Countless hours have already been sunk into Halo Infinite’s multiplayer. But while Spartans wage war online, what about the campaign? Developer 343 Industries has been keeping most information about the game story under wraps, but there’s still a good deal we do know. Here’s everything we know about Halo Infinite’s campaign and what we’re most excited to see in it.
Halo Infinite Campaign Backstory
Halo Infinite picks up where Halo 5: Guardians left off. In that game, Master Chief’s longtime AI partner Cortana goes rogue. She decides that Created beings like herself are the ultimate form of life and attempts to become the Reclaimer. In Halo’s lore, the Reclaimer is responsible for protecting life in the galaxy as well as defeating an alien scourge called the Flood. Cortana used ancient Forerunner technology to begin taking over the galaxy. Master Chief was unable to convince her to stop her plan.
Halo Infinite opens with a UNSC pilot picking Master Chief up in the cold vacuum of space. In the game’s first mission, he retrieves a new AI called The Weapon. This new AI companion was originally created to lock Cortana down on the Zeta Halo and then delete herself. With The Weapon still alive and Cortana nowhere to be found, it’s up to the Chief to decipher the mysteries of the Zeta Halo.
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What Is the Zeta Halo?
Halo Infinite takes place on the Zeta Halo. This heavily damaged ringworld has a large portion missing. While most Halo games have revolved around missions, Halo Infinite is taking a near-open-world approach. Multiple large areas are connected and uncovered through the game’s story, allowing you to roam freely within them once accessed.
Based on shown footage, most of the game seems to take place near the Zeta Halo’s damaged area, with mountain ranges and empty space serving to split up the map. Players will also be able to fast travel around the Zeta Halo, although how exactly this works is still unclear.
Similar to other open-world games like Far Cry, there are facilities on Zeta for Master Chief to challenge and take out. The sheer number of these outposts and tasks can feel like a chore in many open-world games, but the footage shown from Halo Infinite suggests that these facilities are few and far between. Many appear to be designed more like dungeon encounters than busywork.
Plus, these facilities are the perfect chance to try out the grappleshot for real. It’s definitely been fun to use it in multiplayer, but it will be much more versatile in a single-player setting where balancing can be skewed to the player’s interests.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Halo Infinite’s campaign is the support our green-clad Spartan will receive. Master Chief effectively starts the game as a one-man army. However, through defeating camps and facilities, he can save captured UNSC marines. These marines will help him when rescued, though it’s unclear if they will stick around for entire areas or have a lasting impact on the story.
Who Are the Banished?
Most mainline Halo games — excluding Halo 5 — see Master Chief taking on the Covenant. However, in Infinite it is the Banished that the Chief will have to contend with. The Banished are a faction that split from the Covenant during their war with Humanity. They were formed initially from Brutes unhappy with the way the Covenant treated them. Over time, they performed small raids on the Covenant to amass weapons and ships, as well as pulling more forces to their side.
At the onset of Halo Infinite, the Banished are in control of the Zeta ring and have placed numerous outposts on it. Because the Banished primarily comprise previous Covenant members, most foes will be familiar to anyone who’s played a previous Halo game. Whether they know the location of Cortana or about The Weapon is unclear.
The Banished do bring new foes for Chief to tackle. Dotted around the open world is a slew of minibosses for Chief to take on. There’s even a new type of enemy called Skimmers, which looks like a cross between a dragonfly, jackal, and grunt.
No Co-Op or Forge at Launch
While players will be able to reprise their role as Master Chief on December 8, they’ll have to do it alone. Co-op and Forge won’t be available on the game’s launch date, or even for a few months after. Right now, 343 is estimating that the earliest we could see co-op is in the game’s second season, which would potentially start in May 2022. Forge mode is expected even later — around the game’s third season. That could put it as far back as August 2022. Here’s hoping things turn out a bit quicker in the interim!
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Nicolas Perez is a journalist who has played way too much Civilization 5. He’s rambling on Twitter @Nic_Perez_.