343 Industries addresses whether Halo Infinite is truly open-world and what that means for the upcoming shooter’s overall design.
Halo Infinite Game
Halo Infinite is still a long way off, with a tentative release window of late 2021. Yet Xbox and 343 Industries have done a lot of work to ensure Game Infinite remains an ever-present topic of conversation within the gaming industry. But it’s also due in part to Halo fans being very curious about Game Infinite’s gameplay. In the latest #Ask343, for example, the studio was asked to clarify whether Game Infinite is truly open-world, or if that’s been an exaggeration.
In response, 343 says very clearly that Game Infinite is not open-world, just in case there were any Game fans that had that misconception. The Game Infinite demo that was showcased in 2020 admittedly may have given that impression, but that was meant to convey the size and openness of certain levels rather than a true open-world nature. But no, Game Infinite will not be an open-world game akin to Grand Theft Auto, Assassin’s Creed, or the like.
Rather, Game Infinite is trying to recapture some of Game fans’ favorite aspects of the original game. 343 mentions the original Game‘s Silent Cartographer level as an example. The Silent Cartographer is a linear level, but it’s large, open, with explorable facilities, and layers of verticality. But perhaps the bigger concept is that the level is cohesive. Despite being so open and linear, it feels like a part of a bigger open world.
343 describes how there’s a linear thread driven by Game Infinite’s story –players have a lot of freedom to explore beyond that. For example, players could take a banshee and “stray from the path” to do objectives outside of the story. The world will still be contained by story progression, on some levels more than others, but that freedom to explore is always available and often encouraged. In other words, it’s a classic Game experience.
Another way in which Game Infinite will throwback to classic Game level design, that ties into the world, is with biomes. 343 describes how, like in the original Game, the base biome will be heavily based on a pacific northwest environment. Within this biome, however, will be sub-biomes like swampy wetlands, wartorn deadlands, deep caves, and more.
Understanding exactly what 343 means when it refers to classic Game level design for Game Infinite will have to wait until Game Infinite’s eventual release. And that’s dependent on 343 delivering on its promises, too. Considering 343 has already delayed Game Infinite an extra year, fans are going to be expecting something special.
Halo Infinite releases 2021 on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.