Once Halo Infinite has come and gone, 343 Industries should consider expanding into the expanded universe of Halo, just like Halo 3: ODST.
One of Bungie’s more surprising endeavors during his time with the Halo franchise was Halo 3: ODST, a spin-off shooter not spearheaded by Master Chief. Starring the legendary Special Forces of the Halo universe, Halo 3: ODST was the first (and last) first-person shooter in which players did not play as Spartans. Even Halo: Reach, although the Master Chief was not in sight at all, was very different as the players were still Spartans at the end of the day. Halo 3: ODST stressed a specific vulnerability and trust of the franchise in many ways, arguably more than Reach that a Halo Infinite Spin-off could retake in a similar fashion.
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Even if the development progresses Halo InfiniteUpon release in Fall 2021, an ODST-style spin-off would be a welcome surprise, provided Infinite is successful. Understandably, 343 Industries has to play it safe with Halo Infinite no matter how many people have still enjoyed Halo 5. However, provided Infinite is good to usher in the new generation of Halo games, followed by a spin-off in The Same Vein as Halo 3: ODST would be a perfect interim release before the next big Halo game. There are still several facets of the Halo world outside of the Master Chief’s perspective that he should explore without disrupting the long-term dynamic of Halo Infinite.
343 industries can develop an ODST-like game, but not yet
what is so special about that? Halo 3: ODST is that it has grown exponentially from a humble addition to the base Halo 3 experience to a full version on its own. Bungie had the confidence to take the players away from the Master Chief, if only briefly, to tell a story usually banned from the many Halo novels and other media outlets. With 343 Industries taking responsibility for the Halo franchise, it’s roughly halfway through his time playing it safe and experimenting with storytelling. Halo 4 played through a largely external and independent story for the Master Chief relatively neutral, while Halo 5: Guardians granted a lot of creative freedom in the follow-up.
However, many fans had expressed their dissatisfaction with Halo 5. Not only did the game (and to some extent its marketing) have expectations of an entirely different Halo game, the campaign in particular has been a major criticism for many. On the other hand, Halo Wars 2 was an ambitious effort by 343 Industries to tell an original Halo story, and it was largely positively received. Even if the game didn’t have a particularly climatic ending, it did may be set up to connect to Halo Infinite with its cliffhanger end. 343 Industries certainly has what it takes to tell an original Halo story, it just didn’t quite balance with the post-Bungie show.
ODST-esque storylines that Halo could explore after infinity
Assuming Halo Infinite is positively received critically / commercially, this could certainly open up the possibility of a Halo secession in the universe. Whether or not that’s likely is a whole different question, though Bonnie Ross of 343 Industries encouraged the idea of More Halo spin-offs in the future. Assuming that 343 Industries would like to embark on the ambitious storytelling path between main Halo entries, there is ample source material and events throughout Halo canon worth exploring. Similar to Halo 3: ODST, there are a few key points in Halo’s Past that are ripe for storytelling opportunities.
The most immediate focus would be the time gap between Halo 5: Guardians and the supposed year in which Halo Infinite is supposed to take place. Without taking into account the events of Halo Wars 2, there is about two years in the universe between the two main Halo games. Obviously based on what annoyed Halo Infinite at length, Humanity suffered a great loss from the exiles. Whether Master Chief was there or not, it would be interesting if these specific events were the subject of a spin-off story. Halo Infinite will no doubt go into what happened, though it doesn’t necessarily have to have the same specificity as a standalone game.
Alternatively, another important part of the Halo lore to focus on in a spin-off would be the pre-covenant uprising that takes place in the many colonies of humanity. While Halo major games have rarely touched the Insurrectionistsand Halo: Reach only briefly references them. The human insurgents are a large part of Halo’s expanded universe. Prior to the Human Covenant War, humanity was involved in a civil war with fellow human beings whom the government and military of the United Nations Security Council rejected as a threat to nationalism.
Not to mention various other themes or characters in the Halo canon that would be worth exploring, whether through a first person shooter or other genres. The possibilities are certainly endless, but these are the prime suspects at 343 Industries who actually created an ODST-style spin-off after Halo Infinite.
Halo Infinite should appear in autumn 2021.
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About the author
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Rob Dolen is not a distant relative of Bob Dole, but is a features writer for Game Rant. Video games are a huge fan of extensive lore and game analysis and are cool. Freedom Fighters is underrated. Probably not good at competitive halo anymore.