E3 2021 Campaign Update
Updated: Feb 9
Today, we saw a ton of new footage from Halo Infinite. Although rather brief, we still got a bit of footage from Campaign and Multiplayer, with more on the way in the coming week. During the showing, we first got a brief look at a Campaign environment, as well as a few cutscenes, intended to show how the game has improved graphically over last year’s showing. This video has not been uploaded by the official Halo channel, so I am using a 1080p IGN video for screenshots. The 4K version can be found in the middle of the Xbox E3 video, so if you want the best quality viewing experience, be sure to check it out.
A few seconds in, we can see a UNSC base near the bottom right. One of the items on this base is a terminal with an Assault Rifle hovering above it. Perhaps this allows players to switch up their Campaign loadout in-game.
Right after a panning look at Zeta Halo, we shift to an in-game cutscene, apparently right after the Discover Hope trailer from 2019. Here, Chief flings himself out of the Pelican and jumps from one piece of debris to another in the vacuum of space. He encounters dead Marines and Banished soldiers, regarding the former with respect and the latter with contempt.
After throwing a Fusion Coil and exploding it to blast through some debris, the Chief flings himself over to a Warthog containing a dead Marine. Respectfully, the Chief grabs the Marine’s MA40, and we can hear Cortana speaking as though in a flashback. The Chief then flings himself further and uses his Grappleshot to launch into a Banished ship with its own gravity. The cutscene cuts to black before gameplay starts.
We jump to another cutscene, this time showing the Master Chief talking to an AI who looks similar to Cortana. However, she is very much a different AI. This is CTN0453-0, created not as a replacement for Cortana, but as an agent intended to end the threat of her rule.
“The rogue AI known as Cortana is gone. She’s been deleted.” This is what the new AI explains to the Chief after he inquires about Cortana’s location. Confused, he asks whether she had done this, and she declines.
The AI explains their mission. “My instructions were to enter this installation, imitate Cortana, and lock her down for retrieval. Yours were to take her back to Infinity for deletion, so if it wasn’t you...okay, then.” The Chief does not believe he deleted Cortana, and this AI was not intended to do so either, so the question is: who deleted Cortana?
That’s not all there is to this mystery, though. She goes on to state, “On successful deployment, my deletion routine was supposed to complete...still here.” Here, the Chief responds, “Good.” He intends to find out what stopped this new AI’s deletion, and why. He means to embark on a mission of discovery with this new AI in tow, and we’ll have to play through the game this Holiday to find out more.
Although we didn’t see much in the way of actual Campaign gameplay in this update, to see the visual improvements and peek at more of the Campaign is exciting. Here’s a quick summary of what we know.
The graphical improvements to the Campaign environments are abundantly clear in this video, in both near and far details.
There appears to be a weapon terminal on UNSC bases in the Campaign, perhaps where players can customize their loadouts.
There is a bit more to the Discover Hope starting cutscene, and this trailer picks up where that left off, all the way up until gameplay would start.
Another cutscene, showing the Chief talking with a new AI, CTN0453-0, explains more about Cortana’s role in the Campaign and how this AI relates to her.
The new AI was intended to infiltrate the installation, imitate Cortana, and capture her. The Chief was then supposed to deliver her to Infinity to be deleted.
However, although she claims Cortana was deleted, it seems it was not done by her or the Chief. Furthermore, the new AI was supposed to be deleted after successful deployment, but this did not happen. She and the Chief then set out to find out why.