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Halo Infinite Update Features Visual Improvements in New Campaign Screenshots

Halo Infinite Update Features Visual Improvements in New Campaign Screenshots - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 March 2021 / 1,895 Views

When developer 343 Industries showcased the first gameplay footage of Halo Infinite last year it left many people disappointed with its visuals and technical problems. The game was originally scheduled to launch in Holiday 2020, however, it ended up being delayed an entire year and will now come out in Holiday 2021. 

343 Industries has posted a new Halo Waypoint providing an update on the status of the campaign, as well as releasing a handful of new screenshots of the game that showcase how much the visuals have improved. 

Let's first take a look at a screenshot taken from the last time we saw the campaign in the middle of 2020:

Now let's look at a new screenshot taken from the latest build of the game:

When you look at the two screenshots you can see a decent improvement in the visuals. Lighting, foliage, textures, and more have all seen a bump in detail. 

"Our main source of artistic inspiration for Halo Infinite’s setting began right in our own Pacific Northwest backyard," said campaign art lead Justin Dinges. "Because we made that early decision to go back to Halo’s roots and recapture the PNW art pallet on Zeta we immediately headed out into the mountains, forests, and valleys for not only personal inspiration but more importantly lots of photo reference. As humans we can imagine what we think a natural biome should look like, we will make lots of guesses, but until you can experience it for yourself you will most likely never be able to fully realize it. 

"Armed with these references and experiences we then leaned on our amazing Concept Art team, led by our incredible Art Directors, to merge the real-world relatable photos and anecdotes with what it means to be a science fiction world. So as an example, you can see in many of our media pieces we have introduced the idea that just below Zeta Ring’s organic surface is a forerunner framework of millions of vertical hexagons that make up the ring’s structure. And, due to the extreme damage that Zeta has endured, these hexes are exposed and displaced creating a dynamic landscape that gives us a unique visual and allows for some really fun gameplay. This is our way of mixing a beautiful real-life biome (the PNW) with something fantastic and sci-fi (the hexagonal structure) as the experience aims to be the best of both worlds."

Halo Infinite is the first game in the Halo franchise to have a day and night cycle. The screenshot above takes a look at how the game will loop depending on the time of day. 

"One of my favorite features in the game is our Time-of-Day lighting system that is active while you are playing the game," said Dinges. "This has been one of, if not THE largest graphical feature implemented into our engine over the past few years. It allows us to create artistic scenes and settings that have vastly different visual tones and moods depending on which time during the cycle you encounter something. So, coming across a mysterious Forerunner obelisk during the day may feel peaceful and serene, where at night it might feel much more ominous and threatening - it really adds some incredible dynamically-driven visual variety throughout the experience where we were not able to have it before."

Below are two more screenshots of the game:

Head of creative on Halo Infinite Joseph Staten explained the level of detail and the size of the world in the game:

Infinite’s world is incredibly large, and its vast combat zones connect seamlessly to each other. Its vistas are filled with adventures that entice you to stray from the golden path story missions. From a distance, it might appear that we’re building an open world game, but that’s not really the case. We’re making a Halo game; a sandbox shooter where our goal is to make you feel like the most powerful actor in a rich, emergent, sci-fi combat simulation.

For example, if you zoom into some of this month’s screenshots, you’ll catch glimpses of the wildlife that inhabits the ring. Halo Infinite’s campaign doesn’t have a crafting system, however, and you won’t spend time hunting and skinning animals to make better gear for Master Chief. Spartans wear Mjolnir assault armor. They don’t need leather boots.

What you will spend time doing is plummeting from a rocky overlook into the heart of an enemy patrol, eliminating their leader with a well-stuck Plasma grenade, using your Grappleshot to pull his power weapon off the ground and into your hands, and then empty its magazine into the rest of the patrol, scattering the nearby wildlife back into their burrows.

Which is to say, we’ve designed Halo Infinite so that you’re freer than you’ve ever been to do what Spartan super-soldiers do best: survey a battlespace, plan your attack, engage the enemy, deal with whatever surprises the sandbox throws your way, and then rearm for the next battle.

What’s different this time is that you have more freedom than ever before to choose your path through the world. Follow a hidden cave system into a well-guarded fortress, wind your Warthog through a fog-filled mountain pass, capture a Banshee and fly to a floating ring fragment across a gap of stars. A strong narrative remains at the heart of the Master Chief’s adventure, and your journey between story missions is entirely up to you.

So then, what kind of game is Halo Infinite? It’s the most open and adventure-filled Halo game ever. It’s the Halo game we could only dream about making 20 years ago. And we can’t wait for you to explore it.

Halo Infinite will launch in Holiday 2021 for the Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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15 Comments
shikamaru317 (on 25 February 2021)

They made alot of good progress in the 9 months since the May 2020 build they showed back in July. Looking much better now, much more like the teaser trailer for the Slipspace engine.

  • +10
curl-6 (on 25 February 2021)

Looking much better now. If this is a return to form for the series it (along with Hellblade II) could convince me to fork out for a Series X

  • +9
Rafie (on 25 February 2021)

Very clean looking. If I can get my hands on an Xbox Series X, I'm for certain getting this day one. Hell, I'm still getting it day one even without an Series X. I'll just have to wait.

  • +8
TheTitaniumNub (on 25 February 2021)

Oh man, can't wait to play this on PC! Looking great now!

  • +6
Azzanation (on 25 February 2021)

The passion to make this game amazing is insane. To delay it for this long with no release date wouldnt have been easy. Covid definitely didnt help for its OG trailer. Fingers crossed the game is great in all areas.

  • +5
DonFerrari Azzanation (on 26 February 2021)
  • -5
Loneken (on 25 February 2021)

Looks better. We need some comparison video in the next update.

  • +5
SecondWar (on 26 February 2021)

Seems to address my main complaint from the gameplay trailer - that the guns looked plastic and the vehicles like toys. I look forward to seeing more.

  • +1
ClassicGamingWizzz (on 26 February 2021)
  • -5
KratosLives (on 26 February 2021)
  • -11