Last week 343 Industries revealed Halo Infinite which offered a first look at the game in action. Like any other prior Halo release, the internet descended into a two-sided battle. One side felt that Halo Infinite looked bland and unappealing, with no graphical improvements from Halo 5. While the other side felt the game evoked a classic Halo aesthetic and that the game looked great in action. No matter where you stood on the spectrum on these opinions, 343 Industries has officially spoken up about fan concerns surrounding Halo Infinite.
Halo Infinite Art Choices
Today, in a community update 343 Industries officially addresses the controversy surrounding the reveal of Halo Infinite. The post first address that many of the things that people are pointing out are artistic choices. This reflects a distinct return to the “classic” Halo style.
“Based on our learnings from Halo 4, Halo 5, and Halo Wars 2 – along with strong community feedback – we decided to shift back towards the legacy aesthetics that defined the original trilogy. With Halo Infinite, we’re returning to a more ‘classic’ art style which was a key message going back to the very first reveal that garnered enthusiastic and positive responses. This translates to a more vibrant palette, “cleaner” models and objects with less “noise”, though it doesn’t mean less detail. While we appreciate this may not be everyone’s personal preference, we stand by this decision and are happy to see it resonating with so many fans around the world.”
Mistakes Are Being Corrected
One of the heaviest critiques that were leveled at the game was that the game looked incredibly flat. The game appeared to lack a lot of depth, which led to character models looking less detailed than many people had anticipated. This also led to questions about the environments around the open world. This was further critiqued in a video from Digital Foundry that dissected the Halo Infinite reveal. 343 Industries addresses all of these criticisms, and acknowledges some errors in transparency with the reveal.
“The second theme being discussed involves visual fidelity. Negative feedback in this area includes comments around characters and objects appearing flat, simplistic and plastic-like, lighting feeling dull and flat, and object pop-in. We’ve read your comments, we’ve seen the homemade examples of retouched content, and yes we’ve heard the Digital Foundry assessments. In many ways we are in agreement here – we do have work to do to address some of these areas and raise the level of fidelity and overall presentation for the final game.”
Feedback Is Being Heard
After several rumors over the past week had pointed to Halo Infinite’s gameplay demo being an older build of the game. 343 confirms that the gameplay build was an older version of the game. They go on to assure fans that they are committed to creating one of the best Halo experiences ever. With a plan to address as much of the feedback as possible ahead of the games Holiday 2020 launch.
The build used to run the campaign demo was work-in-progress from several weeks ago with a variety of graphical elements and game systems still being finished and polished. While some of the feedback was expected and speaks to areas already in progress, other aspects of the feedback have brought new opportunities and considerations to light that the team is taking very seriously and working to assess. We don’t have firm answers or outcomes to share yet but the team is working as quickly as possible on plans to address some of the feedback around detail, clarity, and overall fidelity. The team is committed and focused on making sure we have a beautiful world for players to explore when we launch.
While some people may not find these answers satisfactory for their questions. Personally, the transparency that 343 has shown after the massive critique is admirable. It is important to be as transparent as possible leading into launch. Especially when so much is riding on the launch of your game. There are so many questions that remain with Halo Infinite hopefully we will learn more soon.
You can read my full thoughts on Halo Infinite’s reveal as well as the entire Xbox Games Showcase here.