r/pcgaming Dec 08 '21

Halo Infinite's Open World Was Reportedly Cut Down From a Zelda-Like Size

https://www.ign.com/articles/halo-infinite-open-world-cut-down-zelda-size
264 Upvotes

110

u/ZeldaMaster32 R9 5900X | RTX 3080Ti | 16GB Dec 08 '21

According to a report on the game's development by Bloomberg, 343 decided to drastically slash the game's open-world map in 2019 as it attempted to stabilize the direction that game was heading.

Reportedly, by the summer of 2019, Halo Infinite had hit a number of issues. As per the report, the studio took the decision to cut almost two-thirds of the entire planned game in an effort to streamline production. As part of this decision, the outlet notes that the game's open world was significantly scaled down from a "Zelda-like experience into something far smaller."

This is the most interesting chunk of the article.

34

u/hyrumwhite Dec 09 '21

The bit about almost switching to unreal engine is also fascinating

-17

u/palerider__ Dec 09 '21

What is with it with these in-house dev kits. Seriously it’s the same textures and 3d files from maya and fucking jpegs and shit. Botw was made in Unity IN A CAVE WITH SPARE PARTS. I think XBox One should be able to handle a zelda type game with some real textures. Ponderous

50

u/[deleted] Dec 09 '21

[deleted]

7

u/ACCount82 Dec 09 '21

Genshin Impact (aka "the BOTW clone") was made in Unity.

Nothing about Unity prevents large open world games from being made, not really.

4

u/[deleted] Dec 09 '21 edited Dec 16 '21

[deleted]

5

u/ACCount82 Dec 09 '21

Not "issues" as much as "doesn't have the built-in tools for it".

2

u/[deleted] Dec 09 '21 edited Dec 16 '21

[deleted]

0

u/ACCount82 Dec 10 '21

You can pull open world off on Source if you really wanted to, and that's a really fucking bad engine fit. Unity is already a lot better at that, Unreal is better still.

You can't just make an engine handle everything with "tools".

No, that's literally what an engine is meant to be: a foundation that can be shaped into the game you want. With any half-decent engine, you run into a skill cap long before you run into an engine cap.

Naturally, not all engines are created equal. Something like RAGE (GTA series and more) would be a natural fit for nearly any kind of open world game, because it was made for that purpose, and thus, it already includes all the tooling and support you need to create and manage an open world. Doing open world on something like Unity? All of that you'll have to bring your own.

Nearly every engine out there has weak points. Like, early Unity was used for more 2D games than I can count, while being one of the worst engine fits for a 2D game, only being used because all other options were one foot in the grave. Still has garbage UI support out of the box to this very day - I've seen games where UI lags more than 3D graphics because the devs had to implement too much from scratch and shot one foot too many while doing so. Unreal had asset streaming that was so utterly fucked that you could tell an Unreal game just from the way the textures pop, especially in open world games - unless the devs went in depth enough to rewrite that garbage nearly from scratch. Most didn't. They have been improving that version to version, dunno if modern UE has finally got rid of that. The "megatexture" id Tech engines, id Tech 5 and id Tech 6, had a very similar-looking issue, and they had to axe megatextures in 7 to get rid of that.

I can spend a week listing all those weird engine specific flaws and quirks - but the point is: none are show-stoppers. It's a matter of whether the benefits of using a certain engine justify having to deal with the flaws.

0

u/[deleted] Dec 10 '21 edited Dec 10 '21

[deleted]

→ More replies

13

u/berserkuh Dec 09 '21

License costs, in-engine experience, animations rigs, sound rigs and programming are way harder to support or transfer if you switch engines. You can't just rip the assets.

It's like building a house from wood, being almost done and starting on the paint, noticing it's cold and saying "why not just replace the wood with steel beams?"

1

u/Paradox992 Dec 09 '21

Wow what a completely ignorant take.

