343 Studios has provided an update on Halo: Infinite and it looks like the delay that was announced earlier this year is more major than we initially thought. The game has been delayed by roughly a year with its new release window set for Fall 2021 (September to December).
In a blog post by Joseph Staten who is now leading Halo: Infinite after helping ship several Halo games throughout his career, Staten said that “I’ve spent the last four months immersing myself back into the Halo universe, and it’s my honor as creative director to help our team ship Halo Infinite in Fall 2021”.
The blog post talks a lot about graphical improvement and how the team was already working on areas such as indirect lighting, material response, foliage and tree rendering, clouds, level-of-detail transitions, and character fidelity.
A bunch of new screenshots for the game which shows off some of the improvements can also be seen below:
Speaking about character facial animations (such as Craig), Neill Harrison says that “I can confirm that the facial animation on NPCs was not fully implemented in that build, which resulted in Craig’s incredibly deadpan/lifeless look. All characters are modelled in a neutral pose, prior to blendshapes & animation being applied. So, poor old Craig was never intended to be seen in that condition which is not something that was evident during the gameplay. It was only later, in the close-up freeze frame of his one bad moment, where it came to light and the legend of Craig was born.”
Harrison also spoke about things such as lighting and foliage: “Firstly, there’s been a lot of work done re-tuning our dynamic lighting values to add more punch and contrast to the image. These included adjustments to our sun intensity, fog/atmosphere, and the addition of color grading which did not make it into the July gameplay demo.”
It’ll be interesting to see Halo: Infinite re-emerge at some point next year.