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Halo Infinite pays homage to Combat Evolved – for better or worse

Halo Infinite Xbox Series X
(Image credit: 343 Industries)

Microsoft kicked off its Xbox Games Showcase with an in-depth gameplay reveal of Halo Infinite – and it was filled with heaps of nostalgia and important modern-day flourishes that the series has been crying out for. 

Running on Xbox Series X, Halo Infinite is a more open-world experience this time around. Thankfully, the Covenant are back as the game's main enemies, but they’ve joined forces with an army of Brutes called 'The Banished', who were the antagonists in Halo Wars 2.

In the gameplay reveal, which you can see below, we were treated to many Halo staples such as the Warthog, assault rifle and sticky plasma grenades. However, everything looks so much more realistic than before, thanks to the game’s new Slipspace Engine. Halo Infinite will run at 4K/60fps and the game's map is set to be two times larger than Halo 4 and Halo 5 combined

The parallels to Halo: Combat Evolved are very apparent in the trailer. Master Chief crash lands onto what appears to be another Halo installation, and is free to roam the world – eradicating Covenant scum as he goes.

We see that sprint is indeed in the game, a controversial addition for some, along with a new map screen that allows players to choose and tackle objectives. Halo has always been a sandbox shooter, but it seems like things will be taken further in Halo Infinite.

Halo, old friend

While many of the classic series' hallmarks are here, and rightfully so, we also get a glimpse at Master Chief’s new pickup: the grappleshot. The grappleshot allows Master Chief to pull himself towards enemies and drag objects towards him. It also provides more traversal options and should make for some interesting encounters. Other pickups are also shown, such as a shield which blocks incoming fire. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the game has left a mixed first impression. Detractors claim that the game doesn't do enough to showcase the power of Microsoft's next-gen console, and that it relies to heavily on aping Halo: Combat Evolved. 

More positive commentators, however, think Halo Infinite could be return to form for the series, which has faced strong criticism ever since ex-developer Bungie handed the reins to 343 Industries. 

Halo Infinite will be available for Xbox Game Pass subscribers day and date when it launches alongside the Xbox Series X in “Holiday 2020”, which is between October and December. It'll also be playable on Xbox One.