Halo Infinite’s open world has been greatly reduced compared to its original vision.
That’s according to Joseph Staten, Chief Creative Officer at 343 Industries, speaking on the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences’ podcast Game Maker Notebook (thanks TechRadar).
Infinite was Halo’s first open-world game, so it’s understandable that there were many changes during development, but in particular, the scope and diversity of biomes have been greatly revised.
“The team underwent a lot of iterations on the scale and diversity of biomes before I joined the team,” Staten said. “Even after I joined the team, we had to make choices about where to scale back.”
The main reason for this was graphic fidelity. “We didn’t have the time, the time to go after the level of fidelity across as much variety as we wanted. We’ve come a long way from the E3 show to the game’s shipping time, but we still have to scale back, target cuts.”
“We didn’t end up cutting that much of the open world, but I know that with the original designs there was a pretty big cut back on what the team at some point hoped they could achieve.”
In our Halo Infinite review, Wes criticized the game for its lack of biodiversity which makes the campaign a bit repetitive.
Staten also discussed what an open-world game means, balancing the expectations of genre and high quality for the Halo series.
“We wanted to free ourselves from a lot of the expectations of open-world games, which is why we struggled for so long in terms of how to talk about it in terms of marketing because we didn’t want people to get the wrong impression.
“We are more like an open world game in so far as our game is more open than it used to be. Halo has always been a relatively open game in terms of shooter architecture, but for us it was not a complete set of systems.”
These systems include the likes of a hunter and gather type crafting system, which of course the Master Chief won’t need to use. This is Halo!
Halo Infinite’s campaign co-op mode is on its way too – Digital Foundry has put the beta to the test.
You can watch the full podcast with Staten below.