While 343 Industries‘ long-awaited Xbox shooter Halo Infinite still doesn’t have a firm release date, the game’s recent certification in Australia could hint it will still see release during 2021.
As spotted by VGC, the Australian Classification board rated Halo Infinite ‘M’ for mature on August 10, citing “violence, online interactivity, and in-game purchases”. The rating also highlights a “mild impact” for “themes” and “language”, perhaps indicating some narrative complexity and space cussing for Master Chief’s next outing.
While the listing doesn’t provide a release date for Halo Infinite, it does come only a week after the same ratings body classified Forza Horizon 5 as “G”, or “General, online interactivity”. Playground Games’ open-world racing game is already confirmed for a worldwide release on November 9, so Halo Infinite being rated so close to it could indicate a release within a similar time frame.
In June 2021, Xbox head Phil Spencer said the studio is considering the timing of other releases before confirming a launch date for Halo Infinite, saying that its window was “just down to a few weeks” and that “instead of picking this date and having to move it by a week, which at this point would feel like a fail” Microsoft would “wait until we’re really solid on what the date is.”
Whenever Halo Infinite does arrive, it will be a slightly different beast to its predecessors. Its online multiplayer component will be entirely free-to-play, with Microsoft potentially pushing to make the series a major player in a competitive shooter field dominated by the likes of Battlefield and Call of Duty. An early datamine has also hinted that the game may feature a battle royale mode, allowing it to take on the likes of Fortnite.
It will also lack the ‘assassination’ feature of earlier games, although 343 Industries is looking at bringing it back in a way that fits “into our sandbox and the loops of the game”, per 343’s multiplayer associate creative director Tom French.