Halo Infinite’s tale of Master Chief, The Pilot, and The Weapon wonderfully sets up the future of the series. What it also does is leave plenty of room for story exploration that doesn’t involve John and his newfound fight against The Endless, which has me the most excited I’ve been for Halo stories in quite some time. Halo Infinite is a platform, thus a space to expand not only in the multiplayer realm but with more single-player content as well.
If you’ve played the campaign, you’re familiar with the audio logs that are scattered across Zeta Halo that lightly fill in the story between Infinite and the events of Halo 5. The beauty of these peeks and teases is how open-ended they are. We know characters such as The Arbiter, Locke, and more are out there. We just don’t know where they are now. The same can be said for most familiar faces that haven’t been seen since the last fight against Cortana. This ambiguity is exciting not only from a storytelling perspective but a gameplay one as well. The playbook is entirely open for 343. Do they want to tell a more intimate story similar to Halo 3: ODST? Place Captain Lasky on Zeta Halo after the Infinity crashes and tell the tale of his quest to save the UNSC without its most crucial soldier. Do they want to tell a more familiarly bombastic story with new and familiar weapons not found on Zeta Halo? Check-in with Fred, Linda, and Kelly for a more co-op-focused adventure.
Therein lies the beauty of what 343 has been able to accomplish with Halo Infinite’s story. Without spoiling too much of the ending, Halo Infinite’s closing moments make it clear the slate is clean. And while that’s exciting for Chief and company, it’s almost more exciting for the characters around him. It frees up 343 to give arcs and endings to the Bucks, Lockes, and Lasky’s of this world, including or killing off familiar faces as they see fit. AAA video game storytelling can be predictable at times, with every game trying to be a new franchise. 343 has the opportunity to buck that trend and continue what they started with Infinite: Acknowledge the past without being beholden to it.