IGN First Reveals
Updated: Feb 9, 2022
During November 2021, IGN First has an exclusive deal to release information about Halo Infinite leading up to launch. With developer interviews, gameplay videos, and Battle Pass details, IGN will be leading the charge as we near December 8.
Due to the nature of these IGN reveals, this article will be a master document, with each IGN video or article receiving its own section.
November 1, 2021 - Streets Reveal
On Monday, November 1, 2021, IGN's Ryan McCaffrey announced that IGN will be revealing new Halo Infinite information throughout November. In addition, they released a video walking through a new Arena map called Streets. Here's the new details from that article.
"As you can see in the video above with me and lead multiplayer level designer Cayle George, Streets is a small, asymmetrical battleground set in New Mombasa at night." - Ryan McCaffrey
Streets is an asymmetrical Arena map, designed around Slayer, Oddball, and Strongholds. Like Bazaar, Streets is set in New Mombasa. However, it is located closer to the downtown area, with a tram station and an NMPD building around the edges of the map.
This screenshot shows the Tram area on the map. The weapons locker on the second floor contains the Stalker Rifle. Given that its icon is currently red, the Stalker Rifle is a Tier 2 weapon.
Streets supports Oddball, Strongholds, and Slayer. Notice the Cindershot being used by the Spartan on the left. This weapon fires Hardlight projectiles.
This top-down view shows the full Streets map and where various weapons, equipment, and grenades spawn. It also depicts the locations of each Stronghold. What's particularly interesting here is that this view confirms the presence of the Thruster equipment item in multiplayer, which means there will be at least five equipment items available within Halo Infinite's multiplayer at launch.
"[T]here are at least two more BTB maps that we haven’t seen yet, called 'Deadlock' and 'High Power', respectively. Multiplayer creative director Tom French described Deadlock as 'very dramatic,' saying it feels very 'classic Halo.' It has a 'very different mood' than the rest of the maps, he told us. High Power, meanwhile, started out as a 'test gym' for BTB." - Ryan McCaffrey
There are at least two more BTB maps that will be coming to Halo Infinite at launch, called Deadlock and High Power. While Deadlock is described as a "classic" feeling map, High Power was originally a "test gym." That is, it began as a set of platforms, walls, and rooms seemingly randomly placed, but during playtests, they found that it played well enough to be morphed into an actual map.
"We’ll have much more Halo Infinite as November rolls on, including a look at what awaits in Season 1 of the Battle Pass, an IGN Unfiltered conversation with Halo Infinite head of creative and longtime Bungie veteran Joseph Staten, our hands-on impressions from the first few hours of the campaign, and more – starting with raw, full-match gameplay of 'Streets' this Wednesday!" - Ryan McCaffrey
There's a ton of cool news on the way this month, including some of Season 1's Battle Pass, an interview with Joseph Staten, gameplay on Streets, and Campaign impressions. I'll be adding each content drop to this article as they are released, so stay tuned!
Finally, embedded within the article was a video walking through the new Streets Arena map. Here are some new details from this video:
After Ryan McCaffrey picks up the Shock Rifle from the weapon rack, we can see that its magazine and ammo capacity have been modified since the September/October 2021 Tech Preview and even the Campaign Overview. Previously, the weapon fired bursts of 5 rounds, had a 20-round magazine, and started with 40 rounds in reserves. Now, it has a 12-round magazine and starts with 24 rounds in reserves, which likely means the burst has been reduced from 5 rounds to 3 rounds.
When McCaffrey walks over a pair of Spike Grenades, subtitles appear, saying, "Mister Chief: Spike grenades acquired." This is a line usually spoken by the player's Personal AI, meaning Mister Chief will be a Personal AI option available for use.
Here, we can see the Oddball pickup prompt. Unlike in Halo 4, the Oddball must be picked up manually in order to start scoring.
Here, the player is zooming in with the Mangler. Like most unscoped weapons, this simply applies a 1.40x zoom to the weapon without making it more accurate.
The equipment item shown here is the Thruster. Like the other equipment items, it has a unique appearance aside from its icon.
When the Thruster is acquired, 3 charges are immediately granted to the player, suggesting the cap on Thruster charges is likely 5.
When holding the Oddball, a player's location is always revealed. Holding the Oddball earns one point per second, but it disables the ability to use equipment or fire weapons until the Oddball is dropped. Additionally, a skull appears over the team's score when they have the Oddball. Finally, there are two dots underneath each team's score, likely indicating the number of rounds won out of the total necessary to win. It seems that Oddball requires teams to win two total rounds in order to claim victory.
