The first live demo of Halo Infinite kicks off with a bang, as Master Chief crash lands on a familiar-looking planet. There’s a cutscene that plays out with more drama and a big step up for facial animation compared to prior games. It sets up Master Chief stepping out into a larger environment than we’ve seen in any previous Halo games, with an open-world design philosophy, a first for the series.
Microsoft says that the world is a new Halo ring that we’ve never seen before, “several times larger than our last two Halo games combined. There’s wildlife scampering around the wooded locale, and enemy encampments strewn around, and a huge range of paths and directions to explore. Familiar enemies from the series are present, with the expected visual upgrade from a big new title.
There’s a non-linear approach to mission design, where you can pick between different routes to your object. You can go on foot, drive the classic warthog and other vehicles, and even use the all-new grappling hook to pull yourself up vertical surfaces, or towards enemies.
We can’t help but feel there’s an element of Breath of the Wild inspiration here, where it looks like they’ve translated the classic corridor shooter design of the earlier Halo games into an open-world structure. We’re going to have to wait for more details on exactly how the world is structured, and exactly how progression through the game will play out, but this first taste has got up pretty intrigued.
This first gameplay demo was shown as part of Microsoft’s showcase for their lineup of upcoming games for the Xbox Series X, but it’s also going to be made available on PC, in addition to the existing Xbox One consoles. On Xbox Series X it will running at 60fps on Xbox Series X, but we’re going to have to wait a little while before we can find out how it performs on gaming PCs. There’s a little bit of pop-in on certain far off objects, but for the most part, it has a fantastic visual presentation.