HALO INFINITE
Edge|November 2021
After six years, is 343 ready to finish the fight?

Developer 343 Industries

Publisher Xbox Game Studios

Format PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series

Origin US

Release Q4

They say you can’t go home again, that if you return somewhere after a long time away, it’s never how you remember it. As we rack up the first of many Killing Sprees in Halo Infinite’s first technical preview, however, we’re not so sure that’s true. The territory might be new – Live Fire, a tangle of ramps, towers and gangways wrapped in drab training-facility theming – but everything else feels like home. The crunch of a melee hit connecting with the armour plate of an opponent. The lazy, tumbling trajectory of a frag grenade. The precise number of Needler shards you need to embed beneath someone’s skin before they’ll explode in a cloud of pink. All of this imprinted onto our brain by endless hours of practice, the intervening decade apparently having done little to shift them from our muscle memory.

This familiarity should be a criticism. At a time when we often lament the lack of chances being taken by developers, surely it is hypocritical to celebrate Infinite for so perfectly imitating its predecessors? But the difference here, we’d contend – somewhat guiltily, as if caught with fingers in the plasma-grenade jar – is that nothing else out there feels quite like Halo. Including, arguably, the previous two Halo games.

From what we’ve seen, Infinite is shaping up to be the Halo equivalent of The Force Awakens. The return of a cherished series, arriving in the wake of some significantly less cherished entries and then a long, appetite restoring pause. Much like Abrams’ film, there’s the feel of a loving tribute act, less interested in the new than restoring the former glory of the old. But, well, we’re rather fond of The Force Awakens.

The key is not simply replicating the old signifiers, whether it’s a desert planet and a cantina packed with aliens or the sound of a plasma pistol and an announcer throatily celebrating your latest triple-kill. Anyone can do that. No, it’s about understanding the essence that set your source material apart in the first place. That’s much harder. But this first taste of Halo Infinite suggests that, in multiplayer at least, the developer has both halves of the equation nailed down.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

RELATED STORIES

VOXELS

Who needs polygons when you have blocks?

3 mins read
PC Gamer US Edition
December 2021

MINECRAFT

A ten-year-old game is still reaching new heights.

3 mins read
PC Gamer US Edition
December 2021

MICROSOFT SHUTTING DOWN LINKEDIN IN CHINA

Microsoft is shutting down its LinkedIn service in China later this year after internet rules were tightened by Beijing, the latest American tech giant to lessen its ties to the country.

1 min read
Techlife News
October 16, 2021

MICROSOFT: RUSSIA BEHIND 58% OF DETECTED STATE-BACKED HACKS

Russia accounted for most state-sponsored hacking detected by Microsoft over the past year, with a 58% share, mostly targeting government agencies and think tanks in the United States, followed by Ukraine, Britain and European NATO members, the company said.

3 mins read
Techlife News
October 09, 2021

The View From Space

A startup uses satellites and AI to measure, and maybe mitigate, the climate crisis

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
October 11, 2021

How Windows 11 will speed up your slow PC

If your PC feels faster, is it faster? That’s Windows 11’s aim with some smart under-the-hood tweaks.

3 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

Unpatched Office attack reminds us: Don't click on risky docs

An attacker will have to convince you to click on the document as well as turn off Protected View.

2 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

Windows 11 to launch on October 5

The start of an exciting fall for PC users.

2 mins read
PCWorld
October 2021

HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY FROM THE INTERNET

It’s not just government spying; big-tech behemoths including Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have collected huge amounts of people’s data in order to serve up targeted ads—and then, there’s the personal data that’s scooped up in all the breaches and hacks.

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
October 2021

Introducing the Kiplinger ESG 20

Our picks have profit potential and are tackling today’s environmental, social and governance challenges.

10+ mins read
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
November 2021