A new Xbox launch, a new Halo to push it out of stores. That was the plan, at least, since the launch of Halo Infinite and the Xbox Series X and Series S were to coincide. Unfortunately, things weren’t as smooth as planned this year. Due to the global pandemic of the coronavirus, and delays that accompanied it, plans had to be redesigned. Halo Infinite was delayed till 2021 following time delays, as we came to know in August.
For some reason, this isn’t the first time a Halo game failed to be released at launch. In fact, Halo 5 also suffered delays back in 2015 when the Xbox One needed it the most. Fans are thus skeptical that Halo Infinite could see a 2021 launch, since the teaser footage shown in a demo wasn’t the most polished thing we’ve seen.
Adding to our trust issues is the well known fact that the directors for Halo Infinite have changed during the course of development. A director serves to push the focus of the entire game in a certain direction. Changing directors can alter the way a movie or a video game ultimately feels, and sudden changes in directors rarely bode well. But there is good news yet, as you’ll see.
Halo Infinite is almost completely finished
The news comes from a leak by Klobrille. This is a Twitter account run by an insider at Microsoft who has given us very accurate insights on Halo in the past. So we trust in their assertion that the game is almost complete; they even go as far as to say that content-wise, the game is fully done.
This is pretty unusual news, to say the least. After all, Cyberpunk 2077 ‘went gold‘ meaning the disc version of the game was finished and was ready for retail. Obviously, this raised fans’ expectations and created hype. A few weeks after that announcement, though, the developers had to push back launch till December. If the team at Halo are at the same level of completion but aren’t too loud about it, that certainly means they’re keeping the 2021 release date to give them some headroom.
This means the 2021 release date isn’t likely to be pushed any further. The team at 343 Industries is playing it safe, giving themselves the time they need without breaking promises, like one Polish developer.
Leadership changes brought back an old veteran to the helm
Despite the negative effects of leadership changes, there has been some good. Tim Longo left the position of director last year, and was replaced by Chris Lee. Lee oversaw the majority of work that went into the game’s content, and probably had the strongest influence. But not a lasting influence, as he too was replaced recently by Joseph Staten. Staten was one of the masterminds behind Bungie’s massively successful Halo games, from the first to the third. So it looks like Halo Infinite is back where it belongs.
We must commend the developers at 343 Industries. After all, they’ve managed to piece together a game that pushes the boundaries of technical performance, and designed a work of art that will endure. And all of this they did during one of the worst pandemics in human history, alongside changes in management.
Master Chief’s latest adventure is worth the wait
The newest Halo game seeks to be the Breath of The Wild to the franchise. Infinite features a new, open world map that incorporates several RPG gameplay elements like exploration and a non-linear gameplay design. Running at an impressive 4K resolution alongside 120 frames per second, the game is definitely worth the wait.
It’s nice to see developers allowed time to work under normal conditions. Unlike CD Projekt RED, the ethos at 343 Industries seems to be more relaxed, focusing on quality and giving employees time to make that quality happen. We’re definitely stoked to see what the latest installment in the series brings to our screens. Stay tuned for updates as they come.