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Halo Infinite’s Open World honors the old while embracing brand new ideas



343 Industries has released an interview-focused blog post for Halo Infinite, which looks at Zeta Halo, the open world of the upcoming game. Halo Infinite campaign art leader Justin Dinges said that one of the biggest challenges in creating the space was honoring the nostalgic feel of Halo, while creating something that feels completely new.

“With Halo Infinite, we wanted to take this new adventure back to its roots and create a visually pleasing experience that does not overwhelm with unnecessary complexity where readability and clear artistic composition prevail,”

; said Dinges. “This is our artistic interpretation of a beautiful world to exist in – rather than something rooted in photorealism. Both goals have been a real challenge to balance, especially against the expectations of what it means to be a ‘next title’. “

Part of honoring the appeal of Halo’s roots comes from Zeta Halo’s layout. As an open world, Zeta Halo evokes the same feeling of Halo: Combat Evolved’s opening hours when you can approach problems in different ways, depending on what weapons you have, vehicles you drive or paths you uncover.

“I love the agency we create, which truly doubles the premise of fulfilling the promise of Halo: CE,” said Halo Infinite world design leader John Mulkey. “The enemy’s stronghold can be contacted from all directions, and there are so many opportunities for you to take on the challenges.”

Part of this new freedom of movement comes from Grappleshot, Halo takes on a grip hook. The new mechanic allows you to draw smaller enemies to you, push you into larger targets and reach seemingly inaccessible areas.

“Having a tool like Grappleshot definitely challenged us to rethink the way we build our environments, because it’s such a versatile and fun mechanic that lets players get almost anywhere they can,” Dinges said.

With that in mind, we can expect the Halo Infinite levels to deviate from the linear way seen in the newer entries in the series – with a tool like Grappleshot, you will be able to bypass almost any obstacle in your path and only reach the end without had to fight. It would take the fun out of a linear first-person shooter.

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Halo Infinite gameplay director Troy Mashburn said that from a development point of view, this change is “both frightening and completely liberating” as this adjustment has “helped the team break out of the one-way design mindset and evolve into something much more exciting.”

Currently released for Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One and PC in the fall of 2021, Halo Infinite is in the final months of development. Dinges said most of the development team completes their remaining tasks. “The team is 100 percent focused on wrapping up the campaign experience, which includes collecting and addressing user feedback – both internal game tests and user survey data – bug fixes, performance and balancing,” Mashburn added.

For more information on Halo Infinite, check out our previous game coverage:

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