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Halo: Infinite channels Combat Evolved vibes with its free multiplayer

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Microsoft is aiming to give fans of Halo a Halo-as-hell game when it launches the latest entry in the franchise this holiday. The company showed off a new multiplayer trailer today at its E3 showcase that promises that “Halo multiplayer is back” in Halo: Infinite.

The trailer works hard to evoke past Halo multiplayer experiences. That includes using the famous voiceover lines for “doublekill” and “capture the flag.” And it means returning to familiar-looking locations and using recognizable weapons. This approach makes a lot of sense because developer 343 Industries is approaching this differently than previous Halo games.

“With Halo, our goal has always been to bring players together,” game director Joseph Staten said. “The campaign and multiplayer will launch together this holiday.”

More than any previous Halo, 343 plans to treat Infinite as a platform. And it seems like it may start with a Halo: Combat Evolved look and feel. That would leave room for the studio to then bring in elements from other games down the line in subsequent seasonal content.

But none of that means you should expect a vanilla Halo experience at launch. Infinite’s multiplayer does feature new mechanics and aesthetics choices. Mechanically, the trailer shows a number of circumstances where players can use a grappling hook in creative ways. At one point, a player grapples onto an enemy vehicle and then hijacks it. In another moment, a player shoots an enemy and then grapples their weapon to bring it closer. And early in the trailer, a piece of throwable gear enables one squad to see outlines of players through a wall.

Aesthetically, Halo Infinite already features a number of character skins to customize your Master Chief.

Above: I’ve got three looks … and that’s it!

Image Credit: Xbox

What about the single-player campaign?

The last time Microsoft showed off Halo during a big summertime presentation, the company ended up with a mess on its hands. Fans were not happy with the look of the game — and, as a result, the company ended up delaying Infinite from holiday 2020 to holiday 2021.

But this time around, the company did not have much more to show from the campaign. The below gif is all that 343 showed from Infinite’s open world:

Beyond that, 343 showed a paired of cutscenes to set up the story. They also do a good job of emphasizing the revamped visuals. We get a close-up look at Master Chief’s character model and the lighting system, and it does look really good. But these sections are not gameplay, and that leaves fans with a lot of questions.

But the reality is that 343 is likely not in a place to stop to answer those queries. The studio has everyone working to finish the game for release this year. And Microsoft probably prefers that it finish that work as opposed to getting another demonstration ready for E3.

Halo: Infinite’s campaign is launching this holiday on Xbox and PC, and you can get it as part of your Game Pass subscription.

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