5

u/cyclopsgd Dec 09 '21

Wonder if there would have been snowy areas in the full map

0

u/Chimwala Dec 10 '21

Man there would have been all of that, it would have been just like Skyrim but with a bigger map. That news was definitely a heartbreaking deal breaker for me even though I had the game pre ordered which I still haven’t even played yet because of this information since the campaign is the only reason why I pre ordered the game in the first place. I guess I’ll try it out this morning after I partake in my mighty.

3

u/Venom349 5900x | Aorus 3080 Ti Master | G.SKill 32GB 3200 | 6TB Dec 09 '21

Honestly, I like the idea of a denser hub world which is what we got, and even it feels kind of big for me sometimes.

They did better to have a richer experience in what amounts to an already gigantic playable area as new parts of the map unlock, better than being a mile wide and an inch deep.

139

u/Levo_Star Dec 08 '21

That's fine and arguably good.

Honestly I'm not trying to openly heap praise here on Saint Joe Staten reigning this project back from a Ubisoft bloat-project but that just sounds like a tired idea for a game series that's known for its ebb and flow of high focus and slower meandering. Halo at it's core is still an old-world FPS with equal respects focused firefights and then lots of 'you gotta hit the thing over there to open the thing way over there' progress.

Too much in either direction would necessitate wildly different expectations and I get the feeling a post-game idea they have floating around is "custom Spartan party adventures." where such an open world would play a bigger part like some kind of Destiny on steroids.

For now, for a Halo campaign it's not needed nor wanted.

23

u/Helphaer Dec 09 '21

The halo campaign was rated by Adam Sessler as basically being devoid of story near the end and not reslly having much purpose or value to it. And a podcast with the developers basically dismissing story as important makes sense now.

23

u/sentientTroll Dec 09 '21

Chances are, they were trying to build a giant Fortnight world, and slap a campaign in it. Unfortunately being bad at making halo games can make accomplishing your halo goals tough.

11

u/Helphaer Dec 09 '21

Since people will rate it 4 out of 5 or higher regardless of sll issues it won't change.

1

u/Venom349 5900x | Aorus 3080 Ti Master | G.SKill 32GB 3200 | 6TB Dec 09 '21

I'll give it a 7/10 for now in campaign and a 5/10 for multiplayer (in its current state)

I'd give Halo 4 a 4/10 for both, and Halo 5 a 3 for campaign and 6.5/10 for multiplayer.

1

u/Helphaer Dec 09 '21

The campaign seems to being rated a bit separately than story by adam sessler even if his end result score was inflated to 4 out of 5 for halo 6 like everyone. So I'd like to know how you rate not the campaign as a whole but the story and narrative and reason for doing things rather than gameplay and world and such of the campaign.

5

u/[deleted] Dec 09 '21

[deleted]

-11

u/sentientTroll Dec 09 '21

No. They were definitely trying to make a battle royal map, that doubled as a campaign sandbox.

Listen. Everything 343 is doing, is stuff I was telling them to do 15 years ago before I got banned from the 343 forums for 700 years. The issue is that they are going the wrong way about all of it.

0

u/Paradox992 Dec 09 '21

🤦‍♂️

0

u/sentientTroll Dec 09 '21

My bad. 343 was trying to make an amazing game with lots of playlist, massive library of maps, and great progression system.

1

u/Paradox992 Dec 10 '21

Only a Sith thinks in absolutes.

5

u/Mace_Windu- 1080Ti | Ryzen 9 3900x @4.2ghz Dec 09 '21

Yeah that's my theory. Few devs have said it's a culmination of 3 games. Wouldn't be surprised if it went battle royal > hero shooter > traditional halo.

2019 decision was made to return to classic halo under the condition it be a f2p cash grab to recoup the half a billion dollars wasted on the first iterations. The battle royal map got recycled into the campaign map. Hero shooter heros were recycled into armor cores.

When you have a ~50% turnover every 18 months, a 6 year development is just bound to be absolutely all over the place and over budget.

2

u/sentientTroll Dec 09 '21

Impressive they decided to fuck up a game as important as Halo. Considering what they released, and how much the Reach players are loving it, they’ve been vindicated. they now know they can get away with murder.

