The last time we saw any Halo Infinite campaign footage from 343 Industries was in July 2020. Now, in order to build the hype up for Halo Infinite’s release in six weeks, the developers have released six minutes of never-before-seen campaign footage.
What did we learn from this footage? First off, we discover that Master Chief is no longer working with Cortana in any capacity. Instead, our protagonist is trying to work with a new AI with the ominous name The Weapon. Their goal is to explore Zeta Halo to learn more about Cortana’s whereabouts and motivations.
Pay close attention to the trailer and you can see a tactical map. This lets players play the campaign on their own terms while establishing Forward Operating Bases and advancing the story. But finding answers about Cortana won’t be that easy since Master Chief must contend with a Banished Covenant named Jega ‘Rdomnai who knows all about how to kill Spartans.
It looks like the game will also have light RPG elements in the sense that Master Chief can earn and spend Spartan Cores to unlock new abilities. These abilities include a Thruster, a Grapple Shot, a Threat Sensor, a Shield Core, and a Drop Wall.
Gameplay seems to be a combination of familiar gunplay and new platforming elements that come courtesy of the Grapple Shot. But everything looks grounded in familiar franchise touchstones, including the ability to drive iconic vehicles like the Warthog.
Our verdict? This footage looks impressive, and it will likely win over many players who were underwhelmed by last year’s footage. But there is a danger here that the game will have difficulty striking a balance between new gameplay and familiar gameplay. For example, how many new abilities can 343 add before this stops feeling and playing like a Halo game? And is the tactical map approach really the perfect balance between a structured campaign and a truly open-world experience?
Another factor to consider is that players won’t be able to cooperatively play through the campaign when the game launches. Some of the flaws of previous campaigns were more easily forgiven when you could sit on the couch and experience everything with a friend. But Halo Infinite must deliver a captivating campaign that wins over one player at a time.
Halo Infinite will release on Dec. 8 for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.
Now that you’ve seen the footage, are you excited about Halo Infinite? Be sure to let us know in the comments!