Microsoft is about to bring out it’s big gun in the console war with the Halo Infinite UK release date on the horizon and the inter-galactic hype train is only going to get bigger and louder as we get closer to the launch. It’s pretty much the only “game changer” exclusive(ish) title it’ll have out this year and there’s a lot riding on it, so here’s everything you need to know about the first person shooter, including the latest on the age rating and our parents guide.
The game has now been confirmed for Xbox ONE, Xbox Series X, Series S and Windows PC, and while there will also be Forza 5 out on the 9th November 2021, Xbox will need Infinite to land with a blast. It was a similar story on the PS5 side of the battle grounds, with it all riding on the release of Horizon Forbidden West, but with that now confirmed for February 2022, Xbox has got a potential edge on Christmas console sales.Advertisement The game has also thrown in a pretty hefty curve ball though with the announcement that the multiplayer element will be free to play, so it’s just the story campaign that will cost you anything. This gives Microsoft its own big name entrant into the free to play market where Fortnite, Call of Duty, PUBG and Apex Legends dominate. We’re expecting this to include seasons similar to the others, but we’ll have to wait to see how it all comes together.
There’s little to go in terms of the story synopsis for Halo Infinite. The trailer shows that it will take place on a damaged Halo ring and Master Chief will need to use all of his powers to restore it. He also discovers a strange new twist with the disappearance of the rogue AI Cortana and a new AI buddy to support him along the way at the installation. There’s also a little sneak of a lush planet, so it looks like the helmet will also get to gaze out at some cool vistas too.Advertisement It acts as a sequel to Halo 5: Guardians, which had a fairly involved story itself, so we’re expecting Infinite to go even further into the depths of the sci-fi adventure lore. The trailer also seems to imply that Master Chief has a slight memory problem, having forgotten the details about Cortana according to the new AI buddy, but this could well be a subterfuge of some kind inspired by Cortana and her uprising.
The overall development for Halo Infinite has suffered a number of setbacks over the last two years or so. Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the plan to launch the game with the Xbox Series X in Winter 2020, but the criticism the initial multiplayer trailer got will have also had an impact on the timing of things. The good news, though, is that the official release date has now been confirmed for the 8th December 2021 and developer 343 Industries has had more time to polish the experience.Advertisement Things had been positive in terms of the release for a while, and the biggest of these came from 343, which confirmed that the latest Master Chief adventure would be coming out in 2021 at the end of the previous year following the fallout from the delay. We’d also started to see an increase in new game footage for both the story campaign and the multiplayer action in recent months. The delay to the final confirmation could well have been a who blinks first thing with PlayStation and Horizon Forbidden West, but with that out of the way Xbox was green lit to choose its date.
With Forza 5, Xbox’s other exclusive(ish) release, already scheduled for the 9th November 2021, it’s possible that Microsoft wanted at least a little space between the games in the run up to the holidays. That could well be the reason for the December release, although, it could also be just to give the devs enough time to polish it before the launch.
Obviously, we’ll confirm things here for the UK as announcements are made, so you can follow us on Twitter to stay tuned and for more on the latest video games releases. You can also see more on Halo Infinite with the official Twitter page at https://twitter.com/Halo.
Age rating and parents guide
PEGI has officially confirmed the age rating for Halo Infinite in the UK, and as you might expect, it follows a similar line to previous games in the series. They’ve given it a 16+ certificate. The announcement came in the buildup to the release date, but with Guardians already having a 16 classification, it was a fairly sure bet that the sequel would go the same way. The constant stream of violence and the realism of the graphics was the biggest reason for the rating and it’s a similar story for Infinite.Advertisement If you’re looking for a parents guide, gun play and violence are the main points of consideration. None of the Halo games are known for either sex references or language, so your biggest stumbling block will be guns, explosions and melee attacks. Master Chief hits pretty hard across all three and with the human-driven story behind it there’s the possibility of loss of life to factor in.
The age rating in the US is yet to be confirmed by ESRB, but Guardians was given a certification of Teen.
PC release date
As this is going to be a cross platform game, you can expect the Windows PC version of the game to launch on the same date as the console version. The quality of the game itself will depend a lot on the strength of your rig, but with the extra effort that 343 Industries has put into taking the graphics criticism away, this could look very cool on high end PCs.
One of the cool things about Halo Infinite is that you can save progress between devices if you have more than one, which could come in handy, especially with the mobile options of laptop gaming or the new Valve system.