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Halo Infinite will be released holiday 2021, Microsoft confirms

One more look at Halo Infinite before its long-awaited launch

Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

A new trailer for Halo Infinite showcased its gameplay during Microsoft’s E3 2021 keynote on Sunday. The tentpole sci-fi shooter, delayed last year, will launch this holiday season alongside its multiplayer, Microsoft said.

Microsoft said Halo Infinite will be Master Chief’s biggest challenge yet. And it sure looks like it! In the video, we see Master Chief flying through destroyed ships in space. He meets a different AI — not Cortana — who’s taking on a similar role. Developer 343 Industries’ said the new AI is called “the Weapon,” and she was brought in to help stop Cortana, who went rogue in Halo 5: Guardians.

“We are continuing the story of the Master Chief and Cortana from Halo 5, but also telling a story that’s welcoming for new players,” Halo Infinite creative head Joseph Staten said in an Xbox blog post. “Cortana’s fate is one of the Infinite campaign’s big mysteries, and early in the story, you will meet a new UNSC AI, ‘the Weapon,’ that was created to help stop Cortana. Together with the Pilot, the Master Chief, and the Weapon begin an epic adventure to explore Zeta Halo, defeat the Banished forces who control the ring, and unravel even more mysteries along the way.”

Multiplayer, too, was showcased, pairing frenetic gameplay with new toys, like the grappling hook. A more detailed look at multiplayer is available on the Xbox Wire.

Developer 343 Industries delayed Halo Infinite on Aug. 11, 2020, about three months before its original November launch window. No new release date has been given since then, with studio head Chris Lee noting that the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors contributed to the delay.

About this time last year, 343 Industries also showed new Halo Infinite gameplay during Microsoft’s Xbox Games Showcase; it didn’t exactly go well.

Fan response was mixed, with a lot of criticism aimed toward Halo Infinite’s graphics, and whether they were “next-gen” enough. An enemy shown in that demonstration, named “Craig” by the community, represented much of the criticism toward the game: that it looked more like a classic Halo game than one on the Xbox Series X.

“We have some polishing and tuning that the team is working on to really bring the full potential of the experience to our fans later this year,” Lee said at the time.

Halo Infinite was first announced at E3 2018.

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