167 days after we lost...
Halo Infinite is a direct sequel in the Halo series to Halo 5: Guardians, first announced at E3 2018 at Microsoft's press briefing by showing it will use a 343 Industries proprietary engine dubbed "Slipspace".
Almost two years after humanity suffered a crushing blow at the hands of the Created, the last remnants of the UNSC have been scattered by a Banished contingent led by the vicious Brute Escharum. However, the Master Chief is about to launch a one-man counterattack on the Banished-held Installation 07 ("Zeta Halo"), where he'll reunite humanity's scattered forces and discover more secrets of the Forerunners.
Halo Infinite provides examples of:
- Art Evolution: More of an art merger; the overall artstyle of the game has been revamped since the first two games of the Reclaimer Saga, combining art/design aspects from both the Bungie and 343 Industries eras of the Halo series.
- For Chief's Mjolnir armour, Halo 4's Mk VI MOD and Halo 5's Mk VI GEN2 focused more on being bodysuits with armour pieces bolted to them, whereas the original Marks IV through VI fused them together to create a near-seamless extension of armour and flexible joints. Among several criticisms of the redesign was that, while Master Chief himself was okay, the colouring and texturing of the bodysuit along with the armour made the unique designs in the Spartan customization indistinct. The Mk VI GEN3 featured in Infinite takes several ideas from both MOD and GEN2note , but would otherwise be seen as a direct continuation of the classic design.
- The Covenant remnant in Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians went for a more animalistic, lightly armored approach compared to previous games. For the Banished forces, the Jackals return to the avian Ruutian subspecies from the Bungie games, rather than the reptilian Ibie'shan from the 343I games (though they now speak in English much like the Jackals in Halo 5). The Elites return to their heavier armor, upright stance and animations from Halo: Reach, at the same time also resembling their slim, athletic depictions in Halo 2: Anniversary, while the Brutes closely evoke their appearance in Halo 3. The Grunts are slimmed down but sport different armours from both Bungie and 343i, with both the classic triangle and newer circular backpacks making a appearance.
- The overall art design and presentation is more vibrant, colourful and brightly lit, with sharper shadows and cleaner textures compared to the muted colours, softer lighting and grittier detailing the series had been leaning towards before.
- Audience Surrogate: Even from the few trailers alone, we know that the Pelican pilot's main priority is to get the HELL away from the Ring as quickly as possible, and he's predictably sour about being roped into the Chief's usual heroics. He's also terrified of being left alone to fend for himself while Chief goes to "shoot his way out", as most of the audience would be.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Harbinger and the Banished joined forces to conquer Zeta Halo, and destroyed human's fleet.
- The Bus Came Back:
- After being absent entirely from Halo 4 and Halo 5, the Brutes are back in a Halo FPS for the first time since 2010's Halo: Reachnote . In fact, one of them, Escharum, is set up as The Rival to Master Chief.
- Similarly above, the birdlike Ruutian Jackals also make a triumphant return from their last FPS outing in Reach, having been supplanted by the saurian Ibie'shan Jackals during Halos 4 and 5.
- The Brutes' Spike Grenades return for the first time since Halo 3: ODST.
- Call-Back: The E3 2019 trailer recalls Cortana's Halo 3 speech.Cortana: I chose you because you were special. I knew we would be perfect together. And I was right.
- Downer Beginning: The game takes place half a year after humanity already lost the war with the Guardians and, at the Halo, got stomped by a force of Banished.
- Everything's Better with Samurai: HiddenXperia and other Halo sites have observed that Escharum is dressed as a Samurai, and even looks like a classic Samurai, which would explain his No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction attitude.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: During the VISR activation sequence in "Discover Hope", the Cool Code of Source features a list of valid Xbox Game Pass Ultimate codes that attentive viewers could redeem.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: The gauntlet-mounted Grappleshot, a new addition to Master Chief's arsenal.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Atriox is the leader of the Banished and Escharum's superior, but with him stranded on the Ark, he's otherwise uninvolved with the Banished troops Chief battles across Zeta Halo.
- I Shall Taunt You: Mixed with Bring It and Last Dance.Escharum: The UNSC lost this war months ago. Your people are broken. Scattered. Hunted. Defeated... by me. I wish I could tell you it was difficult, but it wasn't. We are one step ahead, always. The ring is already under our control, soon the Auditorium as well. The Harbinger and the Banished share the same goal — we fight together to honor the will of Atriox, but... without challenge, I grow... weary. Lost. Alone... but here you now stand. This is my last fight, a true test of legends, OUR story that will outlive us both. SET A FIRE IN YOUR HEART, SPARTAN! BARE YOUR FANGS! FIGHT HARD! (grinning) Die well.
- Late to the Tragedy: Master Chief is awakened to find Installation 07 already having a chunk blown out of it, and humanity has lost the war with The Banished.
- Mythology Gag:
- In the 2019 trailer, the Pelican pilot starts the usual diagnostics of Master Chief's armor, but Chief cuts it short.
- The game's cover art◊ is heavily inspired by the cover◊ of Halo: Combat Evolved.
- The BR75, this game's Battle Rifle model, is almost identical in appearance to the classic BR55 from Halo 2 and 3.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Escharum pretty much says as much in his message to the Chief, lamenting how easy it was to defeat the UNSC which makes his victory feel hollow. But he's more than happy that Master Chief is back to give him a fight worthy of his skills.
- The Oner: The first 2:46 seconds of the E3 2019 trailer are all one unbroken shot.
- Saved for the Sequel: The idea of exploring a Halo ring that has been damaged and fallen into disrepair is a concept taken from pre-release versions of Combat Evolved.
- Scenery Porn: The E3 2018 teaser was completely done in the Slipspace engine, and the scenery of what is implied to be Installation 07 looks gorgeous.
- Seldom-Seen Species: The E3 2018 teaser featured a species of the genus Megacerops, resembling Brontotherium. Considering the world is a Halo ring, it's unknown if it's a parallel alien species or a population transplanted from (or in the past to) ancient Earth. A species of Irish elk seemed to have been depicted as well.
- Stopped Numbering Sequels: Similar to Halo: Reach, which was previously the only game in the main series to not feature a number. Though it's played straight this time around, since Infinite is a direct continuation from Halo 5's story (the developer explicitly stated it was Halo 6) whereas Reach was a spinoff title and a prequel to CE.
- Time-Passage Beard: In the trailer, the Pelican pilot goes from having short hair and a trimmed beard to shaggy hair and a bushy beard to show how long he's been marooned.
- Total Party Wipe: A massive human fleet of UNSC and ONI ships under the command of the UNSC Infinity (the Sole Survivor of the battle) was unceremoniously decimated during their war with the Banished. Escharum even brags that it was easy.
- Worthy Opponent: Escharum, a Banished Jiralhanae officer, declares John-117 to be this, bemoaning how easy it was to defeat the rest of the UNSC and that he's looking forward to a proper challenge.