With the Halo Infinite gameplay reveal only days away, Microsoft has started to lift the curtain on the game, giving fans their first look at the game’s cover art, which bears more than a little resemblance to the original Combat Evolved cover. But the nod to the franchise’s roots isn’t the most interesting thing about this box art.
Some eagle-eyed fans on the internet have spotted one big difference to Master Chief’s armor that could completely change how players traverse the battlefield in Halo Infinite. If you look at Chief’s left gauntlet, you’ll spot a new gadget that looks very much like the grappling hook that’s been the subject of many rumors in the past few months.
Take a look at a close-up of the grappling hook for yourself:
It’s important to note that this is all speculation at this time, as Microsoft has yet to confirm whether what we’re looking at here is in fact a grappling hook. But if that’s what it is, it’ll be interesting to see how it changes the Halo experience going forward. Traversal in the Halo series has always been about forward progression, pushing back hordes of enemies to get into the next room or area. Adding a grappling hook could mean more verticality in Halo Infinite as well as the inclusion of parkour and platforming elements. Halo wouldn’t be the first big first-person shooter to do this, as Doom Eternal took a similar approach to traversal earlier this year.
But even if the grappling hook brings about big changes in terms of traversal the familiar Halo Infinite box art also suggests a return to the series’ past. After all, the Halo Infinite cover is basically a high-def version of the Combat Evolved box art. First off, there’s the Halo ring in the background, with Master Chief in the foreground, as assault rifle at the ready. We also see ships flying overhead as well as Forerunner structures, all features that made the cover for the original game such an interesting sight on store shelves.
IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey compared both covers side-by-side on Twitter, so you can have a better look at the similarities:
Whether the Halo Infinite box art is indicative that the franchise is going back to basics with this new installment remains to be seen. Certainly, the return of the Halo rings to the forefront of the story as well as the inclusion of the Brutes as one of the main enemies of the game suggests that the game will at least pay homage to some of the series’ roots if not completely relive them.
We’ve yet to hear how Cortana and the Created will play into the story after Halo 5: Guardians ended on a cliffhanger that teased a galactic takeover led by Master Chief’s former AI best friend. Agent Locke, who co-starred in that game, is also nowhere to be found in the marketing material, suggesting he may not play a role in the game, although a new Mega Bloks set to tie into Halo Infinite seemed to tease a dark fate for the Spartan played by Luke Cage actor Mike Colter.
Whatever the case, we’ll know more about the game when it is fully unveiled at the Xbox games showcase. Until then, we’ll keep you updated as we hear more.
Halo Infinite is coming to Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC in Holiday 2020.