2

u/HappyBunchaTrees Dec 11 '21

fuck up a game as important as Halo

Thats what 343 does

4

u/diaryofsnow Dec 09 '21

Sounds a lot like the production of BF2042

2

u/Venom349 5900x | Aorus 3080 Ti Master | G.SKill 32GB 3200 | 6TB Dec 09 '21

Fuckin oooooof size large if that's true. Story is one of the components that makes some of the repetitive gameplay moments bearable and fun to revisit.

23

u/A_MAN_POTATO Dec 08 '21

I expected all the responses to have a negative view of this. I'm extremely pleased to be wrong. I'm tired of games being open world just for the sake of being open world, and I'm tired of the size of the map being a main marketing bullet point. I'd much rather have a small, interesting, carefully crafted map.

5

u/saru12gal Dec 09 '21

You are right and with DLCs they could do a great story arc( let's hope those dlc are 15€ max) that adds new parts of the map with others biomas and new enemies)

1

u/Chimwala Dec 10 '21

Now if they do that they can make up for the downsizing of the game

46

u/Kronosx9 Dec 08 '21

Excellent. Open world for the sake of being open world is pointless.

6

u/Tyrone_Cashmoney Dec 09 '21

Good, the open world has already proved annoying would be so much worse if it were even bigger.

23

u/Gred-and-Forge Dec 08 '21

Here’s hoping they support and expand the game post-launch.

1

u/KoolAid-FrozenPizza Dec 09 '21

It will get more Campaigns

1

u/Chimwala Dec 10 '21

Let’s hope

4

u/eagles310 Dec 09 '21

I mean Zelda had a big world with actual different areas/zones, this after being in the world for a 40 mins youve pretty much seen the whole same area in all the game

5

u/Onyx_Sentinel RTX 3080/I-9 10900k Dec 09 '21

Good, it already seems way too big for what the game actually is

10

u/ProfessionalCornToss Dec 09 '21

The world doesn't really need to be bigger, it just needs more diversity in biomes. Currently it all just looks the same.

14

u/V0KaLs Dec 08 '21

Thank god. Halo taking place in a massive hollow world like that would have been awful.

We have enough games like that which seem to just be open word for the sake of calling it open world.

33

u/Vegabund Dec 08 '21

Good, it doesn’t need to be insanely big

6

u/tarangk Dec 09 '21

Call me crazy, but I really want to see a Halo game made by id Tech.

If not at least have id build a modified ver. of id tech 7 specifically for Halo, and come in as the engine team. Doom Eternal still looks absolutely amazing, and runs like butter. Just imagine if we could get some id tech magic on Halo side.

4

u/T-Baaller (Toaster from the future) Dec 09 '21

You're crazy.

In a good way.

2

u/Chimwala Dec 10 '21

You are absolutely nuts!!!! my guy

50

u/TheGoldenCaulk Dec 08 '21

The trick is not achieving Zelda-like size, but Zelda-like density. I don't care how big your map is if it's filled with nothing.

144

u/uberhappyfuntime Dec 08 '21

But zelda wasn't particularly dense... If anything, it's relatively empty

49

u/quick20minadventure Dec 08 '21

Witcher 3 has relatively full map. Skyrim's map feels empty often. But, it gives the wild feel.

41

u/Bleakjavelinqqwerty Dec 08 '21

I think skyrim made up for it with the random encounters. Like you're going from a to b and a fucking bear just randomly yeets you

14

u/quick20minadventure Dec 08 '21

Dragon encounters are much more impactful because you feel exposed while traveling..

And it makes traveling by horse little better. You can still feel some distance and feel like you traveled between cities.

4

u/NeedsPraxis Dec 09 '21

It also made dragon encounters that much more meaningful when they did occur in a crowded space. I have really fond memories of the first time I saw a dragon attack a city, and the entire city guard corps suddenly went on the defensive. Such a cool, randomly generated moment.

1

u/Chimwala Dec 10 '21

Yea I feel like Skyrim did it perfectly, I’ve never felt like I was playing an empty boring game when I played Skyrim.

