Now just over a week away, the Halo Infinite season 3 launch trailer gives us plenty to get excited about in the Microsoft FPS game from 343 Industries. However, one particular inclusion had us jumping out of our collective seats, with the tease of perhaps the best multiplayer map type – only for 343 to confirm that it won’t be included in the official Community Collection playlist.
The Halo Infinite season 3 launch trailer shows off what players can expect from the new season, titled ‘Echoes Within.’ 343 Industries proclaims that it’s “Halo Infinite’s biggest multiplayer update” so far, and sees the arrival of new Big Team Battle map Oasis – a rocky, arid desert environment packed with plenty of natural and constructed obstacles to fight your way through.
Also coming is new Arena map Chasm, an indoor environment that has you fighting across large metal structures and light bridges over the eponymous space below, and Arena map Cliffhanger, which blends grassy outdoor areas with bases built into the cliffside. There’s also the arrival of Escalation Slayer – a returning Halo game mode that players of other multiplayer games might better know as Gun Game, where you’re tasked with scoring kills using a variety of weapons as you work your way through the roster.
Speaking of weapons, the M392 Bandit is the season 3 newcomer, and it’s a DMR style weapon – a semi-automatic rifle that should excel in mid-range combat, making it ideal for several of the new maps arriving with Echoes Within. There’s also a handy new equipment item, the Shroud Screen, which drops an obscuring bubble that players can run through but not see into – making it a great way to lock down choke points or cover your approach.
The most exciting part of the teaser for my money, however, is the ten seconds of footage beginning at the 1:10 mark, where the team showcases community map Art’s Room from creator ArtNoob. It’s set in the bedroom of a Halo enthusiast, and features a PC setup, Xbox fridge stacked with drinks, piles of copies of Halo games, and a Master Chief doll on the bed. That’s right – it’s a ‘small people, big world’ map, unquestionably the coolest map type you can play in any FPS.
However, despite being featured immediately before the ‘Community Collection playlist’ segment of the trailer – which reveals that players can earn active battle pass XP while playing these chosen community-made maps – Forge lead designer Michael Schorr confirms, “Art’s Room is not planned to be part of the Community Collection. Its inclusion in the trailer was because of the aesthetics of the map.”
Players are understandably disappointed, calling the decision “a really odd choice to even include it in the trailer,” given that the map won’t be part of the 343-curated playlist. You’ll still be able to play on Art’s Room in custom games, of course – but it does sting a bit that we won’t get to see it featured in an official capacity.
Nevertheless, the map’s creator says they’re still happy to be spotlighted, saying they figured the map wasn’t going to be included as they hadn’t been asked to make any tweaks to it. “I was about to be amazed 343 didn’t need me to change things up a bit for gameplay on the map,” they respond to Schorr’s tweet, “Thanks for the highlight, team!”
Halo Infinite season 3 start date
Halo Infinite season 3 Echoes Within begins on March 7. It includes three new maps (Oasis, Chasm, and Cliffhanger), the Escalation Slayer game mode, new weapon the M392 Bandit, the Shroud Screen equipment item, and plenty of cosmetics, alongside a 100-tier battle pass.
Brush up on how Halo Infinite ranks work if you’re jumping back in for season 3, and make sure you’re rocking the best Halo Infinite guns and gadgets to climb those leaderboards. Alternatively, check out more of the best free PC games if you’re after something new to play.