Halo Infinite Dev Addresses Graphics Criticism, Shows New Visual Updates
Halo dev 343 Industries admits that the Halo Infinite gameplay demo wasn't up to scratch, but showed off what the team has been working on to improve.
Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries has provided an update on the project, revealing a new release window, talking about microtransactions, and showcasing the first multiplayer map in a post on the Halo Waypoint. Alongside all of this, the company supplied a number of new images, which fans of Microsoft's iconic first-person shooter franchise are sure to pore over in the coming days.
The images include environments from the game, weapon models, and a close look at some of the Spartan armors that will be available when the game launches. Much of the discussion around Halo Infinite when the first gameplay was shown was about its somewhat questionable visual fidelity and this is something acknowledged by 343 Industries.
"The primary goal for the Campaign demo in July was showing Halo Infinite gameplay for the first time. While that aspect generally landed as we wanted, the reality is that the art and visuals weren’t at the bar we hold for Halo – even in a work-in-progress state."
"Much of the feedback we heard from the community aligned with our own views and work we were already committed to doing around things like indirect lighting, material response, foliage and tree rendering, clouds, level-of-detail transitions, and character fidelity. Still, the feedback was humbling, and it also pushed us to look at additional opportunities for improvement."
However, the studio added that the team has been "heads down working on everything from lighting to fog to wear-and-tear on Spartan armor." It continued, "July was indeed a very much work-in-progress slice of the technology, and a reasonable set of key features from global illumination and dynamic time of day, to GPU-driven rendering and variable rate shading were all in active development.
"Much of the graphics team’s capacity, along with that of some key technical artists, was focused on achieving high resolution and performance leading up to the demo, which meant several of these features didn’t quite get the level of polish and bug fixing that was warranted.
"Visual fidelity is a very important goal for Halo Infinite, and the graphics and art teams have been continually aspiring, and working closely with each other, to create the best-looking Halo game ever. I definitely want to acknowledge the input that we got from the Halo community and our fanbase; staying open to critical feedback and looking at areas where we can learn and do better is an inherent part of our culture at 343."
How that looks in motion remains to be seen, and it may be some time before we get another look at Halo Infinite gameplay, but the images do look significantly improved. The environments and models look sharp, detailed, and vibrant, while also sticking close to the Halo aesthetic fans know and love.
According to Joseph Staten, a longtime Halo developer that returned to the franchise to work on Halo Infinite, the game is now expected to release in Fall 2021. Staten left Microsoft with Bungie and initially worked on the original Destiny game before returning to Microsoft a few years later. His writing can be found in the original trilogy as well as Halo: Reach.
As part of the same Halo Waypoint update, 343i revealed the interiors of an as of yet unnamed multiplayer map. It is believed the final game will have a mixture of interior and exterior locations, as has been the case with most Halo games.
As previously confirmed, the multiplayer component of Halo, which is usually incredibly popular and enduring, will be free for the first time in the franchise's history. Halo Infinite's free multiplayer mode will also run at 120fps. GameSpot's Eddie Makuch discussed why this will be such a boon for Microsoft, which you can read for further insight into the potential ramifications of the decision.
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