Halo Infinite: Everything you need to know about Microsoft’s next Xbox sci-fi epic

Also colloquially called Halo 6. But who’s counting?


Microsoft

The next Halo game is on its way, so prepare for big explosions, alien planets and sweeping dramatic music sung by enormous male choirs.

Microsoft teased the new game, Halo Infinite, at the company’s annual press conference at E3 2018 in Los Angeles, the world’s largest gaming show. We didn’t get to learn much about the game, except that it would continue the saga of Master Chief, the human super soldier who’s been saving the galaxy for two decades.

Halo is one of the most successful game franchises ever made, selling over 65 million copies and grossing more than $3 billion. It was originally developed by Bungie, which has ties going back to Steve Jobs and Apple. But now the series is helmed by Microsoft’s own 343 Industries, and its latest installment is on the horizon.

Here’s what we know so far.

Halo Infinite

That helmet is one of the most iconic pieces of headwear in entertainment.


Microsoft/Screenshot by Techhnews

Master Chief

Look, Halo is as much about shooting aliens as it is about this guy in a green battle suit whose face we’ve kinda never seen. He’s called Master Chief, or John-117, and you largely play as him throughout the series.

His story is the tragic tale of being kidnapped from his parents, experimented on by the government at a young age, turned into a super soldier through a questionably legal “Spartan II” military program and then let loose on the galaxy. Pretty much everyone in the game respects him in part because he pretty much always gets the job done.

If you think that sounds eerily similar to Captain America, just shush and let me play my game.

halo-cortana.jpg

Cortana, as seen in Halo 4.


Microsoft

Cortana

To make the story even more modern and tragic, Master Chief’s best friend is an AI named Cortana, who is often depicted as a computer-code-covered scantily clad woman. She keeps him company and helps push the plot forward during missions by asking questions out loud and suggesting new things to do. She’s so useful, Microsoft named its voice assistant that competes with Siri, Alexa and Google after her.

As with any good and loving sidekick, Cortana turned evil in the most recent game, 2015’s Halo 5: Guardians. 

The story

Look, catching you up on the crazy intricate storylines is near impossible. There is just so much Halo out there from the games, not to mention the novels, TV specials, comic books and whatever else.

At its most basic, Halo is a game about you against the universe protecting humanity at all costs.

halo-2

Master Chief, as depicted in 2004’s Halo 2.


Microsoft

OK, so what’s a Halo?

Halo gets its name from a weird alien device found in the first game. It’s a massive floating space ring large enough to explore for hours on end, with beaches, forests, snow and everything else you’d expect on a real planet. 

There are seven of them scattered around the galaxy but, lucky you, somehow you keep encountering them.

The Halo rings were created by an ancient race known as the Forerunners, and placed around the galaxy thousands of years ago. Together, all the Halo rings have the power to wipe out life in the universe.

Why destroy everything? These rings are a last resort to combat a dangerous zombie-like menace called the Flood. According to the game’s lore, the Forerunners actually activated the Halos, wiping out all life in the galaxy including their own. Turns out neither the Forerunners or the Flood really died though, and now you have to deal with them.

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E3 2018: Halo Infinite announced



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Wow, this is complicated

What do you expect from a multibillion-dollar franchise that’s spanned two decades? It’s not as if the Marvel Cinematic Universe is easier to keep track of.

Why is it called Halo Infinite and not Halo 6?

This lack of a number is actually a big hint about what the game might be. Halo’s previous big non-number game, 2010’s Halo: Reach, was a prequel. But this time Master Chief is in the teaser, so it’s likely this game may be different somehow.

Maybe it’ll be a live-service game like Anthem, the action adventure game from Electronic Arts, or Ubisoft’s post-apocalyptic shooter Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, or Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic exploration game Fallout 76, or Microsoft’s cartoonish pirate game Sea of Thieves.

Or maybe Microsoft just got tired of using numbers all the time.

What about Red vs. Blue?

This isn’t the official cannon, but it’s still going strong.

Halo Infinite will be on Xbox and Windows PCs

One big thing we know is that Halo Infinite will run on the Xbox and PC. This is big news for Halo fans, as until recently, almost all Halo games were only available on the Xbox. But earlier this year, Microsoft said it would begin releasing Halo games on the PC as well, as part of its Master Chief Collection.

Wait, what about multiplayer?

One of the key things about Halo is its multiplayer aspect. In its review of Halo 5: Guardians, Techhnews sister site GameSpot made a point of saying the Halo’s multiplayer was the best it’s ever been in the last installment, even if the game’s main story was somewhat lacking.

“The franchise’s multiplayer is at its peak, with a mode I’m sure I’ll return to several times over,” GameSpot wrote at the time. “In some ways, Halo 5 is the boldest Halo yet.”

We’ll likely find out if Halo Infinite will do it one better during Microsoft’s Xbox press conference Sunday, June 9, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles

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