Halo Infinite Campaign Overview - October 2021
Updated: Feb 12, 2022
Fifteen months. That's how long it's been since we last saw Campaign gameplay. After the less than stellar debut back in July 2020, 343 has been hard at work on making the Campaign look and play better than ever, leveraging the delay for the best possible outcome. While we won't have Campaign Co-op at launch, the Campaign Overview that arrived on October 25, 2021 is extremely promising. After watching the Overview itself (embedded above), let's dive into all the new details.
Right at the start of the Campaign Overview, we can see the Chief holding a hologram of Cortana. She is using the purple color originally seen in Halo: Combat Evolved. This color choice was likely made due to the fact that The Weapon is blue in color, allowing players to more easily differentiate the two characters.
When this scene was originally shown, the Grappleshot was not present. However, based on this shot, it seems like the Grappleshot will be available to the Master Chief from the very beginning of the Campaign.
While previewing a few different areas in the Campaign, we are shown this evening vista with a large Forerunner structure in the foreground. However, what's interesting is the pointed object in the distance. As confirmed by Unyshek, this object is none other than a downed Guardian from Halo 5: Guardians. Whatever happened to Cortana seems to have truly overpowered her influence.
When we first see gameplay, the player Grappleshots an enemy Brute, which immediately electrocutes it and stuns it. The stun effect appears to originate from the line of the Grappleshot directly, which is likely one of several upgrades. We'll see more about equipment Upgrades shortly.
We can also see that the radar is 59 meters in radius, which is consistent throughout the video. This likely means that the other radar distances seen in prior media were experimentally set before they landed on this radius.
The large Fusion Coil next to the Grunt Assault and Brute appears to be of the Shock variety, although it may be a Plasma Fusion Coil instead. Dealing damage to the Fusion Coil will cause it to explode.
When the large Fusion Coil is destroyed, it splits into two parts, alongside a few other pieces of debris. The debris chunks fly a good distance into the air, appearing to emit Shock damage as they continue.
When the player uses the Grappleshot to close in on an enemy Brute, he briefly stands over a Disruptor, bringing up its full pickup prompt. From this, we can discern that the Disruptor is an Auto Shock Pistol, effective at Close range.
Unlike in the September/October Tech Preview, Boosting in the Banshee does drain the available Boost, visible in the bottom right. To recharge the Boost, a player must stop Boosting for a short period.
"His first mission is to retrieve a new AI, codenamed 'The Weapon.'"
The first mission in Halo Infinite will be to retrieve The Weapon from wherever she was prior to the UNSC loss around Zeta Halo. This means the cutscenes shown during E3 2021 were all from the beginning of the Campaign.
"Following the events of Halo 5, Master Chief is searching for the answer to a troubling question: what happened to Cortana?"
The underlying mystery to solve within Halo Infinite will be what happened to Cortana after Halo 5: Guardians. The last time we saw her, she was taking control of the galaxy, asserting the Mantle of Responsibility as the Forerunners understood it through the use of Guardian constructs, Forerunner machines that can effectively police entire solar systems on their own.
Here, we see Cortana with the same visual appearance as in Halo 5: Guardians, but this time using a purple color. She is walking around some blue holographic structure, apparently lost in thought. The structure doesn't seem immediately recognizable; perhaps it's the Auditorium mentioned by Escharum in the July 2020 Campaign Preview?
"I was created to lock down Cortana, but I don't know why. What did she do that was so wrong?" - The Weapon
Despite being created for the sole purpose of locking down Cortana for final dispensation, The Weapon has no idea what Cortana has done or why she would deserve such a fate. This cleverly puts The Weapon in the same position as new players who have no prior experience with Halo, making it possible to naturally catch them up on the recent happenings in-universe.
One of the new features of Halo Infinite's Campaign is the ability to call in vehicles from these UNSC bases. There are also weapon terminals in the background, which likely allow a player to fully customize their entire loadout to their liking.
Upon interacting with the Vehicle Terminal, a holographic display of the selected vehicle comes up. In the Overview video, the starting selection was the Mongoose. A player could press the "A" button to select the Mongoose for delivery, use the left stick to change the selected vehicle, or press "B" to close the menu.
