The open world of Halo Infinite finally makes sense after today’s previews

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Halo Infinite is going to be open world, but not this open world. A round of campaign previews from various outlets has fallen today, and the game’s broad structure is starting to make sense. While early insights into the campaign suggested something similar to a Far Cry, it sounds like Halo Infinite is essentially the same format as previous series campaigns, just with all of the individual missions pieced together into a larger whole.

Zeta Halo, the setting of the game, consists of discrete land masses divided by impassable terrain such as canyons, as described in IGN’s video preview. As you play, you’ll gain access to new parts of the world, and as Game Informer’s preview suggests, you can return to previously unlocked areas to uncover new secrets.

Things probably get more open when you acquire things like flying vehicles, but it looks like Infinite is playing like a pretty traditional Halo campaign as the story progresses. Big story encounters lead you into discrete, mostly linear areas that IGN compares to dungeons.

So if you think of a version of Combat Evolved where open-ended missions like Halo and Silent Cartographer are inserted into a connected map, with missions like Truth and Reconciliation or the library in between propelling the story, it basically seems like that be what we’re doing again with the Infinite campaign.

That’s not to say that Halo Infinite doesn’t have any of the features that generally accompany real open-world games. Completing optional activities like destroying enemy towers or rescuing marines will give you valor. As you reach new levels of bravery, you can call in increasingly powerful support items, from a mongoose or a pistol to a VTOL wasp.

You can also pick up an upgrade item called Spartan Cores. These improve things like your shield strength or can be plugged into gear like the Claw and Threat Sensor to give those pieces of gear more powerful capabilities.

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But the previews agree that Halo Infinite’s upgrade systems seem entirely optional. So if you want to pull through history as a base-level Master Chief, this challenge is open to you. The upgrades only seem to be there to offer rewards for exploration.

So if you’re worried that Halo Infinite will turn into a Ubisoft game with towers to climb and tons of collectibles to tick off, it doesn’t seem to be the case. The levels are simply bigger, interconnected, and offer more rewards for exploring off the beaten path.

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The Halo Infinite release date is set for December 9th. The campaign will be available as a standalone purchase or as part of the Xbox Game Pass, which you can sign up for here. The multiplayer will be playable for free.

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