What would make Halo good again? It’s a controversial question that fans aren’t shying away from. Halo 5 released in 2015 to a lot of fan disappointment. When the first reveals came out for Halo Infinite, fans were wildly unimpressed. Instead of moving forward with a game that fans already seemed to hate, 343 Industries pulled back. This was surprising since it was expected that Halo Infinite would be released with Xbox Series X. Since pulling back, the video game company has been turning over their staff and reapproaching the game with new ideas. While many believed that this would mean the company would reboot the series, instead, they’re coming in with new ideas to turn things in a new direction. Namely, Cortana is now the villain.
The minds behind this new storyline are calling it a “spiritual reboot.” They say that this means they’re bringing fresh ideas to the series combined with the same elements fans have loved from the game all along. Making Cortana the villain for Halo Infinite certainly follows that thinking. Cortana has been a fan-favorite character for a long time. She is an artificially intelligent character who first appeared in Halo: Combat Evolved. She has been in a lot of the sequels, including Halo 5. In a new post on Halo Waypoint, fans discovered an audio file with a conversation between Halsey and Chief.
The clip is only 46 seconds but outlines the main storyline for Halo Infinite. Halsey says, “You will not be able to stop her. She knows more about how this all works than, well, anyone.” Chief asks the doctor for a plan. She tells Chief that they are, again, in survival mode. Cortana has spread a message across the galaxy. This message has been heard by sentient artificial intelligence everywhere, and they are siding with Cortana. While the audio clip doesn’t clarify what the message from Cortana says, it is clear that this message is pitting beings of artificial intelligence against humans. At the end of the audio clip, Dr. Halsey suggests that while the message puts A.I. against humans, perhaps, Cortana is not against Chief. She asks Chief what the last thing Cortana said to him was, and he says, “Goodbye.”
This audio gives a lot of information for what gamers can expect in the next Halo game. It seems like developments between Cortana and Chief will be the main theme.
While the story is focusing on using classic elements mixed with a fresh take, the same approach is being taken on the graphics. The first Halo game came out in 2001. Graphics have changed a lot since then, but it’s important to maintain the same style and feel. As 343 Industries works to bring new life to the series, their artists are focused on “legacy” and “simplicity” in their approach to the style Halo is taking moving forward.
Halo has always been a first-person shooter game with a heavier focus on graphics and stories than much of its competition. It’s been a long-standing series in the gaming world and one of Xbox’s top titles. Will they be able to win gamers back with Halo Infinite? And could this affect the upcoming Halo series? We will have to wait and see.