Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries has addressed fans’ concerns about the game’s underwhelming graphics, and has answered other frequently asked questions too.
In a lengthy blog post on Halo Waypoint, 343 Industries’ community manager John Junyszek begins by acknowledging that the studio has heard the feedback from Halo fans loud and clear, and provides an explanation on why Halo Infinite looks the way it does.
“Based on our learnings from Halo 4, Halo 5, and Halo Wars 2 – along with strong community feedback – we decided to shift back towards the legacy aesthetics that defined the original trilogy,” explained Junyszek. “With Halo Infinite, we’re returning to a more ‘classic’ art style which was a key message going back to the very first reveal that garnered enthusiastic and positive responses. This translates to a more vibrant palette, ‘cleaner’ models and objects with less ‘noise’, though it doesn’t mean less detail.”
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Junyszek admits that while some fans might not be happy with the overall artstyle of the game, the studio stands by its decision and is pleased it is “resonating with so many fans around the world”.
Junyszek then goes on to address the fallout that has overshadowed Halo Infinite’s gameplay reveal: the game’s graphics. Junyszek points out that fans have been unhappy with various technical issues such as “characters and objects appearing flat, simplistic and plastic-like, lightning feeling dull and flat, and object pop-in”. However, in a surprisingly candid admission, Junyszek says that the studio, for the most part, is in agreement.
“In many ways we are in agreement here – we do have work to do to address some of these areas and raise the level of fidelity and overall presentation for the final game,” admits Junyszek.
He goes on to clarify that the build we saw at the Xbox Games Showcase was a “work-in-progress from several weeks ago with a variety of graphical elements and game systems still being finished and polished”. But interestingly, Junyszek writes that other aspects of the feedback the developer has received “have brought new opportunities and considerations to light that the team is taking very seriously to assess”.
It seems that 343 Industries is determined to give Halo Infinite the wow-factor many believed it was missing from its initial reveal but, as can often be the case with video games, the damage may have already been done. This was Microsoft’s best chance to showcase arguably its biggest first-party title, and for many, it just didn’t live up to the hype.
Halo Infinite is set to release alongside the Xbox Series X in “holiday 2020”, with the expected release date to be somewhere in November. The game will also be playable on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, including Steam.