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Halo Infinite's Campaign Was Supposed To Look Way Different

A few weeks after the surprise release of its multiplayer mode, the "Halo Infinite" campaign has finally arrived. While "Halo Infinite" is doing some things that the series has never done before (for better or worse), critics have mostly been raving about the campaign. It was recently revealed, however, that the lauded campaign almost looked entirely different.

As reported by Bloomberg, 343 Industries decided in 2019 to drastically cut down the scope of the game in order to meet deadlines and stabilize the overall experience. The dev's original vision was to implement an open world in the vein of "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," with vast areas for exploration and discovery. While some gamers have lamented the constant comparisons to "Breath of the Wild" that run rampant in the industry, the 2017 title clearly influenced other developers after its release, and gamers nearly got to see how the famed Nintendo game would rub off on the "Halo" team. While there are open-world segments in the released version of the game, these bits are broken up by more traditional level-based segments.

As a result of the cuts, "Halo Infinite" was reduced by two-thirds of its original size. Unfortunately for 343 Industries and Microsoft, whittling down the size of the game didn't fix all of its problems — at least, not right away.

The disastrous 2020 Halo Infinite gameplay demo

In the summer of 2020, Microsoft and 343 Industries debuted the first look at gameplay for the "Halo Infinite" campaign, their sights set on a 2020 holiday release to coincide with the launch of the Xbox Series X|S. Unfortunately, the demo was not well-received, resulting in widespread memes, criticism, and worry surrounding "Halo Infinite." The backlash led to a year-long delay, which arguably made the game even better. It ended up being a delay that should arguably make fans happy.

Now, "Halo Infinite" is sitting at an 86 on Metacritic. The newly released title won the Players' Voice Award at The Game Awards, despite missing the cut-off date for the main awards. It's clear that there is still some work to be done on "Halo Infinite" in future updates, but the foundation for the game is strong. And though a "Breath of the Wild"-esque, open-world "Halo Infinite" would have been a marvel to behold, the developers may have made the right choice when they decided scale that vision back.