Rumours are flying that Halo Infinite is going to be the last Halo game. Ever. Given how popular the franchise is, with an estimated 81 million games sold since the original was launched in 2001, would Microsoft really kill that particular golden goose?
With the expectation that Halo Infinite will be available in Holiday season 2021, should we all be preparing to write our farewell letters to Master Chief? Or is there more to this story than meets the eye?
Is Halo Infinite the last Halo Game?
We'll deal with the elephant in the room first. Halo Infinite is intended to be the last Halo game for at least a decade. The intention, as revealed in an interview with IGN, is that Halo Infinite marks the beginning of the "platform for he future". In other words, Halo Infinite marks the end of iterative, standalone titles and sequels.
But that doesn't mean there will be no further content from the Halo universe. While it isn't intended to be a live service game like Call of Duty: Warzone or GTA V Online, the plan is that this new open world will form the basis for future experiences. The platform will continue to be updated, and new stories will be added.
It's fair to say that this marks a big change in direction for Halo. But don't worry. Master Chief will be sticking around for some time to come.
What else do we know about Halo Infinite?
Lots more details have emerged about Halo Infinite. We know this game is intended to act as both an end and a beginning: an end to the so-called forerunner Saga, and a beginning for whatever direction Halo goes in future. We also know that Halo Infinite will be a sequel of sorts for Halo 5. Even though events are set well after Halo 5 ends, the story does follow-on from how that game finished. Without wishing to get too spoilery, we also know that main antagonists in this game are The Banished, a faction who made an appearance in Halo Wars 2.
Customisation in multiplayer offers millions of combinations: armour, helmets, gloves, visors. Emblems, and coatings will also be available. You can even choose your Spartan's voice and body type. Multiplayer itself is going to be cross-platform and free-to-play. Just as importantly, cross-progression will be available on Xbox One, Series X|S and PC. And finally, cross play will separate players based on controller input in ranked matches. This is fairly standard in online multiplayer games, where different controllers confer different, potentially significant, advantages.
As we mentioned earlier, infinite will also be an open world, and will include a day/night cycle. While the developers have made it clear that there will still be a coherent narrative to follow, there is more scope than ever before, for players to go off exploring.
One final point. Microsoft have confirmed that Halo Infinite will be available on Xbox Game Pass on day one. It will also utilise the Microsoft Smart Delivery program. In essence, it means that your game will be the right version for whichever platform you happen to be using at that time. You only need to buy it once, and you can switch between Xbox One, Series X, and PC.
Let's be honest, this probably won't be the last Halo game. It's Microsoft's killer franchise. However, if everything goes well, this could be the last Halo entry for a very long time.
We don't have long to go until Halo Infinite arrives. But keep checking back, as we'll update you with more information as we get it.