343 Industries has addressed the blowback to Halo Infinite’s campaign reveal in a frank blog post answering questions on the game’s art direction and visual fidelity.
The studio said it had heard “far more positive than negative” reactions, but also said it agreed with fans it had “work to do”.
“Negative feedback in this area includes comments around characters and objects appearing flat, simplistic and plastic-like, lighting feeling dull and flat, and object pop-in.
“We’ve read your comments, we’ve seen the homemade examples of retouched content, and yes we’ve heard the Digital Foundry assessments. In many ways we are in agreement here – we do have work to do to address some of these areas and raise the level of fidelity and overall presentation for the final game.”
Fans have argued back and forth about how early (or recent) the build of Infinite shown during the Xbox showcase was – and whether 343 might have already worked on its visuals further. Here’s 343 again:
“The build used to run the campaign demo was work-in-progress from several weeks ago with a variety of graphical elements and game systems still being finished and polished. While some of the feedback was expected and speaks to areas already in progress, other aspects of the feedback have brought new opportunities and considerations to light that the team is taking very seriously and working to assess.
“We don’t have firm answers or outcomes to share yet but the team is working as quickly as possible on plans to address some of the feedback around detail, clarity, and overall fidelity. The team is committed and focused on making sure we have a beautiful world for players to explore when we launch.”
As for its art style, 343 pointed to its own learnings and “strong community feedback” which suggested a more “classic” art style with cleaner models and more colours had been what fans wanted – albeit not at a compromise for detail.
“While we appreciate this may not be everyone’s personal preference,” 343 concluded, “we stand by this decision and are happy to see it resonating with so many fans around the world.”
There’s plenty more in the blog – reconfirming the game’s usual difficulty settings, support for campaign couch co-op, and that Chief’s grapple hook will function differently in multiplayer – as an item picked up on the map.
Finally, what does 343 think of Craig? In the wake of Halo Infinite’s unveiling, fans quickly turned the burly brute into a multitude of memes.
“We’ve all laughed very hard at the nonstop stream of Craig memes the community is cranking out,” 343 wrote. “Craig is thick-skinned and seems to be taking it in stride though all of this fame and attention seems to be going to his head.”
Earlier today, leaks suggested Halo Infinite’s multiplayer will be free-to-play. We’ve asked Microsoft for comment.