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Halo Infinite early access details emerge in developer livestream

Fans will get the chance to play the game before its official release and even help influence the development process

a shot of the Halo ring at night in Halo Infinite 343 Industries/Microsoft
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Halo Infinite, the next installment in Microsoft’s flagship first-person shooter series, is still mostly a mystery for fans. Outside of the game’s initial reveal, which was really just an engine teaser from E3 earlier this year, there are almost no details on when the game will be released or what, exactly, it even is. However, in a livestream Wednesday afternoon, developer 343 Industries did give fans a little bit more information on the game, including an early access period where fans can play the game and offer feedback to developers.

Called a flighting program, it will start with just a handful of players and grow from there. “Different layers of the community will be able to play the game at different stages of development,” 343 community director Brian Jarrard said during the stream.

The studio’s FPS head, Chris Lee, gave a little more detail on what this process would mean for the game.

“The flighting program isn’t like a beta, where it’s a moment in time on Halo 5 like we had for a couple weeks. We want to have a relationship, and we want to build that over time. We can have people coming giving us feedback and playing the experiences, and we can update it as we go.”

As for when we can try Halo Infinite, 343 industries was careful to note that there isn’t a date set for the flighting program yet. However, the team says that players will be able to opt-in “soon,” so that they might be selected when it officially begins.

Also present during the stream were details on how the team is treating Windows PC development for Infinite. More specifically, 343 said that developing the PC version is a priority for the team, paying special attention to things like unique anti-cheat software. Also important is that the game’s new engine was built from the ground up, with plans for it to be used on PC and consoles. The engine is also capable of four-player split-screen play, bringing back one of Halo’s signature features that was missing from Halo 5.

The team also plans to focus on cosmetic items, like customizable armor pieces. To do this, 343 is looking back at Halo Reach, which had the most detailed customization options of any game in the series, and using that as its primary inspiration. But dedicated fans of Halo 5 have not been forgotten in the meantime; if they reach level 152 in that game, they will later receive a special, unnamed reward in Infinite.

These are the first concrete details we have on the next entry in the Halo series, which may not be out for another year at least. For a full look at everything the 343 Industries developers had to say, you can check out their livestream.

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