It's no secret that, by launch, Halo Infinite's development became somewhat troubled. The year-long delay from late 2020 to the following year proved as much, along with the slow rollout of post-launch content since. Even with that in mind, it seems like 343 had to perform quite a few nips and tucks to get the game out the door.
Some major concessions were made to the scale of the open world, at least from the initial design docs. 343's Joseph Staten recently appeared on a podcast to discuss Halo Infinite's development, with Staten saying that the game's open world was quite different by the time the game released.
"We didn’t end up cutting that much ultimately from the open world, but I know from the original designs there was a pretty significant scaling back of what the team had hoped at one point that they could deliver on... We knew that we needed to truly deliver a quality experience [and] scope our ambitions to make sure that the stuff that we did ship met expectations."
"Halo’s always been a relatively open game in terms of its geometry, for a shooter, but we weren't layering on a whole bunch of systems. We talked a lot about crafting, for example, and my infamous line to the team was something like 'Master Chief doesn't need to kill animals to make leather shirts for himself. He's a massive armored super soldier. If he wants something, he goes and kills it, grabs its gun, and then keeps on going'."
In the end, Halo Infinite's map was a pretty big step towards being truly 'open world', but its scale, and the systems within, are relatively basic compared to other contemporary open worlds. Whether that is a positive or a negative, ultimately, is up to the player.
What will be tested out soon within Infinite's open world is co-op campaign. The feature has been missing since launch, with 343 hosting multiple flights recently to make sure the mode is good to go for its full release later this year.
What did you make of Infinite's open world? Let us know in the comments below!
The game play, gun play and moving around the world fantastic and the campaign itself very good
Especially now we can replay missions.
The world as an open world visually for many reasons, very poor and old and bland and stale compared to say far cry 6, dying light 2, ACV and god forbid I say it HFW.
Not the AAA eye candy and engrossing environment effects tour it should and could have been.
I liked Infinite, gameplay was fun and the shooting felt great.
The open world was very bland though and quite ugly to look at at times. Everything looked the same, every outpost and every underground linear section looked like a copy and paste job. Only one biome was disappointing too. Definitely not an open world i’ll ever find memorable like Skyrim’s.
After 6 years and a $200 million budget it’s rather worrying thinking about what we actually got.
Totally agree, but some on here think that is acceptable.
If it becomes acceptable then Xbox might think they can reduce production costs and chuck out bland looking games all time, with the approach, well it’s on game pass, sort of free.
And yes what the hell were that studio 343i doing for six years.
After 6 years for a massive established studio like 343i I expect a game of the top AAA quality visual wise as well.
If they worked for me I would have sacked the lot of them.
@Dezzy70 you know I feel the same about 343i. The size of that team and the budgets they’ve been given and they always underperform.
Big Phil needs to actually do some work and sort studios like 343i out.
Cant stand this game. Its godawful ugly, has terrible cut scenes and characters, hardly any graphical variation in levels at all. As the jewel in the crown of the worlds richest corp, its a spectacular failure and I was hugely relieved to see the credits role as I knew I would never subject myself to that again.
To try and show some balance to my hatred of this title, I will acknowledge that the gunplay is of course sublime, but they nailed that by Halo 2, so not big kudos for that. One new thing that was def a decent addition was the grapple hook which was nicely balanced and intergrated, so respect for that at least.
The open world was so tiny I dont understand the benefits they think they got from it? Im convinced a hub area with linear branching missions could have created a more memorable experience.
It will probably not happen, but Id like to this franchise given to another development team. Halo is on of the greatest franchises in gaming history and it deserves so much more on current gen than its got. Id love to see it regain its rightful place at the top of peoples play lists..
Basically they twiddled their thumbs for too long. Why oh why would anyone suggest halo have crafting? …unless it was to repair a ship - a way to shoehorn in fetch quests.
End of the day these guys had the luxury of a HUGE budget to play with…a delay of a full year… and still had to cut down on scope, and ended up delivering a still unfinished product.
I really enjoyed halos open world parts. Best part of the game for me. I loved the mobility the hook gave. I think the AI is still some of the best in gaming. As is the gun play.
But…343 have shown it’s time for someone else to have a crack at halo now. Xbox have plenty of studios that could do so much more with that licence…it’s time
You put it all some much better than me
And totally agree.
Actual more professional than me.
I agree with others that the core gameplay is great and enemy variety is great however the open world is severely lacking. With the 6 year wait from the last entry, dare I say I expected a lot more with a lot more polish.
@Titntin I agree 343 have shown they are B tier at best and HALO needs a developer with triple A calibre
I do worry that Phil to some degree is good in his role and seems a very nice man.
However I’m not sure if he is what I would call a capable person and project manager with his top level staff, especially studio management staff.
Sometimes I think Phil and his top level team are so well off financially and in life they have lost that super desire, drive and tenacity to drive the Studios in the right direction game development wise. Especially now they have more studios than ever.
After 10 years, Halo 4 is still 343's best effort. The melodrama between UNSC side-characters was a misstep, but the core story of Chief losing Cortana worked well. The Didact was a great villain too. I prefer the original style of writing, sound and visuals but Halo 4 certainly had it's own identity in those departments. An emphasis on the expanded lore was also a clear narrative direction. They should have maintained course with a sequel that continued to explore the expanded lore with the same writer, composer and director.
@Dezzy70 he needs to stop tweeting that he’s looking forward to god of war and give some of his studios a good kick up the arse.
Your are spot on there and sort out his senior management team in charge of Xbox studios.
I liked infinite and thought it was a good looking game.
story was a let down
If I was in that position like Phil with game delays and no AAA from my studios for the whole 2022 I certainly would not be wasting time kissing the arse of god of war about playing it, especially sitting third place in the rankings console wise.
Maybe a great guy but not a great leader in my books.
To me, boss levels in a game are a killer. Halo CE didn`t have them and that is one game I have replayed more times than I can care to remember. The open world in Infinite is so small with comparison to other games and maybe a touch samey, but what it does do it does it well.
3 to 4 years from now we will see the game we want...till than the wait can feel infinitely long
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