Well, we have finished up with most of Summer Games Fest now, and a large chunk of it was devoted to Xbox, which had two different showcases which had looks at first party games, including big Bethesda titles like Redfall and Starfield.
While Microsoft did say at the outset that it would only be focused on games out within the next twelve months, there is a game that is already out that seems like it should be getting updates and mode previews over this time, now that it exists as a live service, Halo Infinite.
On the multiplayer side, we already know that we are stuck with another terminally long six month season, but toward the end of it, we should be getting both campaign co-op and a beta for the upcoming Forge mode. This would have been a good opportunity to show off a preview of either those features, given how close they’re supposed to be and how Halo is meant to remain Microsoft’s flagship franchise. Instead, the most prominent appearances from Halo were its Pelican in Flight Simulator and a crossover with Fall Guys happening later this month.
But past that, players still have larger questions about Halo Infinite as a whole, which was meant to be a “platform” for future Halo content, though we have yet to figure out exactly what that meant.
The end of the Halo Infinite campaign was a massive cliffhanger, and in theory, the philosophy behind Infinite as a “platform” suggested more would be added to it in time. New sections of the Zeta ring, new planets or rings overall maybe. And yet so far, we’ve heard absolutely nothing about where Infinite plans to take its story next, and given that it was a six year gap between Halo 5 and Halo Infinite, I think fans are wondering what exactly is the plan for Master Chief himself going forward. Are we waiting just another year or two now for more story content, or will it be another half-decade until something significant arrives?
And then, on top of all that, there’s the new Halo Infinite mode that Certain Affinity is working on, which many speculate is going to be some kind of battle royale variant, and it almost certainly seems like the plan was to release it within the year. And yet again, we saw nothing from that at the showcase.
Really, the two Xbox showcases shows how much the company has changed with its first party offerings. The biggest games of the show were Redfall and Starfield, Bethseda titles, and Diablo 4, a Blizzard game, both recent purchases. The only traditionally “Xbox” franchise that was there in a big way was Forza Motorsport. Halo wasn’t, neither was Gears of War.
Halo Infinite feels like it’s deeply struggling to catch up on even just the multiplayer side of things these days, and I have no idea how 343 is planning to address the larger progression of the series across multiplayer and single player going forward. And they don’t seem to want to give us any clues, either.
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