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The Xbox conference at E3 2021 was perhaps the most stunning yet. It featured 27 games, including brand new releases and several expansions for existing titles. Although, long-time Xbox players were waiting for one announcement only: Halo Infinite. The developers delivered in spades on this front, showcasing a fresh trailer for the title and a loose release date of “holiday 2021.” This all paled in comparison to the reveal that the game’s multiplayer will be free to play.

This wasn’t an announcement that many saw coming. Like other major multiplayer titles, such as Call of Duty and Battlefield, Halo has always had a firm price tag of $60. In the past, this included the campaign and multiplayer modes. With Halo Infinite, however, only the latter remains true.

Halo Infinite opting for the free to play route

For the first time in the franchise’s history, multiplayer will be accessible to anyone with an Xbox or PC. The reveal trailer announced this new direction along with showcasing what players can expect from a gameplay perspective.

In regards to multiplayer specifically, fan-favorite modes like Big Team Battle return to the Arena. There will even be a ranked matchmaking playlist for those looking to up their game and face stiffer competition. All of this multiplayer action can be experienced with cross-play toggled on or off, which is another first for the series. In addition, cross-progression is also enabled between PC and Xbox, so players can keep their ranks and cosmetics no matter their system.

As for the campaign, players will still need to pay a premium for access. There’s no firm price tag on the campaign but 343 Industries and Xbox should announce it in the coming months. The story mode was slightly showcased in the reveal trailer as well; longtime A.I. Cortana has been replaced and Master Chief is set to fight another battle across the universe.

Upcoming Halo events

The months of June of July are chock-full of events for Halo Infinite. Below, fans can see what the developers have planned for the upcoming weeks.

  • 343 Industries Halo Infinite Multiplayer Overview  Monday – More gameplay and insights from the team, debuts at 8 a.m. PT on YouTube.com/Halo.
  • Halo Infinite Mark VII Spartan Cosplay Guide – Tuesday – Everything you need to know to create your own real-life Spartan armor (on Halo Waypoint).
  • Canon Fodder – Wednesday – 343 lore master GrimBrother One dives into the fiction behind multiplayer maps, vehicles, armor, and more.
  • Inside Infinite – Thursday – 343’s monthly blog series returns with a closer look at the future of Halo Waypoint and the work the team is doing to extend the Halo Infinite experience and catch up with members of the Live team to talk player engagement and customization.
Halo Infinite multiplayer
Halo Infinite gameplay. | Provided by Microsoft

In addition to those events, the developers are planning several technical tests throughout the summer. This will allow players to test the multiplayer experience before anyone else to help with finding bugs, providing feedback and stress testing the game. There are no dates for when the tests will become available.

Halo Infinite is set to release “holiday 2021” but no firm date has been set.

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