The vehicle selected by the player is the Wasp. After pressing "A" the menu closes, and we hear the Pilot over the radio, confirming the selection.
The Pilot flies in his Pelican, with a Wasp attached to the underbelly. A few seconds later, it is dropped unceremoniously to the ground, at which point the player can pilot the Wasp as they see fit.
This Jackal Sniper is using the Stalker Rifle, which emits a red laser beam at its target. It is clearly a precision weapon, although it is unclear whether it behaves more like the Covenant Carbine or something different.
Although this has been known for some time, it is worth mentioning here. The reticle here is not red, despite the target being within the "red reticle range", due to a PC-specific behavior. In an effort to combat basic cheats that trigger firing when the color of the reticle changes (i.e. when things like aim assist and bullet magnetism turn on), the red reticle has been disabled for most weapons on PC. Exceptions are made for a few weapons, but in general, the reticle remains white at all ranges. The benefits of aim assist and bullet magnetism still apply at the expected ranges, however.
In the background, we can see a red hologram of what could be Atriox, although it is hard to tell at a glance. The charging Brute has a mohawk, which is a new addition from the July 2020 Campaign Preview.
Here, we get a better look at the face model for the charging Brute. He not only has a mohawk but also a beard, and he has clearly been visually updated from the last time we saw the Campaign. The nostrils have been moved up to be more in-line with the eyes, which more closely matches their physiology in Halo Wars 2.
This scene is our first look at the Hunters in Halo Infinite. This Hunter is using blue armor, and it looks quite a bit bulkier than Hunters in previous games. The shield alone is massive, and it seems quite capable of putting up a good fight for the Chief. Luckily, the Chief has a new equipment item, seen recharging in the bottom right: the Thruster. As in Halo 5: Guardians, the Thruster allows a player to dodge horizontally in any direction, but it is now an equipment item rather than a default ability.
During the Campaign, the Master Chief will have the opportunity to free imprisoned Marines by destroying the power source for their bonds. These freed Marines will then fight alongside the Chief in his quest to defeat the Banished.
In the September/October Tech Preview, we saw players use the Plasma Fusion Coil. Here, we can see the Kinetic Fusion Coil, discernible by its yellow color. The Kinetic Fusion Coil detonates with a more powerful explosion than other Fusion Coils, and it is primarily effective against unshielded targets.
Also, the MA40 AR held by the Marine is highlighted, suggesting that players can once again trade weapons with their Marine allies.
The Chief uses his Grappleshot against an enemy Jackal, which causes it to recoil and expose its head. While the Chief isn't pulled toward the Jackal, this feature adds a new attack method for taking down the enemy.
As in previous Halo games, players can load up a Warthog with Marine allies and wreak havoc on the Banished. Here, we can also see some orange energy shields, functioning in a similar way to the Deployable Cover items originally employed by the Covenant.
When we first see this Brute, a cutscene plays to introduce him. He has a Jump Pack and an MLRS-2 Hydra, showing how Brutes are no strangers to using human weaponry against their enemies.
As Chief continues to fight the Jump Pack Brute, we can see a health and shield bar on the enemy. In addition, his name is displayed above the health bar, telling us his name is Tremonius. He has switched to a CQS48 Bulldog between scenes.
Here, we get a look at the revised Tacmap for the Campaign. Showing the geography of the ring, collectibles available in the area (including Skulls), and prominent objectives to pursue, the Tacmap is a player's most useful tool for choosing what to do next in the Campaign. In this screenshot, we can see that a player can close the Tacmap with "B", Zoom with "LT" and "RT", view Missions with "Y", click "RS" to jump to the player, and press "A" to Set a Waypoint. The player is visible as a green arrow, and their objective is marked by a yellow diamond.
There are four other tabs available on the Tacmap screen: Upgrades, FOB (Forward Operating Bases), Targets, and Database. We'll see the Upgrades tab a little later in the video, but the FOB, Targets, and Database tabs are not shown. It is likely that the FOB tab allows a player to view all the FOBs they currently hold, as well as possibly Fast Travel between them. The Targets tab may include information on bosses and minibosses in the area, as well as where to find them. Finally, the Database tab is likely a library of collectibles and lore found by the player.
