Halo Infinite screams ‘classic Halo’ in first Xbox Series X gameplay

Xbox Games Showcase
Xbox Games Showcase /

Halo Infinite gameplay on Xbox Series X debuts and it all looks very familiar.

When it comes to the Xbox Series X, there is no game more anticipated than Halo Infinite. The next installment of Microsoft’s flagship franchise made its long-awaited debut during the Xbox Games Showcase in the form of an eight-minutes of gameplay footage.

According to Microsoft, the gameplay was captured in real-time and “representative of the experience on Xbox Series X running at 60 FPS and up to 4K resolution.” I’ll be honest, for all the talk about how the Xbox Series X is the most powerful gaming console ever, Halo Infinite didn’t exactly showcase that.

Halo Infinite is being billed as a “spiritual reboot” that returns to the series roots. That certainly seemed to be the case in this gameplay. From the aesthetic of the planet to the animations of Master Chief, this screamed “classic” Halo.

For fans of the franchise, this is probably a good thing. Recent misfires have had Halo fans yearning for a return to the roots. But I worry that the tentpole game Microsoft is banking on as its system seller for its next-generation console launch is almost too classic.

Halo Infinite looked and seemed to play just like the Halo games of prior generations. That feeds the nostalgia but does it attract new fans?

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I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest Halo fan. I loved the original trilogy — especially Combat Evolved — but my interest sort of tapered off when 343 Industries took over. That’s not indicative as to how I feel about the studio, but more about how I feel about the franchise in general.

Halo just feels like a dated franchise. And the Halo Infinite gameplay seems to reinforce that feeling. It looked fine, I suppose, but I wasn’t blown away by anything that I saw — probably because it feels like I’ve seen it all already. The HUD, the color palette, the weapons, the animations, the enemies, so much of it feels so familiar.

If that’s what fans want, then more power to them. For me, it was just a bit underwhelming.

As a game, I’m sure Halo Infinite is fun. But as the tentpole release for the Xbox Series X, it just feels a little lackluster right now. Maybe the multiplayer will change that.