Halo Infinite screenshots show just how far it's come since the delay


343 sums it up as “the most open and adventure-filled Halo game ever’

Much has been said about Halo Infinite, whether it’s in-depth fan discussions dissecting every detail, ongoing status updates from the developers, or even just onlookers making memes. But in the wake of the big delay, how are things looking? How does the game compare to what we saw last year?

343 Industries shared screenshots in a lengthy-as-always monthly Halo Waypoint blog post. Compared to the usual armor renders and artwork, they’re substantial enough to warrant highlighting here.

These work-in-progress shots are taken from the Halo Infinite campaign running on a PC:

Even if it's not finalized, I'll dub this the "Halo Infinite sniper screenshot." It's *the one*.

Banshee ships are back and oh-so-stealable.

This image compilation illustrates the time-of-day lighting in Halo Infinite.

If you’re worried about the PC-versus-Xbox divide, I hear you. Graphics producer Alex Le Boulicaut said they’re “committed to deliver a great experience and high level of visual fidelity across all platforms.”

At a glance, the surface details, lighting, and foliage all look much better than my memory of Xbox’s July 2020 gameplay showing. Going back to directly compare them, the upgrade is almost shocking.

Of course, I’m not about to argue that this is the most cutting-edge stuff ever made or that Infinite will definitely deliver now that 343 is getting much-needed extra time to reach the finish line. But I will say that the decision to hold the game until fall 2021 seems wiser and wiser with each dev update.

Soon enough, people will generally stop worrying about the minutia of the graphics and start obsessing over the usual concerns that always come up in conversations before a new Halo is in our hands.

If you’ve got the time to spare, the blog post goes into the nitty-gritty of the work being done. Otherwise, here’s the quote of the day, the high-level takeaway about the structure of the campaign:

Infinite‘s world is incredibly large, and its vast combat zones connect seamlessly to each other. Its vistas are filled with adventures that entice you to stray from the golden path story missions. From a distance, it might appear that we’re building an open world game, but that’s not really the case. We’re making a Halo game; a sandbox shooter where our goal is to make you feel like the most powerful actor in a rich, emergent, sci-fi combat simulation. […] What’s different this time is that you have more freedom than ever before to choose your path through the world. Follow a hidden cave system into a well-guarded fortress, wind your Warthog through a fog-filled mountain pass, capture a Banshee and fly to a floating ring fragment across a gap of stars. A strong narrative remains at the heart of the Master Chief’s adventure, and your journey between story missions is entirely up to you.”

While there’s a lot left to prove, I’m really starting to visualize what it’ll be like to play this dang game.