343 have just dropped a new Halo Infinite development video with an update on the game via their YouTube channel, featuring Community Lead Brian “Sketch” Jarrard and Studio Lead Joseph Staten among others, discussing what the team at 343 are prioritising as they march steadily towards release.
We get a great deep dive with Producer Sam Hanshaw and John Unyshek about what the team learned during the tech preview, and some of the tweaks made. There’s a lot of great information to get through, so you should definitely watch the video.
In an effort to keep the same level of transparency they’ve maintained since the beginning of the year, 343 do have some ‘not so good’ news to share.
Firstly, they’ve announced that Forge, the popular “bash-kit” style map making and game type creation tool that initially shipped with Halo 3 onwards, will not be available when Halo Infinite launches later this holiday. Instead, Forge, and all the user generation content tools that would come with it, will launch as a part of one of the new “Seasons” in 2022, following Halo Infinite’s launch.
In addition, there were a couple of other feature delays announced. Firstly, and likely the one that will be the most talked about, is campaign co-op. A stalwart of Halo games since Halo CE on the original Xbox, campaign co-op will not be a part of the launch of the game. This will likely come as a severe blow to a large portion of the Halo fanbase.
Halo Campaign Co-op has been such a key feature of every Halo game since the franchise existed that it’s loss will be keenly felt, as fans who are eagerly awaiting a confirmed release date so they can arrange to play with friends will have to reconsider their plans, or at least stick to the free-to-play multiplayer suite.
Halo Infinite players on PC also have some bad news – Split-screen on PC is also not going to be available at launch. PC split-screen gaming has become more and more prevalent in recent years, and while the audience that will lose out to not having this feature may be small in the grand scheme, it’s sure to cause disappointment for that subset of fans.
It wasn’t all bad news of course – the team at 343 alluded that another large scale flight is on the way with 4v4 PVP as well as Big Team Battle being next up for it’s turn in the technical test schedule – we’re certainly keen to put it to the test!
The overall conversation does feel a little bit weird, because the one thing we don’t have is a firm release date beyond the vaguery of “Holiday 2021”. 343 certainly seem to be setting some expectations as to what the game will and will not contain ahead of the inevitable date announce, so on the plus side, we would hope to have an idea on exactly when Halo Infinite will arrive sooner rather than later!