Halo Infinite has learned lessons from Halo 5, 343 says

Halo Infinite has learned lessons both good and bad from 343 Industries’ last big title, Halo 5 Guardians.

Love it or hate it, you’ll certainly have an opinion of Guardians. A continuation of the story of Halo 4, some of that narrative was actually pushed to the wayside with the introduction of another protagonist Spartan named Locke. He and his team were playable for the half the game, on the hunt for the Spartan we all know and love: Master Chief.

With a newly declared emphasis on Halo Infinite being a “spiritual reboot” to the franchise, we used the Xbox Games Showcase last week as an opportunity to ask 343 what from Halo 5 has still made the cut in this new entry of the franchise. Or more importantly, what hasn’t.

“The most important thing was we [put the focus back on] Master Chief,” Narrative Director Paul Crocker told Stevivor. “Master Chief is the focus of our story, is the focus that we know our fans wanted.”

“We really wanted to create a Master Chief-based adventure as you explore the ring, as you learn all about the ring, as you fight the Banished on the ring. That’s the most important thing — that feeling when you first played as Chief in [the original Halo:] Combat Evolved. It’s all of those adventures you had playing as Chief over the last 20 years. And that is the number one thing that we tried to focus on: being Chief.”

Head of Design, Jerry Hook, took a different approach to the question, instead describing what he and his team hoped to achieve with Infinite.

“When we talk about looking at the legacy of Halo, it looks across the entire franchise.”

“We try to ask ourselves what was best responded by the community,” Hook added.

“So Halo 5, [that’s] some of the weapons, just like when we took a look at Combat Evolved and we took a look at the weapons there,” Hook continued. “Some of our movement.”

Rather fittingly, Hook’s comment plays straight into one of the new additions to Halo Infinite: the grappling hook. In eight minutes of gameplay, the hook was used quite frequently, helping Master Chief get to hard-to-reach areas or used as a means to get up close and personal with Brutes. While there’s no denying that Infinite has the look and feel of a (next-gen) Halo Combat Evolved, that hook is straight out of Guardians.

“That’s one of the challenges you always have when you’re trying to design for a established long franchise,” Hook continued. “Every single fan has something that they love, not just of one particular game, but a very specific piece of that game. And you have to respect it all and try to say, ‘hey look, we need to bring on some new fans and new players, as well as ensure that we’re respecting the legacy that came before Halo Infinite’.”

Halo Infinite heads to Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X this holiday 2020 season, part of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription program.

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About the author

Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.