In the killfeed, the icon for the Sentinel Beam can be seen, thus confirming its presence in Halo Infinite.
November 3, 2021 - Streets Gameplay
On November 3, 2021, IGN released two videos showing how the Streets Arena map plays with Strongholds and Oddball. While both videos do a good job of demonstrating some of the basic weapons and sightlines on the map, only the Oddball video contains any new information. For example, we learn that Oddball matches are won by the first team to win two rounds, with 100 points (seconds) being the score limit for each round.
Here, we can see the first-person view of the Sentinel Beam. The weapon holds 250 ammo in its magazine and 250 "rounds" in reserves. It fires a steady Hardlight beam at enemies while the trigger is held down.
When the Oddball Carrier is attacked, they respond by trying to melee their attacker. It takes two successful melee hits to kill the attacker, which is in-line with Halo 5: Guardians competitive settings. However, it seems the melee speed may be quicker than a normal melee to compensate for the lack of ranged defensive options.
November 5, 2021 - Season 1 Battle Pass Info
IGN published an article written by Miranda Sanchez on Friday, November 5, 2021, containing information on the Season One Battle Pass for Halo Infinite. Although it did not provide a full reveal of the Battle Pass's entire contents, it did give a small tease of some of the items we will be able to earn at launch.
"We wanted to be able to say, 'Hey, look, when you put 10 bucks in, you keep that 10 bucks'" - Jerry Hook
This quote could simply be a general comment, given how Battle/Season Passes usually cost $10 (USD) in other games; however, it seems to be a confirmation that Halo Infinite Battle Passes will be joining this trend and cost $10 (USD) to obtain. Note that players will likely need to purchase new Battle Passes with real money given that they no longer expire and can be completed or purchased any time after they launch.
"About every quarter of the battle pass will have a legendary cosmetic in it. Legendary-rated cosmetics will be character canon-related or a new type of customization object with special attributes or effects." - Miranda Sanchez
To make earning cosmetics through the Battle Pass more interesting, Legendary-quality items will be placed around every fourth of the Battle Pass (e.g. in a 100-tier Pass, near Tiers 25, 50, 75, and 100). Legendary-quality cosmetics are particularly noteworthy because they either have special effects that apply on top of the normal cosmetic or are related to an in-canon character.
The cosmetics shown above are just a taste of what's to come in the Premium Season 1 Battle Pass, entitled "Heroes of Reach". This Season Pass will include items such as the Mark V [B] Armor Core, multiple Mark V [B] and Mark VII Helmets, what appears to be the Superintendent as a Personal AI, multiple Armor Kits themed around Noble Team (for Mark V [B]), armor effects, and kill effects.
"We struggled a lot with dance moves for Spartans. We feel that more traditional players would reject Master Chief flossing. However, [Personal] AI can go crazy. AI can do what it wants to do." - Jerry Hook
While there will be a ton of variety in Halo Infinite customization options, the team is very careful with what they add to the game. Emotes, something popular in a lot of recent games, will not be added to Halo Infinite because the team feels it will not fit well with the atmosphere they are trying to convey. Personal AI, however, is not limited to these constraints, since the canon of Halo often contains some very unique AI characters.
"The development team monitors stats regarding which daily and weekly challenges players don't complete or opt to reroll. Then, those are phased out to make room for challenges for a trending weapon or tactic." - Miranda Sanchez
With as many challenges as there are in Halo Infinite, the team will be regularly collecting and analyzing data concerning which challenges are avoided or left incomplete. Those challenges that are unnecessarily difficult or unenjoyable are then removed or reworked to make them fit more in-line with the more frequently completed challenges.
"That's two weeks for an event and one week for the Fracture, but the Fracture comes back every month and it saves your progress... [I]f [a player is] at their parents' house for a week and they don't have their Xbox they still can get everything that is on the reward track." - Chris Blohm
Although not entirely clear, from this statement, it sounds like each month in a Season, there will be two weeks for an in-game event (with its own reward track and Battle Pass) and one week for a Fracture, which will come back for a week each month and carry over progress each time it appears. The goal is to allow players to earn all the rewards from an event or Fracture even if they miss an entire week.
November 9, 2021 - Exploring Jega 'Rdomnai
Today's IGN article revolves around Jega 'Rdomnai and the role he plays in the Banished and as an antagonist for the Master Chief. Written by Ryan McCaffrey, this article explores a small sliver of the narrative background for this fearsome Silent Shadow veteran.
