Halo Infinite is an Xbox Scarlett launch title with a 2020 release date, new trailer gameplay, and everything you need to know

Halo Infinite E3 2019 trailer

We've finally seen more Halo Infinite at E3 2019, with Microsoft confirming it's an Xbox Project Scarlett launch title and that launch will be Holiday 2020. It's still looking a bit pre-rendered right now however, although it does like like it might be pre-rendered in the new Slipspace Engine the game is using. 

According to 343 Industries, Halo Infinite is a spiritual reboot but still takes place after the last one. The new trailer shows Master Chief being rescued from space, over a broken, shattered Halo ring. "We lost" he's told after asking for a status report. And then he jumps out of the ship because that's what Master Chiefs do. 

Take a look: 

Fast facts

  • Halo Infinite release date: 2020
  • Developer: 343 Industries
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios
  • Format: Xbox Project Scarlett

There was no Halo Infinite gameplay at E3 2019

This is probably the only disappointment after the new trailer, platform confirmation and release date: despite strong rumours there would be Halo Infinite gameplay at E3 2019, there was none. Just the trailer. 

Halo Infinite release date is 2020 and it's next gen on Xbox Project Scarlett

Microsoft has confirmed that not only is Halo Infinite a Xbox Project Scarlett launch title, but that both it and the console will be out 'Holiday 2020'. It's clearer than ever that the game is a showcase for the next-gen 'Slipspace' engine, which is probably why we're not seeing any actual gameplay just yet - you don't show off the future until you're absolutely ready.

Halo Infinite is being deemed a spiritual reboot

According to a recent interview with IGN, 343 Industries' head Bonnie Ross has confirmed that Halo Infinite is going to be a "spiritual reboot" for the entire Halo franchise. That's a seriously big statement. 

"We're kind of calling it a 'spiritual reboot'," said Ross. "That's kind of how we talk about it." She added that the team has had "great learning moments" with Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Halo 4's multiplayer, and the REQ packs / free maps in Halo 5's multiplayer. 

"There has been a lot of introspective time to really reflect on what [we have] done as 343," said Ross. "Where have we made mistakes? Where have we hit it right? What does Halo mean to all of us? That [Halo Infinite reveal] trailer we did is what Halo means to the studio."

"Maybe it took us two games to get there, and I think we've done good things and bad things, but what does Halo mean to us? It is about hope, and wonder, and heroism, and humanity, and community, and bringing a community together. That's what that trailer is, and that's what we want to do."

The Halo Infinite story will focus on Master Chief

Halo 5 split players' time between Master Chief and Spartan Locke. It was a narrative shift that, frankly, not many were keen on. So for Halo Infinite, developer 343 Industries is refocusing on the saga's main, green-armored protagonist.

"The team also heard feedback loud and clear on the amount of time spent playing as the Master Chief in Halo 5. In Halo Infinite, the game will focus on the Master Chief and continue his saga after the events of Halo 5," studio head Chris Lee wrote in a blog post.

And did you notice that Chief seems to be back to wearing his old armor? That's a deliberate change too, and meant to show that the art style for Infinite will be different from Halo 4 and 5. As Lee writes, it "draws significant inspiration from the most iconic and historic parts of the Halo franchise and your feedback, all while modernizing and taking advantage of the full power of the Xbox One family. The new Master Chief helmet directly showcases our new art style."

Interestingly, in a recent Social Stream from 343 Industries, Justin Robey (who recently became the game's Director of Player Voice, a role solely created to feedback player comments and criticisms to the development team) said that the team is trying to create the Halo Infinite story in a way that's "approachable" for new players, but deep enough for veteran fans. The ultimate thin line. 

"Halo is one of those franchises where we have a lot of players who are probably going to come back when we release Halo Infinite," he said. "And we want to make sure as it gets in there that people aren't lost, which is one of the things that people complain about with Halo 5."

"[People said], 'Ahh there's so many elements, and I don't really know what's going on.' Making sure there is enough meat and awesome for the fans and at the same time it's approachable for people who are coming back in [for Halo Infinite]."

Halo Infinite microtransactions might exist but are too early to call

A job ad has revealed that Halo Infinite microtransactions appear to be a thing, or at least something development is courting. At this stage, when we've yet to even see the actual game, it's hard to really make a call on it. 

However, Halo community director Brian Jarrard has answered fans' worries by saying not to "worry over a job description" and that it "doesn't mean it'll result in something bad".

The Halo Infinite reveal trailer isn't actually the game

Halo Infinite was announced as part of the Xbox E3 2018 press conference - in fact, it was the first game Microsoft showed on-stage. But there really wasn't too much solid details on just what we were looking at, other than it was being powered by a new engine, dubbed "Slipspace". In fact, in a blog post, 343 studio head Chris Lee clarified that what we saw was not Halo Infinite, but merely a tech demo for Slipspace.

"We still have a long way to go until we ship the game, so things will certainly evolve between now and the release of Halo Infinite, though the engine demo is a clear indication of the direction we are heading with our next game and a great snapshot of where our tech is right now," Lee wrote.

In other words: this announcement was more of a 'it's coming' than anything concrete.

Halo Infinite battle royale won't be a thing at launch, but you might be able to make your own

Despite rumours of a Halo Infinite battle royale mode floating around the internet, 343 Industries' own Frank O'Connor has said that there are no plans for the game to launch with a battle royale mode. However, he has suggested that players are more than welcome to create their own version of Halo + Fortnite in the franchise's Forge mode. 

"We will not talk about the launch content of Halo Infinite until we're ready. I haven't watched the video so if I am misinterpreting the headline as 'Halo Infinite is launching with/as a Halo Battle Royale mode' that is still not the case," O'Connor said in response to a Brad Sams video posted in a Resetera thread. "You can probably make your own Battle Royale mode in Forge even right now though."

"The launch modes for MP are not 100% defined and are subject to change till quite late in the process - but Battle Rifle will still be there." O'Connor said. "But are we interested in big social modes with loads of organic shenanigans? Yes. Specifically a blimp full of survivors heading to an island after a (metaphorical) lecture from Beat Takeshi? No."