Today, Xbox’s E3 2019 conference revealed more exciting information for upcoming games such as Gears of War 5, Psychonauts 2, Cyberpunk: 2077, and Outer Worlds. But perhaps the cherry on top for Xbox announcements was the story trailers for the next system seller, Halo: Infinite. The sixth installment of the main series of Halo games originally created by Bungie and currently being kept alive by 343 Industries, Halo: Infinite takes place after Halo 5: Guardians in a universe that is now controlled by the rampant A.I. Cortana.
Following a presentation about the next Xbox console, Project Scarlett, by Phil Spencer, another short trailer for the Halo game was shown, as Halo: Infinite will launch with the next-gen console in late 2020.
— Xbox (@Xbox) June 9, 2019
The trailer focuses on a lone UNSC Pelican pilot who seems to be adrift in space striving to desperately keep his dropship intact in the vacuum of space. After the pilot fixes one hull breach of the ship, he accidentally activates a holographic message of his wife and kids, the motivation for his survival but suddenly his onboard A.I. informs him of a friendly reading nearby. The pilot rushes to bridge of the ship to find not a rescue party but a floating Spartan-II: John-117, the Master Chief in his new armor (supposedly Mark VII).
The pilot quickly brings the chief aboard and connects him to the pelican’s energy reserves to get moving again in his new armor. Once the chief is back to optimal power, he reinserts an empty A.I. chip, the same one that used to house his old companion and now galactic suppressor Cortana, back into his helmet. The chief asks the pilot for a status report but the pilot is confused and tells him that they, probably the remnants of the UNSC following Cortana’s crusade at the end of Halo 5, have lost revealing that the pelican is adrift near a broken Halo ring.
The ship is then hit with what looks like EMP waves from the Forerunner constructs known as Guardians but the chief, while grabbing his signature assault rifle, states that they must fight. He walks to the pelican’s bays doors and in classic Halo fashion, jumps out headfirst to defend the universe while the iconic Halo theme plays in the background.
The Halo announcements for this E3 were all very exhilarating. For one, Halo: Infinite will be the second time the main Halo title will be released alongside a brand-new Xbox console with the first being Halo: Combat Evolved for the original Xbox in 2001. The trailer, while story focused, does give out a lot of information about the next console seller. We get a closer look at Chief’s new armor which appears to be a hybridization of his classic Mark VI armor with his modified Mark VI armor seen in Halo 4/5 and the Mjolnir armor seen in Halo: Legends/Halo: Forward Unto Dawn.
Overall, this video does show how 343 industries is pivoting the series back towards Bungie’s classic art style which Chief’s armor, the pelican design, and the pilot’s clothing indicates. Even the assault rifle looks fairly similar to the model seen in Halo: Reach, Bungie’s swan song to the franchise before leaving it to create Destiny.
The pelican may also be the same crashed pelican shown in the previous Halo: Infinite trailer for E3 2018 or it just may be the same model. Perhaps, Chief and the pilot crash land on the Halo ring after their attacked by Cortana’s forces?
Whatever the case, the Chief does land on the ring as another clip at the end of the presentation shows him walking in what may be the ring’s control room based on its architecture while Cortana narrates about how well she picked the Chief to be her caretaker. Cortana role in the game is still a bit unclear in the game though; perhaps she was the one who damaged the ring or perhaps the ring was damaged by the UNSC Infinity in order to ensure that Cortana wouldn’t have access to such a devastating weapon.
While this Halo announcement is lacking in gameplay, it’s rich in lore and intrigue and undoubtedly entices fans in getting the next, currently unnamed Xbox console.
Halo: Infinite will officially launch with Xbox Project Scarlett around the Holiday season of 2020 (November/December).