343 Industries is learning a lot from Halo 5's mistakes, and wants to make Halo 6 a more intimate journey for new and old fans alike.
One of my biggest problems with Halo 5 is that it felt so impersonal. I didn't feel like I was on an epic sci-fi conquest beyond the stars like before, nor did I feel like a hero embattled in a near-hopeless war against a merciless foe. That personal connection, which 343i actually fostered with Halo 4, was severed. But the devs want to reverse this by adding more connective tissue between gamers and the next big Halo experience.
In a recent Mixer stream, 343 Industries devs affirmed that their major goal with Halo 6 (also known as Halo: Infinite) is to bring back that old magic and build up that personal relationship again. "We have a lot of things we're thinking about with Halo 6. But at the highest level, we want to make a game that's inviting," said studio FPS head Chris Lee. "We want to bring in the Halo community and we want to look at ways we can bring in more folks and make a great experience for everyone."
"We want the game to be very personal. Halo is really an experience that...people love different parts of Halo. Some people love to play the campaign, some people love competitive multiplayer--it's a very personal experience as a game. We want to make sure that continues for Halo, to make sure that relationship is there with the players.
Studio head Bonnie Ross recently re-affirmed 343i won't be shrugging off Halo's Mantle of Responsibility any time soon, and says the company is taking their stewardship of the franchise very seriously.
The studio is currently building Halo 6's new Slipspace Engine, which comes complete with new environmental and lighting effects, physics refinements, and a lot more that will power the next-gen shooter. Key pieces of the Halo puzzle will be included this time, too: 343i already has Halo 6's four-player splitscreen up and running and development on both console and PC is going smoothly.
The PC flavor is being developed simultaneously alongside the console version, too, and we should see lots of higher-end optimizations that enthusiast desktop gamers expect.
At the same time, though, Halo 6 is a direct sequel to Halo 5 and probably won't make a dramatic u-turn in story and specific features. A lot of the things that worked in Halo 5 could crossover into the next game, including Spartan abilities, lore focus, and maybe even monetization structures.
"We want to keep building off the momentum of Halo 5, I think we did some great stuff there like returning to Master Chief's story, we want to keep learning and getting better as a studio and making better games for players," Lee said in the stream.
Halo: Infinite is so far off that it doesn't have a release date or even a window just yet. We expect it to drop sometime in 2020 or 2021 alongside Microsoft's next-generation Xbox Scarlett family of consoles.
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