A New Beginning
Halo: Infinite, the next giant step for the Halo franchise, and for Xbox. With Halo 5 not meeting fan expectations, 343i needed to find a way to regain the trust of the overall fanbase. Years of work, dedication, stress, and the creation of a brand new game engine called “SlipSpace”. Has 343i potentially created a Halo that can be considered one of the all-time greats? Could this be the make or break for the studio? On July 23rd at the Xbox Games Showcase, we will finally get a look into Halo: Infinite and it’s potential. As of this writing, we are only a very short time away from the Xbox Games Showcase which happens this week. Admittedly there are a few key factors as to why this specific title is important to the future of Xbox.
Let’s first start off that Halo was put into good hands. The developers over at 343 Industries have done their best doing what they can to provide a phenomenal Halo experience. Halo 5 itself still sold well, but it heavily divided the fanbase and the game didn’t exactly turn out as expected. The one thing 343i has done extremely well is keeping the Halo franchise alive. Halo 4 was a solid entry, and the insane support Halo: The Master Chief Collection has seen is astounding. Halo: MCC is probably the best long term revival of a video game we have seen that has spanned multiple entries as a singular title. Having the opportunity to play them on PC alone is a huge deal, and might I add it plays very well!
343i absolutely has the potential to bring the “next big thing” in Halo, and they need to. This is a time where a lot is resting on the shoulders of this franchise. Halo isn’t just a simple video game. It’s an entity that has transcended the restrictions of simple programming and has influenced millions of lives over the decades. The creations of books, movies, TV shows, graphic novels, and competitive Esports are dedicated to only Halo. It cannot be denied the influence Xbox and Halo has had with people. This is one of the reasons why it is so important this time to get it right. It’s not just a video game, it is the face of Xbox itself and of millions of fans.
As much of a titanic franchise Halo is, the success of Halo: Infinite could very well determine the future of the franchise.
What exactly can 343i do though, to make sure fans get what they are truly wanting? Well, for starters we have to recognize exactly “what” the fans are wanting. Many are crying out for the older days of Halo, for the sprint mechanic to be removed among other things. I’m here to tell you that is counter-intuitive to the future of Halo. This is not DOOM, this is not Quake, this is not Unreal Tournament. Halo has been an ever-evolving franchise, and it needs to continue to do so. This was a faltering point for 343i in Halo 5. There was not enough of a substantial evolution to bring Halo forward properly. Admittedly many fans probably didn’t realize the substantial steps the earlier titles took to bring fresh, fun, and exciting mechanics to the franchise. From Halo: CE to Halo 2, you ended up having an altering story while playing as an actual Elite. Not to mention you also were able to dual wield, introduce the brutes, new vehicles, weapons, a massive new story plotline and so much more. None of this really happened in Halo’s recent entry.
Halo needs that next, massive redefining step. This is not 2013 anymore. Technology has changed substantially, including the tools that developers now have access to. You have to prep Halo for the launch of the Series X, as well as make sure it has the longest legs possible heading into the next generation of gaming. This is no small feat by any means. Halo needs that “God of War 2018″ level of re-invention. Thankfully the SlipSpace engine looks to provide that new, fresh feel that Halo so desperately needs. Right now, only time will tell what we may get. The importance of Halo: Infinite is substantial. In my eyes, it rivals the original Halo.
How on earth could Halo: Infinite live up to the original Halo that spawned everything? Think about it for just one minute. That Halo set the tone for everything, straight up to Halo 5. This time, as previously mentioned there needs to be a major change. A re-invention. This is not a time to falter. As much of a titanic franchise Halo is, the success of Halo: Infinite could very well determine the future of the franchise. With success, you will have exponential growth. With failure, you will lose the face of Xbox itself and the faith of millions of fans. Right now, this title is that act of faith. That act of redemption from the missteps of Halo 5.
We already know that Atriox and The Banished will be apart of Halo: Infinite. Admittedly, besides the Gravemind, Atriox is one of the most terrifying villains in the Halo universe. Halo Wars 2 introduced them, and now it’s time to double down on The Banished. Halo hasn’t had that dark, grim, and urgent tone to the story in a very long time. Where humanity itself, including Master Chief, is on the brink of extinction. We have become so used to the idea of Master Chief being this “Almighty superhero”, we have forgotten that in the end, he is simply just a man in a suit with a lot of luck.
Atriox looks to be his counterpart. The one enemy that doesn’t ever seem to run out of luck, and who can also crush a MJOLNIR suit with his bare hands. Master Chief seems to be on this lone warrior hunt. Going up against insurmountable odds, facing enemies and machines he has never seen before, all lead by an enemy that fought to create the army he controls. All lead by someone that is just as brutal, cunning, vicious, and lucky as The Master Chief. Atriox. On Thursday, July 23rd we get to find out exactly what we will see with Halo: Infinite and if 343i has hit the mark.