"We wanted to build a character up to be more like a kind of subtle sidekick to Escharum. They have the closest relationship; they’ve worked together the longest. [Jega] is his most respected soldier, his closest friend." - Jeff Easterling
Jega 'Rdomnai is essentially Escharum's battle brother. Through their long and brutal combats, they formed a bond that is rare to see between a Jiralhanae and a Sangheili. It will be interesting to see if this relationship is shown or explored at all in the game.
"When I asked if there would be custom AI written for these boss encounters, [Paul Crocker] also acknowledged that in the affirmative. 'You take the base character and then you add personality,' he said of the team’s philosophy to designing those moments." - Ryan McCaffrey
When designing bosses, the team first starts with the base character, be it an Elite, Brute, or whatever else they choose to make into a boss. Then, they add additional behaviors and attacks that align with the character's personality, making each boss feel unique.
We're only a little bit into November 2021, and the news drops on the lead up to Halo Infinite are getting more and more frequent. IGN's exclusive partnership to reveal new information throughout November has already brought some cool details to light, and it surely will continue to do so as we get closer to December 8. Here's what we've learned so far.
Streets is an asymmetrical Arena map, set in New Mombasa not too far from Bazaar, that plays well with Strongholds and Oddball.
The Stalker Rifle, sometimes featured on Streets, is a Tier 2 weapon (i.e. only one Stalker Rifle from a single weapon spawner can be on the map at one time).
The Cindershot can be seen in one of the Streets screenshots. Based on the light emitting from the muzzle, it is a Hardlight weapon.
Streets features the Thruster equipment item, confirming that there will be at least 5 equipment items in multiplayer at launch: Grappleshot, Drop Wall, Repulsor, Threat Sensor, and Thruster.
There are at least two more BTB maps that we have not yet seen: Deadlock and High Power. Deadlock is described as feeling very "classic Halo", while High Power originally started as a test gym rather than a serious map concept.
The Shock Rifle has been modified to use a 12-round magazine, and it now spawns with 24 rounds in reserves. This suggests the original 5-round burst has been reduced to 3 rounds, either making it easier to land shots or reducing its single-burst damage output.
Mister Chief will be one available option for Personal AI.
The Oddball must be manually picked up, unlike Halo 4.
The Mangler has no zoom of its own, instead using the 1.40x default zoom applied to most unscoped weapons.
Like other equipment items, the Thruster is a unique physical object that can be picked up or dropped for other equipment.
The Thruster grants 3 charges when picked up off spawn.
While holding the Oddball, a player earns 1 point per second for their team.
To win an Oddball match, a team must be the first to earn 100 points in each of two separate rounds.
The Sentinel Beam is returning to Halo Infinite, but this time as a Hardlight beam weapon with a 250-round "magazine". It also spawns with 250 rounds in reserves in multiplayer.
The Oddball kills in two melee hits, but it may have a faster melee speed than normal weapons.
Each Battle Pass will likely cost $10 (USD).
Roughly every fourth of the Battle Pass will offer a Legendary item, one that either has particularly fancy features or represents an in-canon character.
The Premium Battle Pass for Season 1: Heroes of Reach will feature more than 100 items including the Free Battle Pass lineup.
The Premium Battle Pass will offer rewards such as the Mark V [B] Armor Core, Armor Kits to look like each member of Noble Team, helmets for both the Mark V [B] and Mark VII Armor Cores, Armor FX, Death Effects, and even a Superintendent Personal AI.
Emotes and other goofy cosmetics are considered to stray too far from the expectations for Halo multiplayer. Rather, Personal AI offers a place for such wackiness without breaking the general atmosphere in multiplayer.
If players tend to swap out or skip a challenge more than others, the team will readjust the challenge's requirements or outright remove it to keep the challenges relevant and desirable to pursue.
Each month of a Season, two weeks will be dedicated to an event, and one will be given to a Fracture. Each time that Fracture reoccurs, progress is saved, meaning that reaching, say, level 10 in the Fracture Battle Pass will ensure that players start at level 10 when the Fracture returns later in the Season.
Jega 'Rdomnai is a former member of the Silent Shadow and Escharum's most respected warrior in the Banished.
Bosses are designed by adding special behaviors on top of the base traits of the character type. For example, Jega 'Rdomnai will have all the basic Elite behaviors, but he will also have special attacks and weaponry not available to other Elites.