Is Halo Infinite's lead teasing the return of classic Halo maps?
Have the developers changed their minds about map remakes?
What you need to know
- 343 Industries Head of Creative Joseph Staten recently made comments in an interview that suggest remakes of classic Halo maps may come to Halo Infinite after all.
- Map remakes weren't directly confirmed, but Staten's comments do hint at a developer interest to "play those maps again."
- If map remakes are coming, it likely won't be any time soon since the developers will need to update the maps to modern graphical and gameplay standards before adding them to Halo Infinite's map pool.
While many fans have been hoping that 343 Industries would remaster fan-favorite classic maps like Halo: Combat Evolved's Blood Gulch or Halo 3's Valhalla for Halo Infinite, the chances of this happening have generally been considered to be pretty low. This is because the developers announced that Halo Infinite likely wouldn't have map remakes ahead of the game's launch in late 2021, citing the team's desire to avoid using old map layouts and its belief that many of Halo's older maps wouldn't be a good fit for Infinite's gameplay sandbox. However, according to new comments from 343's Head of Creative Joseph Staten, the studio's policy on map remakes may have changed.
In Episode 90 of the Xcast podcast hosted by Kinda Funny Games, Staten was asked if he could explain why the developers can't just port Halo's older maps into the Halo Infinite multiplayer experience. Staten replied by saying, "I can talk about some things, but I can't talk about other things. There are some great Halo maps ... I think we all have our personal favorite. Guardian, Blood Gulch, The Pit ... there are a lot of maps that are awesome, right? I think it would be awesome to play on those maps again — don't you guys? That sounds like a fun thing. I'll mark that in my little notebook."
This is a very interesting response, and to me, it sounds like Staten is hinting that fans may be able to expect map remakes in Halo Infinite after all. It's unlikely that they'll come anytime soon — based on previous comments, it's likely that the developers will want to tweak and rebalance the way the maps play so that they're a better fit for Halo Infinite — but perhaps players will have some map remakes to look forward to after Halo Infinite Season 2 ends later this year.
Ultimately, I think map remakes would be great for Halo Infinite, and I'm excited by the possibility that the developers may have changed their minds on the matter. Bringing old maps up to modern graphical and gameplay standards is likely a challenging and time-consuming task, but it's something that every Halo game before Infinite has done, and I'd like to see Infinite do it as well. Playing new versions of fan-favorite classics has been a Halo tradition ever since Halo 2 remade Blood Gulch, and having some map remakes ship alongside new original maps would bring some nice variety into the Halo Infinite multiplayer experience.
Halo Infinite multiplayer is available now for free on Xbox and PC, and while it hasn't had the greatest start, it has the potential to grow into one of the best Xbox shooters ever made.
The legend returns
Halo Infinite's campaign promises fans the most expansive Halo experience to date, featuring a campaign with a dynamic open world brimming with stories to uncover and a thrilling free-to-play multiplayer with various different types of game modes and rewards. It's a modern masterpiece that's familiar, yet fresh, in all the right ways.
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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.