Notice: To display this embed please allow the use of Functional Cookies in Cookie Preferences.
Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries has hosted a lengthy Q&A session that reveals wealth of new information on the game’s Zeta Halo environment, including the way the day/night cycle affects the enemies players will encounter.
One question during the 45-minute video asks whether the time of day affects how enemies will respond to the player’s presence, or if it will change the numbers or types of enemies they’ll encounter.
“When you’re moving through the world in the darker periods, you’re gonna end up seeing more patrols of Phantoms moving through the space with searchlights and that kind of thing, which is pretty cool and adds kind of an eerie element to what’s going on around you,” answered lead world designer John Mulkey.
“You’ll probably run into more opportunities where Grunts are sleeping on the job [and] get the drop on some enemies that way. Then we’ve done some things to try to emphasise, honestly, just cool things that would look good in dark spaces, so we’re going with things that have more emissives on them and that kind of thing.
“So you’ll run into Shield Jackals and that kind of thing, because when they put the shields on it looks really cool in the dark. And I mean, honestly, it’s simply because it just looks really cool and it’s really fun to fight those in that kind of environment.
“We put more coils in place and stuff like that because they glow and have really cool effects in the darker spaces. Enemies with personal shields, that kind of stuff. Those are the kinds of things you’ll see as you’re going through the darker areas when it’s in the night-time cycles.”
Other new information revealed during the video includes:
- The game has dynamic weather, with a wind system and a fog system included. There may be storms or snowstorms added in a post-launch update.
- The Zeta Halo ring is fully 3D rendered, and when the sun passes behind it there may be a short eclipse.
- Weapons can’t be upgraded, because the team felt it would start to move away from “what Halo was all about”. Some equipment can be upgraded, though.
- The game’s open world is inspired by the Silent Cartographer mission from the original Halo, in that it gives players the freedom to choose how to approach each mission, with whatever weapons or vehicles they decide to use.
- New biomes include higher altitudes, swampy wetlands and war-torn areas called the Deadlands.
- When asked if the open world means players could grab a Banshee and drive to an objective three missions ahead in the story, the reply was “do it”.
- There will be audio logs giving more background on previous battles that took place.
- There are no ‘traditional’ cutscenes: it’s all done live in the engine and the camera will pull out from Master Chief’s head to present them. This means the time of day, weapons being held etc. will be accurate.
Following widespread criticism of Halo Infinite’s visual fidelity when its gameplay was first revealed in July 2020, 343 Industries published an official response saying it was taking the feedback “very seriously”. It has also now committed to providing “at least” monthly updates on the game’s progress.
Last month’s update discussed the visual improvements that have been made to the game’s campaign since it was first revealed, along with a new batch of screenshots.
These new screens appear to show more impressive visual detail than was shown in July 2020, most notably in a demonstration of how the time-of-day lighting system affects the game’s atmosphere.