When the player highlights FOB Golf, the description mentions that capturing FOBs reveals UNSC and Banished activity in the area. FOBs start out controlled by the Banished, and capturing them involves killing all Banished occupants and accessing the control terminal. They can be used as Fast Travel points and as rally points for local UNSC Marine forces. They also allow a player to call in weapons, weapon variants, and vehicles (such as the Wasp seen earlier in the video). Finally, earning "Valor" unlocks more resources at all captured FOBs, likely including new weapons, variants, and vehicles.
The other icon on the Tacmap is Ransom Keep, a Banished outpost operated primarily by Sangheili and specializing in making use of UNSC vehicles, weapons, and other items that can further the Banished goals. There are a few collectibles that can be obtained at the outpost, listed above the description, and there appears to be an indication of the amount of Valor to be earned on the left of the collectibles list (100 in this case).
When arriving at a new point of interest, a brief prompt appears, indicating that the location has been discovered and highlighting the collectibles available in the area.
When scoping out Ransom Keep, the silos to be destroyed are all highlighted, showing the player how to take it down.
While approaching Ransom Keep, the player drives a Chopper, running through lines of Banished forces. The cannon on the Chopper fires very slowly, but it does a ton of damage on impact. Additionally, the vehicle has a Boost that can propel it quickly enough to ram enemy infantry and vehicles, dealing a ton of damage to them.
It appears that the Banished may be able to lock down the silos as the Chief attacks, requiring the player to expose the silo manually with a short animation.
After destroying several silos, this gold-armored Brute leaps out of a Phantom. Armed with an M41 SPNKr, he isn't messing around when it comes to taking down the Chief.
To take on a Brute with an M41 SPNKr, it might be best to get an Upgrade. On the Upgrades screen, we can see Upgrade paths for the Grappleshot, Shield Core, Threat Sensor, Drop Wall, and Thruster. The Shield Core is interesting, and it is unclear whether this is something like a portable Overshield or a fundamental improvement to the player's shields. In the top right, the number of Spartan Cores available can be seen. This is the currency used for purchasing Upgrades. The third and fourth upgrades in each category appear to cost 3 Spartan Cores.
The Shield Core is described as "An enhanced shield module that increases capacity to 115% of base shield strength." This appears to be a base increase to the Chief's energy shield strength, but it could also be a temporary piece of equipment.
The only Upgrades shown were for the Thruster. The first Upgrade for the Thruster is called Afterburner, and it "Adds a second charge to your Thruster." This allows a player to use the Thruster twice in a row before having to wait for it to recharge.
The second Thruster Upgrade is Thermal Control, which reduces its cooldown by 20%.
The third Upgrade for the Thruster, called Impulse, allows it to push the player faster and further than before.
The final Upgrade for the Thruster, Escape Velocity, applies a brief Active Camo effect for four seconds after activation, making it possible to close a distance while remaining sneaky.
There are tons of Fusion Coils stacked to the left of the silo, including one with orange-purple contents. This Fusion Coil is a Hardlight Fusion Coil, which likely overpenetrates enemies and deals extra damage to armored targets like vehicles.
As in previous Halo games, the Phantoms can be destroyed with enough damage. Here, the Phantom is smoking, and the next shot from the Scorpion will blow it up.
We then cut to a scene where the Chief exits his own Banshee, hits a second one with the Skewer, and then Grapple-jacks a third one. During this sequence, the Chief looks directly downward, allowing us to see what lies below the island he flew over: namely, nothing. Fall through a gap and you'll be floating in space before long.
"Master Chief will take on...surprising new threats, such as the agile Skimmers..."
These curious flying enemies are called Skimmers. It is unknown whether they are allied with the Banished or simply using their Shock Rifles, but they have not been seen before in Halo. They have four legs with claws on the ends, and they have two hands which they can use to grip Shock Rifles. They are attacking this red-eyed metallic ball, which seems vaguely like a minor monitor on the Halo ring.