Aptly named after 343 Guilty Spark, 343 Industries has been directing the Halo franchise to new heights since 2007, when Bungie separated from Microsoft, and eventually, from Halo. 343 has been working tirelessly to expand the Halo franchise to new audiences while simultaneously attempting to deliver the truly nostalgic and epic Halo experience longtime fans have grown accustomed to over the years. From Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition to Halo 4 and 5, and The Master Chief Collection, 343 has both achieved highly acclaimed triumphs and suffered controversial feedback for their work and progress on the coveted franchise.
Most notably, some critics felt that Halo 5: Guardians delivered a lackluster and jumbled campaign that dimmed the light on Master Chief and instead focused too heavily on Spartan Locke, the newest protagonist in the series. While matchmaking has fared well for 343 through the years, Halo 5 was missing split screen multiplayer for both matchmaking and the campaign, a grave error on behalf of 343. Relatedly, Halo: The Master Chief Collection suffered some bugs and matchmaking issues at launch, although 343 has since turned MCC around and put a lot of time and effort into perfecting the title, along with Halo 5: Guardians. Now, 343 promises to put their best foot forward first with Halo: Infinite, and involve the community from the very beginning.
After Xbox’s epic reveal of Halo: Infinite during the E3 2018 Presentation, 343’s FPS Studio Head, Chris Lee, posted an update on Halo Waypoint, discussing their plans and intentions with the newest title in the Halo series, as well as how the community’s involvement will play a pivotal role in that.
Halo: Infinite is powered by 343’s new Slipspace Engine, a new tech the team has been secretly working on that is a culmination of years of work infused with the passion of hundreds of 343 employees. As Chris Lee states, “When we started [Halo: Infinite], the team’s vision for the game was ambitious – so much that we knew we had to build new tech to fully realize our goals for Halo: Infinite. The Waypoint update also revealed that Infinite will feature Sparth’s (Art Director, Nicolas Bouvier) new art style, which essentially is a blend of the classic and historic art style of Halo with a modernized and fully realized feel for the new Slipspace Engine capabilities. This new art style is meant to intentionally direct a nod towards the longtime fans of the franchise and was specifically displayed in the E3 reveal trailer by way of Master Chief’s New Armor.
Much of the post-launch success that Halo: The Master Chief Collection has realized comes from getting the community involved in testing and updates, as well as feedback and recommendations. Chris Lee directly acknowledges this and promises to use this utility from the very start in Halo: Infinite, and I don’t think the importance of this can be overstated!
“In the future, you will be able to join early flighting programs that will let members of the community play the game with us, and give direct feedback, much like the current Insider flighting program for Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It will take some time for us to be ready to kick those flighting events off, but when we do they will start small and grow along the way.”
This early-development community involvement combined with Bonnie Ross stating last year that every main Halo title in the future will contain split screen multiplayer, already sets up Halo: Infinite in a big way! Finally, while not abandoning the events that take place in Halo 5: Guardians to any degree, 343 is turning the focus back on Chief, and in a powerful way:
“The team also heard feedback loud and clear on the amount of time spent playing as the Master Chief in Halo 5. In Halo Infinite, the game will focus on the Master Chief and continue his saga after the events of Halo 5.”
I am both anxious and thrilled to see what Halo: Infinite will bring to the franchise in the near future. I truly believe 343 has heard the call of the community and will be using that connection to their advantage, plausibly making the next installment in this iconic franchise a comeback of epic proportions!
Read Chris Lee’s full update at Halo Waypoint by clicking here.
Here at thelootgaming.com, we’ll keep you in the know as the game develops! Stay strong Spartans.