Halo: Should the license be licensed to a studio other than 343 Industries?

Halo: Should the license be licensed to a studio other than 343 Industries?

It’s an understatement to say that the development of Halo Infinite has been easy. Since the game’s announcement, it’s mostly been bad news, and the latest is no better. What could be happening at 343 Industries? How can one of Xbox’s biggest studios miss out on so many milestones and what could be next for the franchise? Why are fans of the license so disappointed? Let’s try to see it a little more clearly.

A series of disappointments since the announcement of the game

Excerpt from the first Halo Infinite announcement trailer featuring the game engine

It was on a Sunday, precisely June 10, 2018. During its Xbox conference, Microsoft unveiled its next Halo game, Halo Infinite. The trailer not only laid the groundwork for a rich and varied open world, but also revealed the new engine that would serve as the game’s technical foundation, the Slipspace Engine. In the following E3 a second trailer was presented, and although we were far from the technical quality of the first, this was at least the opportunity to discover the game as it should be.

While everyone still had these images of magnificent, lush nature populated by various creatures in mind, the game’s first presentation, shown two years later, was disappointing. We can even talk about a cold shower since the gap between the initial vision and what is shown on the screen is enormous. Although Microsoft has been promoting the power of Xbox Series X for many months, the public discovers a version of the game that is quite bland and far from the standards of the moment in terms of production.

Craig before and after the famous demo

The studio explained itself a week later and quickly announced a one-year postponement of the game. While the title was scheduled for release in just four months, it was easy to imagine that these additional 12+ months would allow the developers to polish their game. like never before and launch the biggest Halo in history. Unfortunately, this was just the first piece of bad news fans of the license would have to put up with.

However, just before the release of the game, the developers had planned a surprise, that of the launch of the multiplayer mode on November 15 instead of December 8, 2021. And we must admit that it came out in perfect condition. With its mastered gameplay and impeccable stability, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer mode boded well for the best. On the other hand, players did not appreciate at all that there was no progression system and the low number of playlists. In parallel, the developers announced at the same time that the game would finally be released without co-op and without Forge mode. The appointment was made for the following year.

At the time of the game’s release, feedback on the game’s campaign is good despite a fairly generic open world, and the teams can breathe after a year of working to refine the title’s enjoyable gameplay. However, we regret that it is not possible to play the missions.

But after the holidays, the bad news comes month after month. Big Team Battle is virtually unplayable for months, co-op is postponed once again, Forge mode at the same time, and it’s finally summer 2022 that online co-op is temporarily available to Halo Insiders. .

But two months later, and against all odds, the developers tell us that the split-screen cooperative mode is purely and simply canceled. The reasons are unclear, but the community is angrier than ever. And for good reason, as it’s a feature that’s been part of Halo’s DNA since the earliest games. Gamers feel betrayed, and rightfully so, as studio head Bonnie Ross stated in 2017 that all Halo FPS would be entitled to split-screen in the future. The fan outcry at the time with the removal of this feature in Halo 5 was, in her words, a “painful lesson for the studio to learn.” You have to believe that some mistakes are bound to be repeated. Be careful though, as multiplayer can be played in split screen at up to 120 FPS, a first for consoles!

Broken promises and complicated game tracking

Released largely late, fragmented and amputated from certain important parts, Halo Infinite is today criticized. And that without counting other promises of the study that will never see the light, such as weather conditions. As for the arrival of Ray Tracing, promised after the launch of the game in “top priority”, there is no information available about it to date and we wonder if this feature will not end up being canceled as well.

With an additional year of development and the postponement of co-op and Forge modes, one would think that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer would have benefited from all of this, but then again, fans were disappointed to learn that the game’s first season eventually it would last twice as long. so long, making them wait a bit longer before discovering new content for the game.

The sequel, we know, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer mode struggled to offer new things and several long months after its release, only two new cards were born, when there weren’t many in the base anymore. These are, of course, excellent, but the lack of content is still one of the main causes of dissatisfaction in the community today.

And yet Halo Infinite really deserves more. The gameplay is excellent and while you can’t really get your hands on it, the multiplayer playlists are plentiful enough to keep you entertained. We can also point out that Halo Infinite is the first multiplayer game that offers to buy a Battle Pass and complete it whenever you want, which is in line with the players. Unfortunately, the content addition is still too low for a game of this type. It’s true that the challenges are now less frustrating and the weekly rewards more interesting, but they’re still minor improvements compared to what we might expect from Xbox’s biggest license, especially when we look at what the competition has to offer. .

343 Industries has announced that the Forge beta, online co-op, mission replayability, two new multiplayer maps, a game mode, and other additions will be available during the winter update, which runs from November 8 to 7. of March. Next up is a new weapon, new gear, and two new maps for Season 3 of the game starting on March 7.

Activision Blizzard and Bethesda, a new card to play in Halo?

With 750 developers as of January 2021, 343 Industries is by far the largest Microsoft studio. How could such means have led to so few results? Since then, we’ve learned that nearly two-thirds of the game had to be amputated to release it in a proper state, and that development was not a long, smooth river.

Obviously there are reasons we don’t know about, but studio management coupled with poor technical choices seems to be the cause of a lot of problems. Therefore, it is worth asking if the studio is still the best ally of the Halo license today.

With the acquisition of Bethesda, Microsoft has offered itself some big name studios that are experts in FPS type games like the Halo series. We can cite id Software with DOOM, or MachineGames with Wolfenstein. When we see what Bethesda Softworks has come up with with an open world like RAGE, and the narrative quality and gameplay gimmicks of the Arkane games, we can only imagine what a fusion of talents could bring to a new Halo game. And that without counting on the probable arrival of the Activision Blizzard studios, which counts among them neither more nor less than the creators of Call of Duty.

In the meantime, we hope that 343 Industries can be more careful in the future before making announcements, and that the studio can deliver content and new features planned for the coming months on time.

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