While the latest Halo game is arguably one of the best open-world games in the last year, developer 343 Industries tried to avoid the trappings of other games in the genre – which is why the Halo Infinite open-world never had a crafting system, hunting, or other survival game features.
While the Halo series features some of the best FPS games around thanks to their open map design, the fact that Halo Infinite was going for full freedom of exploration created some problems, according to 343 head of creative Joseph Staten on the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences podcast.
“We wanted to free ourselves from a lot of the expectations of open world games,” Staten explains. “We struggled for a long time in terms of how to talk about it, in terms of our marketing promotion, because we didn’t want people to get the wrong impression.” Specifically, due to the fact that 343 intentionally left out “a whole bunch of systems” that players might expect from other open-world shooters.
Crafting and hunting, for example, were never on the table. “Master Chief doesn’t need to kill animals to make leather shirts for himself,” Staten recalls joking. The developer re-stated on Twitter afterward that “the campaign team was not working on a crafting system” when Staten joined, as some people apparently misinterpreted his words on the podcast to mean that such a system was scrapped instead of never happening at all.
Instead, Staten urged the team not to “lose focus” by adding unnecessary features and instead “embrace those emergent first-person-shooter gameplay systems” such as the grapple hook and being the “most powerful actor in this rich physical simulation”. So, no crafting.
Clearly, 343’s decision was the right one, as PCGamesN’s Halo Infinite review shows.