Since Halo Infinite’s delay in August pushed it past the launch of the Xbox Series X/S and into the abyss of 2021, we’ve had no real definitive idea as to when Master Chief’s first foray into the next-gen world would be coming out. Well 343 Industries has finally confirmed something a little more specific than “2021,” and is aiming for fall of next year, pushing the game nearly a full year from when it was originally set to launch.
News of this comes from a very lengthy update the studio promised on the game posted to the Halo Waypoint, which leads with a statement from Joseph Staten, who worked on the Halo franchise for its first five games, and returned to the series back in August. Staten confirms that 343 Industries’ plan is to release Halo Infinite on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S in the fall of next year.
After Reach shipped, I became a Halo fan, cheering-on 343i from the sidelines. But I’ve spent the last four months immersing myself back into the Halo universe, and it’s my honor as creative director to help our team ship Halo Infinite in Fall 2021.
Yep, that’s when the game is coming out. And from now until then, every one of us at 343i and our great partner teams will be building, testing, and polishing an experience we hope all of you love.
I joined 343i right as the team was wrestling with feedback from the July campaign demo. This discussion boiled down to one fundamental truth: we needed more time to do things right. That included pushing hard in the Fall, giving the team time to recharge over the Holidays, and then coming back in January to finish the game at a healthy pace.
Because Halo Infinite in the Fall of 2021… is just the beginning of the adventure.
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Elsewhere in the Waypoint post, 343 developers address a few key concerns and topics, including updates made to the game on the visual side, which several people mentioned after the game’s showing at one of Xbox’s showcases earlier this year. The update specifically mentions that certain animation and other graphical effects weren’t in place in the demo, and that fans should expect the game as a whole to look better when it’s finally done. And that goes double for “Craig,” the brute enemy fans latched onto when talking about the less than stellar look of the Halo Infinite in the original demo.
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,” said Neill Harrison, the Director of Art Management at 343. “All characters are modelled in a neutral pose, prior to blendshapes & 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.
For more of a deep dive into the state of Halo Infinite, be sure to check out the full Waypoint post.
While both Halo Infinite’s campaign and free-to-play multiplayer were delayed to next year, Microsoft and 343 Industries apparently had talks about releasing either of them separately, ensuring there would be something Halo-related available at the Xbox Series X/S launch. However, these talks fell through as everyone involved didn’t want to start the generation out on that note.