During the Xbox Games Showcase, gamers finally got to see early gameplay footage of Halo: Infinite.
Despite the actual quality of the footage leaving fans with mixed feelings about the supposed "most powerful" next-gen console, the gameplay promised a tonne of exciting new features for the franchise.
The biggest addition to Halo: Infinite is the open-world element that will allow players to freely explore huge areas and choose between several objectives. The in-game map comes complete with a fully rendered 3-D map of the current landscape. Immediately upon seeing this, anyone who has played the stellar Gears 5 campaign will spot some glaring similarities.
Gears 5 was the first in its series to offer free exploration on large maps with the story being split into several open locations before climaxing in a linear finale. The insane difference of going from the traditional claustrophobic hallways filled with knee-high walls to sprawling deserts and icy woodland was a true shock to the system.
What Microsoft may keep under wraps, however, is that the departure from linear levels was heavily inspired by PlayStation's God of War (2018). Following the success of The Coalition gamble, 343 is now adopting the same approach to level design. Due to Halo's previous history of more open areas, the transition will hopefully be less jarring for hardcore fans.
The Halo series had always featured larger map sizes than any other linear story allowing players to zoom around with multiple vehicles at their disposal. Unfortunately, despite the freedom of movement, it was always still travelling from point A to point B.
While the showcase demo only featured a brief portion of the story, players will hopefully be able to tackle a bunch of additional side missions if The Coalition's example is anything to go by. Side quests and a heap of collectables were mixed in with the exploration which provided a much needed revamp to the series.