Halo has always been the killer app for a new Xbox console, and this year we get back to basics with the fan-pleasing return of the series’ iconic Master Chief character. An undoubtedly explosive journey into deep space awaits.
Acting as the sixth main entry in the Halo franchise, players will lead as the Chief character once more in the campaign part of the game.
The game was originally intended to release alongside Microsoft’s latest consoles - the Xbox Series X and S - in 2020, but was delayed following a disappointing preview that year, which drew ire from fans.
“Our vision at Xbox and 343 Industries has always been to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever for our fans, while also balancing the team’s well-being,” Xbox said.
“To do that, we will need some more time to finish the critical work necessary to launch Halo Infinite, which will come in 2021.”
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What is Halo Infinite?
With tens of millions of fans all over the world, Halo is a household name, and easily one of the biggest and most beloved series in video game history.
The first game in the franchise - Halo: Combat Evolved - released in 2001, and in the 20 years since, the series has become synonymous with Microsoft’s Xbox consoles.
The science-fiction series follows Master Chief, one of a group of super-soldiers code-named Spartans, and his AI companion, Cortana.
Halo Infinite is the sixth mainline entry in the series, although there have been a number of spin-off titles throughout the years, exploring the interstellar war between humanity and an alliance of aliens known as The Covenant.
What happens in Halo Infinite?
The “Halos” of the series’ name are a group of immense, habitable and ring-shaped super-weapons that were created by an ancient race of aliens to destroy the Flood, a parasitic, zombie-like species which threatens the galaxy.
When activated, Halo rings are capable of wiping out everything the Flood could use as food - including the Covenant and humans - across an entire galaxy, but the Covenant mistake them for religious artefacts that could transport them on a “Great Journey”.
Halo Infinite will once again take place on a Halo ring, although unlike previous campaigns in the series which have followed a more linear, mission-based structure, the new game will be set in an open world.
Those narrative-based missions are still present, but between them you are free to explore Zeta Halo, which has been mysteriously damaged and fragmented.
The enemies in the game are the Banished, a violent mercenary group that have splintered from the Covenant.
The plot focuses on Master Chief's efforts to locate a new AI companion, after Cortana suffered from “rampancy” and undertook a dangerous mission of her own in 2015’s Halo: Guardians.
When can I play it?
The game will be released on Wednesday 8 December for Xbox consoles and PC.
It will also be available through Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass subscription service, meaning those who are signed up can enjoy the game at no extra cost from the day of release.
However, though the game is launching worldwide on 8 December, the time at which you can actually play the game differs depending on your location.
For players in the UK, Halo Infinite will “unlock” and be made available to play from 6pm.
How can I play the multiplayer?
Halo Infinite’s multiplayer mode will be ‘free-to-play’ (that is, free to download and play, but monetised through optional microtransactions for bonus content).
It’s being delivered as a separate ‘game’ to Halo Infinite’s single-player campaign, much as Call of Duty handles its own ‘Warzone’ element, and was made available on 15 November.
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