halo Infinite, following the game's release, would enhance the game's content offerings and help keep players playing.
Related: Will the Flood be in Halo Infinite?
Halo Infinite would also be perfect for expansion DLCs as well, as the Halo universe is incredibly expansive and offers a plethora of opportunities for campaign expansions. Expansions would also be a great way to reintroduce enemies from the past that might not be in the vanilla campaign, such as the Flood.
What do you think of our wants and don't-wants? Do you agree with our thoughts? Let us know.
Halo Infinite is expected to launch during Holiday 2020 on the Xbox Series X and Windows 10 PCs, as well as Xbox One. Make sure to catch the Xbox Series X July showcase too, since Halo Infinite will have an appearance on it. If you're interested in playing some Halo now, don't miss Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It's available for $40 on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs.
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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.