Halo Infinite gets new fall 2021 release window

Halo Infinite now looks a lot like Halo 5

Halo Infinite, Microsoft’s one-time marquee Xbox Series X/S launch title, will now officially launch in the fall of 2021, according to a blog post published by 343 Industries.

The game was originally set to launch in November, but was delayed in August due to development challenges surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resoundingly negative reaction to the game’s simplistic, throwback visuals (check out the hilarious Craig meme).

It’s unclear specifically when Halo Infinite will launch in the fall. That said, the game could end being delayed a full year past its original scheduled release.

In the blog post, Joseph Staten, 343 Industries’ creative director, writes that the studio is aiming to create the “best-looking Halo game ever.” Staten then says Halo Infinite’s entire single-player campaign is already completed and that the extra development time will be focused on adding polish, fixing bugs and developing the game’s multiplayer mode.

“We’ve improved some of our materials to get more specular response, more wear-and-tear on weapons/vehicles, more fidelity in our characters, and more macro breakup on large surfaces like rocks, terrain, and the hex walls. We’re now also getting more of our textural detail coming through to the final frame thanks to a sharpening process that our graphics team have added. This helps offset some of the natural blurring of temporal anti-aliasing and it certainly helps our assets shine,” said Neill Harrison, Halo Infinite’s director of art management, in the blog post.

While I’m likely one of the few out there who was actually fond of Halo Infinite’s original visual direction because, to me, they felt like a callback to Halo: Combat Evolved for the original Xbox, it’s now clear the game’s initial development suffered from widespread issues.

For example, back in late October, the game’s production lead, Chris Lee, left the project. Bungie veteran Joseph Staten, who wrote the blog post’s opening and closing, is now leading Halo Infinite’s development.

The blog post also features our first look at the game’s new visual direction, including still and screenshots of weapons, character models and multiplayer maps. While the new graphics are undeniably more detailed and vibrant, Halo Infinite’s visuals also now bear a striking resemblance to Halo 5’s often too busy aesthetic.

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Hopefully, the extra development time results in a Halo title worthy of the long-running franchise’s iconic name.

You can find 343 Industries’ lengthy blog post here.

Source: 343 Industries