343 Industries has shared the work it’s doing to provide brand new audio for Halo Infinite. The long-awaited title, which will serve as the first main series Halo game since 2015’s Halo 5, has had a very long and troubled development process. The game was set to release as a flagship launch title for the Xbox Series X and it’s smaller counterpart the Xbox Series S, but was delayed to 2021 after fan backlash regarding the game’s graphics.
Just about every video game fan has heard of Halo, even if they don’t own an Xbox. The iconic green-suited Master Chief is a staple mascot in the video game industry, and his games are credited with modernizing the first-person shooter genre in a big way. There’s a reason Halo Infinite was going to be such a big selling point for Microsoft’s new console, and, likewise, a reason why the game’s delay was such a blow to the success of the Series X. Microsoft clearly understands the power of Halo, which is probably why it’s selling so many cross-promotions with snack foods even though the game won’t be arriving until 2021.
But even while the company turns to Chips Ahoy and Monster Energy to boost its profits, 343 Industries is still hard at work on the new game. A recent Tweet from the official Halo Twitter account demonstrates some of the work the audio team is putting in to the development of the new game. This work seems to mostly consist of going out into the woods and recording explosions. 343 Industries showed a two-minute long video of this endeavor, and the team’s destructive work does seem quite thorough. 343 records explosions of all manner of sizes, in all manner of places. On land, underwater, nowhere is safe. According to the team, this work will “bring a whole soundscape of explosions to life” in Halo Infinite.
Sound design is a very important part of video game development. This vital if underappreciated component of game design will be acknowledged much more in the new console generation, thanks in part to Sony’s bold new 3D Audio system for the PlayStation 5. This video demonstrates that at least some people in Microsoft understand the importance of sound design too. At the same time, as vital as this work is, it’s amusing to think that an essential part of AAA game development involves blowing things up in the woods. It really makes video game development sound like the dream job fans used to think it was in elementary school.
The delay of Halo Infinite was a huge disappointment for a lot of reasons. But this new video demonstrates that even if the game is still a long time coming, fans will have something very special to look forward to. The Xbox Series X launch library might have suffered, but Halo Infinite is still coming, one explosion at a time.
Next: The “Graphics Don’t Matter” Argument Doesn’t Work For AAA Games