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Let’s break down that Halo Infinite campaign trailer

Here are the seven biggest things we noticed

A new trailer on Monday for Halo Infinite showed off a ton of exciting details about 343 Industries’ latest game, launching Dec. 8. But the overview also moves pretty fast, and it’s easy to miss some of the biggest reveals. We’ve gone through the trailer multiple times to pick out all the details.

Here are the seven biggest reveals we found in the Halo Infinite campaign overview trailer, which includes vehicle garages, the new Cortana, and Master Chief’s upgrade systems.

“The Weapon,” aka new Cortana

The Weapon AI in Halo Infinite
It may look and sound like Cortana, but this is a new AI
Image: 343 Industries, Microsoft via YouTube

At the very start of the Halo Infinite trailer, we see Chief holding a purple Cortana in his hand, a throwback to the AI’s original color for Halo: Combat Evolved, before she got bluer in its sequels.

The narration (provided by Jen Taylor, voice of Cortana and, seemingly, “The Weapon”) mentions that collecting the new AI will be Chief’s first mission in Halo Infinite. From then on, it seems this new version of Cortana, designed to stop the original, will live inside Master Chief’s head and fill the player in with info — as well as providing commentary.

For those not in the know, Cortana is well past the age an AI should be, and she now suffers from Rampancy, which has essentially turned her evil. This new Cortana seems based on Dr. Halsey — just like the original — but it’s the AI effectively in her infancy. The new Cortana is naïve to many of Master Chief’s threats, and hasn’t quite settled into Cortana’s more commanding and sarcastic demeanor — because she’s a different AI who will see different things, maybe she never will!

Master Chief got himself a garage

The garage in Halo Infinite
If you look closely, you can see a weapon’s locker in the background
Image: 343 Industries, Microsoft via YouTube

Master Chief has had big “over this” dad energy for years, so it’s nice that he’s finally getting his own garage. A brief moment in the trailer shows off Master Chief choosing from a selection of vehicles before going on a mission. He passes up on a Mongoose — the two-person motorcycle first added in Halo 3 — and picks a Wasp jet.

A Pelican flies in and drops the Wasp next to Chief. The Spartan then hops inside and we cut to him using the flying vehicle to take down an enemy base. It seems players will be able to unlock vehicles for orbital drop in Halo Infinite, but that’s not all ...

Forward Operating Bases

The Forward Operating Base in Halo Infinite
FOB Golf is what looks like one of many FOBs in Halo Infinite
Image: 343 Industries, Microsoft via YouTube

The Halo garage seems to be a feature of the Forward Operating Bases in Halo Infinite. Called FOBs in the map menu, the trailer hovers over FOB Golf for a brief second — just long enough to grab a description:

When controlled, Forward Operating Bases reveal Banished and UNSC activity in the surrounding region, serve as fast travel hubs and rally points for UNSC Marine fire support, and provide access to vehicle drops, weapons, and weapon variants. Gaining Valor unlocks available resources at all captured FOBs. Defeat the Banished and access the control terminal to claim this FOB.

Forward Operating Bases resemble outposts in a Far Cry game. When you enter a new region of Zeta Halo, it seems like the first move is take over the nearest FOB, so you can unlock your garage and a host of weapons to use. But the FOBs provide more than that as well, offering Fast Travel for Chief and NPC Marines to fill his Warthog turret.

Enemy bases

Ransom Keep, a Banished base in Halo Infinite
This Banished base has collectibles inside and silos to destroy
Image: 343 Industries, Microsoft via YouTube

While Chief will need to flush out The Banished — the game’s primary enemy faction — from Forward Operating Bases in each area, he’ll also be able to shut down enemy bases for what looks like experience points.

For instance, the trailer shows off Ransom Keep, a Banished base with four silos in it. Chief’s mission, should he choose to accept it, is to destroy four of those silos. The game offers a brief lore description of each base as well as any collectibles found nearby.

While we only see one on the single map shot from the trailer, it seems like this could be how players fill a good deal of their open world time in Halo Infinite.

Experience points and upgrades

Impulse Thruster upgrade in Halo Infinite
Each piece of equipment has special upgrades
Image: 343 Industries, Microsoft via YouTube

Yes, you read that correctly in the last paragraph: Halo Infinite will get some light RPG elements. However, the upgrades may not be as substantial as you think. It doesn’t look like you’ll be beefing up Chief’s armor or unlocking any cool wrestling moves. These upgrades are all about equipment.

Master Chief has a variety of equipment at his disposal in Halo Infinite, similar to Halo 3’s equipment or the Halo: Reach armor abilities. But unlike Halo Infinite’s multiplayer, this equipment doesn’t run out of uses; equipment operates on a charge based system that refills over time. Chief can also hold and shuffle between multiple different forms of equipment, whereas multiplayer Spartans can only hold one at a time.

We saw Chief use an electrified Grappleshot (the grappling hook) on a Brute earlier in the trailer, then got a shot of the menu itself. The only ability we get a good look at in the upgrade menu is the Thruster, a boost propelling Chief forward. It has upgrades that reduce its cooldown (it’s safe to assume all the equipment have an upgrade like this, based on the icon), plus one that adds an additional charge and another that adds speed. But the final upgrade, the one Chief unlocks mid-combat in the trailer, cloaks the Spartan briefly after he dashes.

Finally, all the equipment in the trailer has an initial splash page in the menu that says “equipment acquired.” That raises the question of how players might get these items. Will there be a kind of Metroid-esque progression system in Infinite, gating players from high collectibles until they have the grappling hook?

Chief unlocks these new upgrades with Spartan Cores, which look like collectibles out in the world. However, it seems likely Chief can also acquire these via experience points, which we believe will be called “Valor,” based on the FOB description.

Big bosses

A named boss in Halo Infinite
Some of Halo Infinite’s enemies even have health bars
Image: 343 Industries, Microsoft via YouTube

One thing Halo has never done well is bosses, but it looks like Halo Infinite will have several. We see a few different enemy types burst into rooms with some fanfare, and we even see a named enemy with a health bar.

But the trailer also introduces us to some interesting villain NPCs. There’s the new Elite that specializes in Spartan hunting; what looks like a very large Promethean woman; and, of course, Escharum, the big Brute that leads the Banished and currently looks like Infinite’s main antagonist.

Targets and missions

Chief dropping into a Banished base
Just because you can take over enemy bases doesn’t mean Chief is going to stealth
Image: 343 Industries, Microsoft via YouTube

Finally, the map gave two more hints regarding Halo Infinite’s structure. There’s a mention of “Targets” on the bumper map at the top. While there aren’t any details about this, we suspect it might look something like the various cult targets in the modern Assassin’s Creed games, or the old mission menu in Crackdown, if you want to bring things back to the Halo 3 era.

If you’re unfamiliar with those systems, we’d wager the Target menu might call out specially named enemies around the world that Chief needs to kill, either to complete the game or as a side mission. The named Brute we mentioned in the boss section above could easily be one of these targets.

The map also has an A button prompt to view “missions,” meaning Halo Infinite’s open world will have some kind of structured missions.

These were just some of the details we noticed in Halo Infinite’s campaign trailer. (The Brutes have hair now, so there’s another one!) Microsoft and 343 Industries likely aren’t finished showing off the new Halo, and we should learn more about its mysterious systems, like targets, before its Dec. 8 release date.

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