Halo Infinite has a new feature that falls into the barn in its campaign mode: the fact that it is technically an ' open world ' game. That could be said to be a touching revelation for a series that until now was a fairly traditional structured shooter, and so it deserves to get the headlines. But the truth about Halo Infinite is this: it’s less revelatory than you might think. In fact, it is more of an evolution than a revolution.
However, that's not a bad thing. Infinite seems like a coming-of-age for Halo studio 343 Industries, a developer created with the sole task of continuing the adventures of Master Chief who nevertheless struggles to leave the shadow of Halo’s creators. Infinite feels like a determined introspective game, reviewing the Halo series in its entirety and then working to reuse, reference, and refine every element that makes this franchise available for a new generation. In many ways, it suits the circular feel – the titular Halo is a ring, and the game in large part works to make the whole series full circle. That not only involves bringing it back to the original, but also includes the poignant basis in everything that has come since.
The open world of Halo Infinite, for example, owes less to the many open world adventures on the market today and more to the original most beloved level of Halo, The Silent Cartographer. The fourth mission of the original game, this is the archetypal Halo experience. You start on a beach, with cars and Marine buddies. You use that vehicle to break semi-open environments before reaching an installation that you will enter and explore. Fights throughout open nature were immediately replaced by claustrophobic corridors. This is the structure of Halo Infinite – except for a large part of the game that takes place within this framework, not just on one level.