Recap: When Halo Infinite got its first gameplay reveal in June of last year, it's safe to say the community reception was not positive. The lighting and character models, in particular, were criticized for being flat and cartoony. Though harsh, the good folks over at 343 took the feedback on board and decided to delay the game from its initial holiday 2020 release window and push the launch date into 2021.
Now, a full year later, it seems like the studio has been on the right track. Halo Infinite just got another campaign gameplay reveal, and it looks incredible.
Before we get into that, we should note that playable versions of Halo Infinite's multiplayer (which will be free on release) have been available in some form for a while now to testers. As such, the world has already gotten a slight glimpse of how the game has improved.
However, those test "flights" were short in duration and took place in relatively small maps (compared to the full open-world campaign). They were also entirely PvP-focused, so players never got to see whether NPC models had been updated.
With today's gameplay reveal, we're finally able to fill in those gaps. For starters, it's clear that the graphics have received an overhaul. Lighting, textures, materials, and surfaces all look a little grittier; a little more grounded. Master Chief's armor itself is perhaps the best example of this. It was smooth and unblemished before but now it's dented, scuffed, and generally battle-worn, which is precisely what you'd expect from a hardened combat veteran's gear.
Enemy models, particularly the Brutes, now look more, well, Brutish than ever. Instead of having malformed potatoes for heads, Brutes look more like they did in previous Halo titles. They have rough-looking beards, eyebrows, mohawks, and even facial adornments like scars and warpaint.
So, improvements over past reveals aside, what else does Halo Infinite's "Campaign Overview" show us? It teases new vehicle designs (as well as a vehicle summoning system to make getting around the open world easier), Far Cry-style outposts, dynamic rescue events, and, of course, a handful of epic-looking boss fights.
We'll let you discover the other feature changes and additions in the video above -- we wouldn't want to spoil your fun. After you give it a look, feel free to head to the comments and let us know what you think of Halo Infinite's new gameplay or even the game as a whole.
Personally, after participating in several of Infinite's multiplayer test flights, I'm much more confident in 343 Industries' vision for the game than before. I was concerned last year, but now... Everything from the gunplay to the equipment roster and visuals just feels right. Make no mistake: it is still a distinctly Halo experience, but it feels modern and fresh.
Halo Infinite launches on December 8 for PC, as well as both Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X consoles. Game Pass customers can play the game on day one as part of their subscription, but everyone else can snag it for the standard $60 retail price.