This morning, 343 Industries provided an update on the development of Halo Infinite including what you can expect from the title running on Xbox Scarlett. You can find the full update here, along with some of the highlights below.
“Halo has always been a graphically exciting universe to explore. From the epic sci-fi settings, unforgettable alien threats, and the iconic hero in the Master Chief, there are so many amazing things to discover. You can see glimpses from the video how the team has continued to embrace the art direction we touched on last year, envisioned by our Art Director Nicholas “Sparth” Bouvier. The new design for the Master Chief is, by far, the highest fidelity we have ever created to leverage the power of next generation platforms, but with a design that is Master Chief to the core and takes inspiration from the past, with color and texture and detail unavailable to us till now. This same attention to our design for the Chief is true of everything in Halo Infinite. You can see examples in the interior of our UNSC Pelican, the design of our pilot, and even details down to the UNSC logo on his flight suit. Halo Infinite is intended to embrace all that our fans have grown to love in our franchise, while evolving it to something even more visually stunning for players.”
“Music is critical to every Halo experience. It has been from the very beginning and in Halo Infinite, we’re taking that tradition very seriously. I am excited to introduce our new Music Supervisor, Joel Yarger, who led the creation of music for major franchises like God of War, Uncharted, and countless other blockbuster video games. Our Audio Director, Sotaro “Tajeen” Tojima, has challenged Joel to find accomplished music composers that can stay true to the musical traditions of Halo — originally created by maestros Marty O’Donnell and Mike Salvatori — harness its inherent power, and build on those foundations with new creativity and emotional depth.”
“We are excited to introduce Curtis Schweitzer, who composed all of the music in “Discover Hope” and music for Halo Infinite. We have been inspired and impressed by the emotional depth and creativity Curtis has delivered so far. There have been tear-inducing, hair-raising, and spine-tingling moments each time we have listened to his inspired compositions. Joel and Curtis are hard at work on Halo Infinite to bring rich emotion to our experiences, to punctuate the thrilling moments of combat, and to connect players to our universe more deeply than ever before. We look forward to sharing more of this new vision for our music in the future!”
The Power of the Slipspace Engine
“Beneath the hood of every important game rumbles an equally important engine. A game engine can define how a game looks and performs – and that’s incredibly important, but it’s more than a method of putting pixels on a screen and making them dance, it’s also key to a game’s soul. There are millions of lines of code that can be read and understood, but when it’s all running smoothly, those bits create far more than the sum of their parts – they create the soul of a game and the hard-to-describe feeling of holistic fun. The original Halo engine was extremely powerful and, for its time, innovative. It let console players, for the first time, explore worlds at a scale of interaction and visual spectacle that was industry leading in 2001. And elements of that still hold true today.
But as we move forward to Project Scarlett and PC gaming platforms, we have an amazing opportunity to create a powerful new engine to take advantage of new hardware and architecture – and take better advantage of the still-not-fully-tapped power of the Xbox One.”
“Slipspace not only empowers our creative teams to reach detail and performance no Halo has ever delivered, but also provides technology and tools – from cameras to facial capture that will let us tell intimate stories like the moments you witness in “Discover Hope” — and the ability to iterate and update those experiences to compliment gameplay. By harnessing the power of our new Slipspace Engine and combining it with the power and promise of Project Scarlett, we plan to build the Halo game we’ve always dreamed of – and share it with even more players, competitors, adventurers, and creators than ever before.”
“The Master Chief is our hero and Halo Infinite will continue his decades long saga. While we plan to introduce important new characters — like the resilient Pilot you already met in the video — this story is the Master Chief’s. The universe will continue the continuity of Halo 5 and in that sense contain the adventures that led up to this moment, but in the pursuit of our “spiritual reboot” and the launch of a new console, we also want to make sure that this is a perfect starting point for new players too. This story will mark the beginning of a new chapter and challenge for the Chief, but it will also respect and continue threads that led to this point. If you’ve never played a Halo game before, this will be a great place to jump into the story. You’re arriving in the middle a universe at war, with a sense of history underlying your entry into the world. But it will also feel fresh, full of potential, and new adventure. We will weave in context and guideposts to understand your place in a new universe. But if you’ve invested in Halo for all these years, you’ll feel immediately at home – and some of our story moments will spark a different resonance for your investment.”
343 Industries is obviously taking the development of Halo Infinite very seriously and it’s rather clear that they know this game will lay the foundation for the Halo IP for the future. With that in mind, the addition of PC players, new Xbox hardware, and the Showtime show coming down the line, Halo has never had a bigger opportunity to start fresh. We believe Infinite will be that game and we simply cannot wait to see more from it in the coming months.