“The answer is yes,” replied Troy Mashburn, gameplay director, who went on to offer an anecdote about just that: “I can tell you just recently I was playing in space, and I happened to be driving in with a Scorpion tank. I came around the corner and was face-to-face with a Wraith [tank], and just out of pure luck, pure coincidence, I managed to push the Wraith over the edge and just watched it slowly tilt back and just fall into the abyss, which was amazing, unexpected, and just such a cool moment that happened… So absolutely, you can push things off the edge. It’s going to be difficult, but if you manage to time it just right, you’re going to see it.”
As community manager John Junyszek made clear, this is a brand new idea for a Halo game, and feels in-line with its aspirations to be a more sandbox-y, open experience than previous games.The answers also covered the facts that the game will have a day-night cycle (which affects the enemies you run into), dynamic weather, multiple biomes and sub-biomes, audio logs to discover, and cutscenes will reflect the equipment you’re carrying, and the time of day you’re in when they begin.
However, while Halo Infinite clearly brings a lot of new features, some older ones won’t be making a return. Dual-wielding weapons, for instance, has not made it in. Quinn Delhoyo, lead sandbox designer, explained why:
“That’s not on the cards right now… Whenever you set out to make a game the size of Halo Infinite there’s just so many things you can do. I think we have a very talented team where we can do anything, but we can’t do everything. So we wanted to really focus down on the gunplay, grenades, melee – and where we wanted to put that bet this time was on bringing equipment back.”
Delhoyo was also asked about another older feature – playable Elites, who were available in previous Halo campaigns and multiplayer modes. They also won’t make a return:
“Similar to the last answer, no we’re not currently planning on supporting Elites as a playable character – and the reason is that this is a Master Chief story, and a Spartan story, especially in multiplayer. We want to make sure that we focus on how Spartans battle against each other, and that it feels fair, and it’s competitive, it’s balanced. We love Elites – never say never, maybe we’ll see that one day – but right now the current plan is you’re going to be playing Spartans.”For those interested in Infinite, it’s well worth watching the full Q&A – 343 has a lot to say about its upcoming Halo game, and it’s a great look into the design ideas behind the game, and how it’s improved since its infamous delay last year.
The game is now planned for release in Fall 2021, and its multiplayer mode will be free-to-play. If you cannot wait for more Halo, there’s a way of… tasting the series right now – Pringles has released a flavour that tastes like an extinct animal from Halo: Reach.