The debate about the state of Halo Infinite rages on days after its gameplay debut at the Microsoft Xbox Games Showcase. The main push and pull is about the graphics we saw during the demo, while some are content to say it “looks like Halo” and that the series has never been known for pushing the graphical envelope, while others think that while that may be true, something still seems off and weird and bad about what we saw, and it’s a little worrisome.
Well, naturally Digital Foundry is on the case with all their technical knowledge, and I would put more weight in their opinions than I would anyone else’s, including my own.
They now have two separate videos going through what they think about the Halo footage and its issues. The first video is actually their thoughts on the entire show, though the non-Halo parts are largely them complaining about pre-rendered trailers which are impossible to make much of anything out of in shows like this.
Their thoughts about Halo are at the beginning here, and I was surprised to hear that in the end, they agree with me, that maybe Halo Infinite needs to be delayed if there’s more work to be done to get it up to the level of polish it should be at release. Again, like I said yesterday, all AAA games are delayed at least a few times, and we also have the COVID pandemic making everyone work from home. If there was ever a time to delay a game for a good reason, it’s now, but Infinite seems locked into being a Series X launch title at all costs. And that could backfire.
A second video was made just about Halo, going more into the detail of exactly what’s going on here, and how it mainly has to do with lighting issues which make everything look “flat,” which was one of the most common critiques of the footage.
I highly recommend that whole video, but the long and short of it really appears to be the idea that Halo Infinite was probably developed to run at 60 fps on Xbox One originally, but now that it needs to also be a Series X debut title, something has gotten lost in translation, and it simply doesn’t look nearly as good as it could. This is more of an issue with the development of Infinite than it is the power of the Series X, which is not the issue here, as some were saying. While most games coming out right now are going to be cross gen to a certain extent, it seems like Halo is suffering more from that issue than others, which is why things look so off here.
Again, there’s still time to continue working on the game, which is what Microsoft has pushed back with, and this was an older build and doesn’t necessarily represent the present day state of the game. And yet this does seem like we could be heading to a bad place if Infinite does arrive on Series X and continues to have disappointing visuals as the flagship game for the most powerful console in the world. We’ll see what Microsoft does from here, but for now, it’s still full steam ahead toward holiday launch.
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