Halo Infinite Studio Talks Graphics, Loot Boxes, And Why There May Be No Multiplayer Beta

343 Industries speaks about the response to the game's graphics and more.


The first Halo Infinite campaign footage was released during the July 23 Xbox Games Showcase, and people commented that the graphics left something to be desired. In a new blog post, developer 343 Industries responded to the concerns, stating that the company is trying to make a more "classic"-looking game, while also acknowledging the studio still has work to do to make Halo Infinite look better before launch. The blog post also touched on how Halo Infinite will approach microtransactions.

Regarding the graphics, 343 said there are multiple issues at play here, including the overall art style and the visual fidelity. For the art style, 343 is moving back to the "legacy" look of the original Halo trilogy. The company said it's doing this based on the feedback surrounding Halo 4, Halo 5, and Halo Wars 2, which had more modern-looking graphics.

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"With Halo Infinite, we're returning to a more 'classic' art style which was a key message going back to the very first reveal that garnered enthusiastic and positive responses," 343 said. "This translates to a more vibrant palette, 'cleaner' models and objects with less 'noise,' though it doesn't mean less detail. While we appreciate this may not be everyone's personal preference, we stand by this decision and are happy to see it resonating with so many fans around the world."

In terms of the visual fidelity, 343 said it has heard the negative feedback that Halo Infinite's characters and in-game objects look "flat, simplistic, and plastic-like." This was not a positive thing, considering Microsoft had canceled an actual plastic Halo game based on its Mega Bloks toy line several years earlier.

"In many ways we are in agreement here--we do have work to do to address some of these areas and raise the level of fidelity and overall presentation for the final game," 343 said. "The build used to run the campaign demo was work-in-progress from several weeks ago with a variety of graphical elements and game systems still being finished and polished."

"While some of the feedback was expected and speaks to areas already in progress, other aspects of the feedback have brought new opportunities and considerations to light that the team is taking very seriously and working to assess," 343 added. "We don't have firm answers or outcomes to share yet but the team is working as quickly as possible on plans to address some of the feedback around detail, clarity, and overall fidelity. The team is committed and focused on making sure we have a beautiful world for players to explore when we launch."

Microtransactions, Explained

Also in the blog post, 343 addressed how Halo Infinite will handle microtransactions. There will be no real-money loot boxes, the studio said, though the game is expected to feature microtransactions in other ways that have not yet been detailed. The multiplayer will be free to play, meaning anyone with PC, Xbox One, or Xbox Series X can play it on launch day even if they don't own the full game.

Multiplayer Beta May Not Happen

The blog post also touches on multiplayer beta plans. It states that 343 may not be able to deliver a pre-release beta as it originally planned to.

"Our original plans for large-scale flighting aren't where we originally intended in large part due to the challenges of working from home during COVID-19," 343 said. "At this time we're honestly not sure what is going to be possible in terms of flighting but we still hope to have an opportunity for broader public hands-on before release. And, as we've previously stated, we'll be relying on flighting and continued feedback and community partnership well beyond launch as we grow and evolve the game together."

New Weapons

Also in the blog post, 343 spoke about the brand-new MK50 "Sidekick" and CQS45 "Bulldog" weapons. The Sidekick is the new pistol that is "lightning fast to draw and fire," and most closely resembles the Magnum from Halo 2, 343 said. The Bulldog, meanwhile, is a pump-action shotgun that has less damage as a tradeoff for a faster rate of fire. 343 also confirmed that the classic Magnum and the Tactical Shotgun from earlier Halo games won't appear in Halo Infinite.

More weapons will come to Halo Infinite over time, the developer added.

"As we look beyond launch, we have robust plans to continue evolving the game which will include further additions to Halo Infinite's sandbox," 343 said. "We understand some players won't be thrilled over the prospects of different pistols and shotguns but we encourage you to keep an open mind and we look forward to everyone getting hands-on perspective with these new weapons when the time comes."

Other Halo Infinite Details

Here is rundown of other key details about Halo Infinite, as written and shared by 343.

  • In Universe Timing: It follows the Master Chief's story sometime after Halo 5: Guardians' conclusion
  • Pro Team: We've assembled an internal Pro Team for Halo Infinite
  • Splitscreen: Yes, splitscreen will be a thing! (See above for details about Campaign)
  • LAN: Halo Infinite will support LAN
  • Back in Black: Black undersuits will be in the game
  • Microtransactions: Halo Infinite will not include real-money loot boxes
  • Player Customization: If you liked the level of armor customization options in Halo: Reach, you will be pleased
  • SR 152: Players who hit SR 152 in Halo 5: Guardians will receive a token of appreciation in Halo Infinite
  • Forge: Our famous editing tool will be in Halo Infinite and will have Undo & Redo buttons, which is a first for Forge.

Halo Infinite is due to release this holiday as a launch title for the Xbox Series X. The game will also come to the standard Xbox One as well as PC. For lots more, check out GameSpot's video overview above that covers everything you need to know about Halo Infinite.

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