During the July Xbox Games Showcase, Microsoft and 343 Industries presented the first gameplay footage of Halo Infinite with an eight-minute demo. In the latest official community update blog post, the developer wasn't shy about addressing the less than ideal reaction some fans had to the graphics seen in the footage.
343 Industries said the two most debated areas are the visual fidelity and the art style. Regarding the former, the studio said that it hears the negative feedback about the "characters and objects appearing flat, simplistic and plastic-like, lighting feeling dull and flat, and object pop-in."
"In many ways we are in agreement here – we do have work to do to address some of these areas and raise the level of fidelity and overall presentation for the final game," explained 343 Industries. "The build used to run the campaign demo was work-in-progress from several weeks ago with a variety of graphical elements and game systems still being finished and polished. While some of the feedback was expected and speaks to areas already in progress, other aspects of the feedback have brought new opportunities and considerations to light that the team is taking very seriously and working to assess."
As for the art style, 343 said it is going for a more classic Halo games-inspired look with "a more vibrant palette, 'cleaner' models and objects with less 'noise'," stepping away from the visual approach of Halo 4, Halo 5, and Halo Wars 2. The studio added that "while we appreciate this may not be everyone’s personal preference, we stand by this decision and are happy to see it resonating with so many fans around the world."
Halo Infinite pre-release multiplayer flighting approach is still in the air, as the original plan for large-scale community testing is proving difficult to accomplish due to challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the studio intends to offer at least a "public hands-on" before the game launches later this year.
Other Halo Infinite aspects that were confirmed in the community update include the lack of real-money loot boxes, and that splitscreen support will be two-player for campaign and four-player for multiplayer. It was also revealed recently that the game is being built as a platform to last the next 10 years, with no sequels planned at this time. Check out the full blog post over here.
Halo Infinite is heading in for a launch this holiday alongside the Xbox Series X. The game will also be available on PC via the Microsoft Store and Steam, as well as the Xbox One family of consoles. Xbox Game Pass members will gain access to the title on day one as well.