Following the less than stellar reception to the gameplay reveal of Halo Infinite, 343 Industries has addressed some of the concerns via the Halo blog. This follows comments made on Twitter by another developer in response to the criticisms from fans. Points about the graphics, the possibility of a multiplayer beta, and potential microtransactions for Halo Infinite were covered.
Community manager John Junyszek thanked and acknowledged the feedback following the reveal. Be it good or bad, he said the team is taking it all into consideration. In regards to the appearance of the reveal, he stated that there were “two key areas being debated around the community – overall art style and visual fidelity.”
On the matter of style, the development team wanted to shift back to the “legacy aesthetics that defined the original trilogy.” The decision was based on feedback from Halo 4, Halo 5, and Halo Wars 2.
Drawing on a legacy
This is the reason for the return of the classic art style that fans went crazy over following the first reveal of Halo Infinite. The classic art style features “a more vibrant palette, “cleaner” models and objects with less “noise”, though it doesn’t mean less detail,” Junyszek added.
As for the various flat-looking textures and graphics issues like pop-in, Junyszek made no excuses. He affirmed that the folks at 343 Industries still “have work to do to address some of these areas and raise the level of fidelity and overall presentation for the final game.”
We have since learned that the build shown at Microsoft’s Xbox Games Showcase was a work-in-progress that was a few weeks old. Both graphical elements and game systems were far from finished and polished. While the team expected remarks about the unfinished areas, the general feedback has given them more to think about. As to how and when the changes could happen for the Halo Infinite graphics, it’s still up in the air. Despite the unfinished elements seen in the demo, the game is still planned for a holiday release. On that matter, Junyszek said “the team is committed and focused on making sure we have a beautiful world for players to explore when we launch.”
Flighting and buying
Of course, with Halo Infinite, the multiplayer is core to the experience. While no details have been shared yet, fans are eager for a beta or demo so that they can experience it for themselves. However, the nature of the pandemic has impacted development. The team originally planned to conduct large-scale testing, but now feel that they are behind schedule on that front. 343 still hopes to provide an opportunity for a “broader public hands-on before release” down the line. Unfortunately, we will have to wait for more information on that possibility.
In other Infinite news, Junyszek confirmed the grappling hook shown in the gameplay reveal will behave differently in multiplayer. While the campaign version functions with a refresh timer, the multiplayer grappling hook will be an equipment “pick-up” item. As for the microtransactions, we have known they the will be in Halo Infinite. Fans can rest easy, though, as they will not involve “real-money loot boxes.”
Given that customization has been a staple of multiplayer for a long time, that will be a relief to many. Junyszek reassured fans that “if you liked the level of armor customization options in Halo: Reach, you will be pleased.”
Halo Infinite will launch this holiday season, with more details planned for reveal in the coming months. Aspects such as multiplayer, Forge, Theater, and everything else will be covered in due time. This latest Halo Infinite update also touched on smaller details, including difficulty, world boundaries, weapons, and more. Be sure to check it out if you want more information.