Prior to the past several weeks, there were a lot of mysteries surrounding Halo Infinite. While the technical previews that 343 Industries ran earlier in the year certainly instilled a lot of hope in the title, things were still up in the air before the unexpected early release of the game's multiplayer mode and the press previews that went live earlier this month for the game's campaign. Fear's about the newest Halo's quality have essentially all but melted away as players have been able to play it for themselves and see just how good it actually is.
Based on how well Halo Infinite has been received, the game makes one thing very clear: its year-long delay did wonders for the finalized product. It's impossible to know what the game was actually like when its gameplay was first revealed last summer, but it's clear now that 343 Industries spent the extra development time well which is now paying off when looking at the staggering number of concurrent Halo Infinite players at any given time. Hopefully, the game will serve as an example of what other studios should consider doing if their titles aren't in the state that they want them to be before release.
The Strength of Video Game Delays
Delaying a game is far easier said than done. A lot goes into making a video game, and not every studio has the same opportunities as 343 Industries to extend their titles' developments for an additional year. That said, if a studio is debating delay, more often than not, the game will likely largely benefit from getting one. It takes one look at the conversations surrounding the most recent unfinished majorly published games to see that gaming enthusiasts are beginning to become fed up with buggy, unpolished final products.
Games like Battlefield 2042, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition, and, perhaps the most infamous game in recent memory, Cyberpunk 2077, would all have benefited from major delays so that the games could be fixed and polished before their eventual releases. The perception of these sorts of games in the public eye is pretty poor despite each title having plenty of good ideas, meaning that fans can't help but wonder what they would have been like if the projects simply had more time in development. Obviously, delaying a game comes at a cost and can't always be done based on budgets and publisher demands, but Halo Infinite's success is truly a testament to why studios and publishers should consider taking the time to get things right.
Halo Infinite's Delay
When its gameplay was first shown off, Halo Infinite wasn't received with universal praise. It looked unpolished graphically and, while it seemed like it would be fun enough, it just looked like a rehashing of the Halo gameplay that's been in all of the titles up to this point. Soon after the footage was shown off, 343 announced that it would be delaying the game for an entire year so that the team can polish and work on the title. Luckily, it seems like that work has paid off in a major way.
Halo Infinite's multiplayer gameplay feels fresh and new, like the studio took what it had from 2020 and continued to explore what makes the game fun by refining the experience. What's more, from a graphical perspective, Halo Infinite couldn't look any more different from when it was shown off in 2020. When the first footage of the game was revealed, it was frequently being compared to the graphics of Halo 3, a game that came out in 2007. Now, when playing Infinite, it's clear that the game has a fidelity to it that's best experienced on the newest Xbox hardware. Halo Infinite did a complete 180 when it comes to quality and public opinion in a single year, and hopefully other studios take note and follow in its footsteps when necessary.
Halo Infinite's multiplayer Beta is available now on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S, with the full game launching on December 8.
One resourceful individual manages to create a replica of the Mark VII helmet from Halo and it is quite accurate to the in-game design.