The open world of Halo Infinite was significantly scaled back compared to its original vision.
That’s according to Joseph Staten, head of creative at 343 Industries, speaking on the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences podcast Game Maker’s Notebook (thanks TechRadar).
Infinite was the first open world Halo game so it’s understandable there were several changes during development, but in particular the scope and biome variety were heavily revised.
“The team went through a lot of iterations on scope and biome variety before I joined the team,” said Staten. “Even after I joined the team, we had to make choices about where to scale back.”
The main reason for this was graphical fidelity. “We didn’t have time, the time to go after the level of fidelity across as much variety as we wanted to. We made huge strides from the E3 demo to when we shipped the game, but we still had to scale back, make targeted cuts.
“We didn’t end up cutting that much ultimately from the open world but I know that from the original designs there was a pretty significant scaling back of what the team had hoped at one point that they could deliver on.”
In our Halo Infinite review, Wes criticized the game for its lack of biome variety that makes the campaign a little repetitive.
Staten also discussed what an open world game even means, balancing expectations of the genre and the high quality of the Halo series.
“We wanted to free ourselves from a lot of the expectations of open world games, which is why we struggled for a long time in terms of how to talk about it in terms of our marketing promotion because we didn’t want people to get the wrong impression.
“We are like an open world game in as much as our game is a lot more open than it used to be. Halo’s always been a relatively open game in terms of its geometry for a shooter, but for us we weren’t layering on a whole bunch of systems.”
Those systems include the likes of a hunter-gatherer type crafting system, which of course Master Chief would never need to use. This is Halo!
Halo Infinite’s campaign co-op mode is also on the way – Digital Foundry has put the beta to the test.
You can watch the full podcast with Staten below.