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The announcement comes via a Twitter post from Infinite creative lead Jospeh Staten, which confirms that Bertone “has joined the team as studio technical design director.” Staten continues: “Paul and I met in 1999, back in Bungie’s Chicago days, and then shipped Halo 1-3, ODST and Reach together.”
I’m happy to confirm @Halo veteran Paul Bertone has joined the team as Studio Technical Design Director. Paul and I met in 1999, back in Bungie’s Chicago days, and then shipped Halo 1-3, ODST and Reach together. I’m thrilled to have Paul help lead the future of #HaloInfinite. pic.twitter.com/oYR8bhOBak
— Joseph Staten (@joestaten) July 6, 2022
Bertone worked on the design team for Halo: Combat Evolved before becoming design lead on Halo 2. He later went on to work as lead mission designer for Halo 3, as well as scripting and designing its first mission. It wasn’t until 2012 that he left the Halo franchise to work on Destiny, so needless to say he has plenty of prior experience with Xbox’s most iconic series.
This is reassuring for the future of the project, with Jerry Hook (head of design), Aaron Linde (lead writer) and Adam Wittes (lead multiplayer designer) all leaving 343 Industries earlier this year.
Infinite’s next major update is co-op campaign and the mission replay feature, with select members of the Insider program being able to access the former on July 11. Much like with previous entries, co-op will support up to four players. The full release for the feature is slated for August.
NME awarded the campaign of Halo Infinite a staggering five-out-of-five-star-rating: “[It] feels as immediately compelling and necessary as Bungie’s original games, and is a shining beacon in a year that has felt quite underwhelming in the AAA space. Intense combat and a keen sense of creativity make this a must-play, even if you’re not typically a fan of the genre or even Mr Mean and Green himself.”
In other news, E3 will be run by PAX organiser ReedPop in 2023.