Back in July, we were all anticipating finally seeing the Halo Infinite demo. The gameplay looked crisp while the graphics left a bit to be desired. The backlash saw Halo Infinite moved away from being an Xbox Series X|S console launch title. Finally, the 343 team has updated us on the game.
Halo Infinite is now slated to release in the fall of 2021. Yes, one full year after it was originally supposed to be available. That news however was at least offset by news on how the changes and updates to the game are going.
Neill Harrison – Director of Art Management at 343 Industries
“In addition to the graphics tech changes, we have made a lot of improvements on the Art/Content side across all disciplines such as Environment, Lighting, Weapons, FX and more. There is too much to cover here but I’ll just talk through some of the more impactful changes in my mind….
Firstly, there’s been a lot of work done re-tuning our dynamic lighting values to add more punch and contrast to the image. These included adjustments to our sun intensity, fog/atmosphere, and the addition of color grading which did not make it into the July gameplay demo.
We’ve improved some of our materials to get more specular response, more wear-and-tear on weapons/vehicles, more fidelity in our characters, and more macro breakup on large surfaces like rocks, terrain, and the hex walls. We’re now also getting more of our textural detail coming through to the final frame thanks to a sharpening process that our graphics team have added. This helps offset some of the natural blurring of temporal anti-aliasing and it certainly helps our assets shine.
We’re eager to show the progress the team has made in Campaign as soon we can, but we want to make sure we have all the right pieces coming together and this can be tricky with a lot of moving parts and an expansive world of this scope. We know everyone is keen to see more and we look forward to sharing more in future updates in the months ahead.”
My favorite part of the Halo Infinite update though was the explanation behind the internets favorite brute, Craig.
“NH: Firstly, I can confirm that the facial animation on NPCs was not fully implemented in that build, which resulted in Craig’s incredibly deadpan/lifeless look. All characters are modelled in a neutral pose, prior to blend shapes & animation being applied. So, poor old Craig was never intended to be seen in that condition which is not something that was evident during the gameplay. It was only later, in the close-up freeze frame of his one bad moment, where it came to light and the legend of Craig was born.
There’s been further work done on the material fidelity and more variety added for Brute faces, we’re also working to add some hairdos and beards which was something we hadn’t gotten to in July. So, whilst we have come to love our dear old Craig, he’s certainly undergoing a significant makeover.
Craig isn’t the only model to see improvements though, there have been significant changes to other characters & 3D models as we continue to evolve and polish our content, some of which can be seen in the Spartan and weapon renders being shared today.”
Check out the new images the team shared. New weapons, spartans, and even a glimpse of a multiplayer map.
We have a long wait ahead of us before the game makes its debut. Halo Infinite not being an Xbox Series X|S launch title was a definite hit to the new system. Although it is going to be a shame to have to wait another year. There is a lot riding on the game for the Xbox team and fans alike.
You can read more via Halo Waypoint