Halo Infinite: The Banished Return

After a long period of silence on the details of Halo Infinite, the colossal machine that is the marketing department has given us the first insight since the “Discover Hope” trailer in 2019.

As though following on from the style of the popular podcast series Hunt the Truth, we were given a brief audio recording via the various official Halo social media channels, of an unnamed character who appears to be a Brute, a former member species of the original Covenant faction from the previous Halo games.

The character speaks of forces occupying a ring, which is undoubtedly a reference to a Halo, and that it will soon be under their control i.e. the Brutes. He also refers to humanity and their defiance, so it’s clear the conflict from Halo Wars 2 has not yet concluded, as the other references mention the ‘Banished’, a collective, much like the former Covenant, but with a strong Brute presence, all under the control of their leader, Atriox. The recording then mentions ‘We stand together. Brothers till the end’, and that ‘We are his Legacy. We are the Banished’.

Have a listen…

“The hour approaches. Forces occupy the ring, within hours it will be under our control and humanity will burn. Their brazen defiance will be all but a memory. No more prophets, no more lies. We stand together, brothers to the end. We are his will, we are his legacy, we are the Banished.”

So what’s it all about?

What this audio clip does, first and foremost, is officially confirm that the Banished are in Halo Infinite, possibly as the main antagonists, much as they did in Halo Wars 2.

It’s also possible that the big bad may be Atriox, the formidable Brute leader. That being said, we think the comment ‘We are his will. We are his legacy’ possibly indicates that the big bad of Halo Infinite may be someone other than Atriox, possibly one of his most trusted subordinates.

Where does Halo Infinite take place?

The last Halo game to be released, Halo Wars 2, took place on the Ark, a vast Forerunner construct that was so large it was used to build halo installations, each of which were more than 10,000 kilometres in diameter. But this recording clearly mentions a ring i.e. a Halo, most likely the one that featured during the closing scsnes of Halo Wars 2. It’s possible that Atriox continues his fight on the Ark against the forces of Captain Cutter from Halo Wars 2, but has dispatched forces to control the Halo Array. That brings us to Halo Infinite and the Master Chief.

When Halo Wars 2 concluded, Professor Ellen Anders was last seen on a Halo array, travelling through slipspace. Once the ring dropped out of slipspace, Anders made her way to the surface, only to encounter a Forerunner Guardian.

One of the Halo rings featured in the original Halo Infinite announcement, showing the typical lush, green tr rain familiar to many of us from previous Halo games. it also features UNSC personnel and then finally the Master Chief, seemingly alone, and without Blue Team. Take a look below…

We’ve also had supposed leaked imagery of forthcoming toys linked to Halo Infinite. One of these is clearly a brute, with distinctive colour styles that emulate those of the Banished.

A Banished Brute

This is also replicated on a Hunter.

A Banished Hunter

So who are the Banished and what do they want?

The Banished are the main faction in Halo Wars 2, and are similar to the former Covenant, with a mix of species, such as Grunts, Elites, Jackals Brutes and Hunters. But unlike the Covenant, the Banished are led by a powerful brute called Atriox.

Atriox, surrounded by his forces

It’s currently unclear what Atriox wants. His ultimate objectives were never fully revealed in Halo Wars 2. But it’s possible he wants to control all Forerunner technology, constructs and ships to augment his own military power, and then ultimately dominate the galaxy.

What this audio recording does not do, however, is tell us how this relates to Cortana’s actions in Halo 5 Guardians. It’s possible that Atriox now wants the Forerunner technology to eventually overthrow Cortana, or he may be unaware of the situation and simply wants more power. But ultimately, the Banished are most likely considered the enemy.

That being said, Halo Wars 2 also reintroduced us to a familiar enemy that we’ve not fought for a while, the Flood. Is it possible that the Flood will also feature? We just don’t know. Yet.

With the July Showcase for Xbox due in July, a mere few days away, we all hope it won’t be too long until we find out.

David "Flugel Meister" McDougall

Flugel Meister (Dave) is a longtime video gaming fan, who's love for all things pixelated began way back in 1980, when he ventured onto his brother's Grandstand console before progressing to a Dragon 32 and then a Spectrum 48K. That's right. he's old. When he's not gaming, he can be found swimming in the country's reserves of cheesecake. Follow him on Twitter: @GamerCadet

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