After the free-to-play multiplayer’s Season 1 was extended, Halo Infinite’s narrative co-op and Forge mode were postponed.
The prolongation of Halo Infinite Season 1 follows an earlier postponement, putting the release of campaign co-op and Forge mode even further off. Halo Infinite’s campaign co-op feature and Forge will not be released until after its first launch, moving them to its second and third multiplayer seasons, respectively.
Halo Infinite’s development has been marked by delays and difficulties, with the game originally planned to arrive alongside the Xbox Series X/S in 2020. After a year’s delay, the entire release date has been pushed back to December 8, 2021, when the campaign featuring franchise hero Master Chief and other premium modes will be available for full price or at no additional cost for Xbox Game Pass subscribers on consoles and PC. Halo Infinite’s free-to-play multiplayer debuted early on the franchise’s 20th anniversary, and critics and players have loved it so far throughout its month-long beta period.
After 343 revealed Halo Infinite Season 1’s extension to May 2022 on Halo Waypoint, the developer has confirmed to Eurogamer that the delay also affects campaign co-op and Forge. Co-op campaign mission capability was previously announced for Halo Infinite Season 2 and Forge mode for Halo Infinite Season 3. These improvements are still set to arrive in three-month increments after the Season 1 Battle Pass finishes. 343 creative director and series veteran Joseph Staten says the studio “can’t commit to any concrete dates right now” since “other things can move up in the priority stack” as development progresses. Still, optimistic estimations peg Halo Infinite campaign co-op for May and Forge for August.
Halo Infinite’s multiplayer has multiple playable game modes in its current beta release stage. However, they’re divided over only three playlists. Quick Play and Ranked offer fun or competitive 4v4 combat, while 12v12 Big Team Battle features the series’ distinctive vehicular and power weapon chaos. Aside from many players grumbling about Quick Play’s Oddball matchmaking, this relatively small spread of material hasn’t been extensively criticised so far, which is likely due to the multiplayer’s free nature. However, the full release material for Halo Infinite doesn’t appear to be expanding much on what’s already available, with the single-player campaign mode being the sole new inclusion confirmed for the full-price game.
Halo campaign co-op and Forge are franchise constants that have helped each game’s life beyond release, especially in titles like Halo 5: Guardians, where user-created Forge content is prevalent. With Halo Infinite’s live-service model, 343 might need to stick to an aggressive and extensive content plan to maintain the game’s current high player counts from decreasing before Season 1 ends in May.
Halo Infinite multiplayer will be available on December 8, 2021, for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC.
Sources: Halo Waypoint, Eurogamer