1

u/squirt-daddy ryzen 7 3800xt 5700xt Dec 09 '21

What exactly was the witcher 3 full of? I went to every one of those stupid marks on the first 2 maps and realized it was a waste of time. Worse than a Ubisoft game but for some reason it gets a pass

5

u/quick20minadventure Dec 09 '21

There were NPCs all around and going from a town to town felt short.

1

u/sean_999 Dec 09 '21

Same. The side quests in the world were awesome, but the open world itself rarely had any surprises (which is what I think Skryinm does well)

1

u/thebogeyman777 Ryzen 5 1600 | EVGA GTX 1660 Dec 10 '21

Yeah I still maintain that TW3 should have been somewhere in between TW2 and what we got in 3. By that I mean, still have the tighter more focused zones, just expand them more. It would have allowed for more actual consequences and branching paths like we got in 2. 3 is a brilliant once in a generation video game, but from a design standpoint it was a massive step back in ambition from 2.

1

u/classicwow_ironman Dec 09 '21

That is debatable

1

u/quick20minadventure Dec 09 '21

Well, what isn't? xD

1

u/ZYmZ-SDtZ-YFVv-hQ9U Dec 09 '21

Best “open” maps are the Yakuza games.

15

u/derkrieger . Dec 08 '21

Theres tons of little bits to find but honestly the scale worked really well since traversing it wasnt difficult. Cliffs needed to be large to make scaling them feel rewarding. Zelda wasnt just big for the sake of big, it was meant to feel immense and I'd argue it succeeded. One of my favorite examples of an open world game is Morrowind which is just chock full of things to find in its Open World.

5

u/TheGoldenCaulk Dec 08 '21

I don't think they're the most dense open worlds, but they strike the right balance is my point. BotW in particular did a good job spacing everything out to where you never had to go far to find the next thing.

73

u/phatboi23 Dec 08 '21

Zelda-like density

What? The open world of BotW was empty as hell really.

5

u/A_Lively Dec 08 '21

I think a lot of the points of interaction and combat were sparse / repetitive, but I do think almost the whole map was interesting to explore, and that's what propelled me through most of the game.

2

u/GunplaGud Dec 09 '21 edited Dec 09 '21

I almost beat botw, got to Hyrule Castle and gave up. I can only really remember a few things on the map that really stood out as interesting (probably more than that, but not what should be expected for the size of the world), the rest of it was disappointment as I created a hill or climbed a cliff and found yet another shrine.

I feel like the map could've been 20-30% smaller and it wouldn't have had any impact on the feel. It might have even made it more enjoyable because interesting things would've been closer together.

I can't help but compare it to a Bethesda game and it comes up short. Bethesda might have driven their games into the ground, but they're still masterclass in creating explorable worlds.

-8

u/TheGoldenCaulk Dec 08 '21

This man clearly hasn't tried to collect all 900 pinecones.

BotW isn't the only Zelda game, and while it is very large, I think all of the content was pretty evenly spread out where it didn't take you very long to get to the next shrine, enemy camp, korok seed, or other secret thing. It's bare on the surface but that's because the content is often literally underneath.

11

u/breichart Dec 08 '21

I did try to connect all 900 and even with the Korok seeds, it was pretty empty still. Mostly due to the render distance of grass though.

5

u/AC3R665 FX-8350, EVGA GTX 780 SC ACX, 8GB 1600, W8.1 Dec 08 '21

Ehh, more like GTA 4 if you up the ped's and traffic density, which fucking tanks the game because shit port.

2

u/ImAnOlogist R5 1600/1060 6GB Dec 08 '21

looks amazing though when you're cruising around in the back of a cab from place to place looking out the back window.

4

u/Cygnal37 5820k 4.4ghz RTX2080ti 16gb ddr4 3000mhz Dec 09 '21

Thats an odd statement considering how empty Zelda is.

33

u/teddytwelvetoes Dec 08 '21

lmao Zelda is empty as hell, that game would have been thoroughly trashed and immediately forgotten if it was a new IP created by literally any other dev

17

u/EitherBrilliant8297 Dec 08 '21

as much as it might hurt zelda hardcores, and admittedly im one myself (started playing back on n64 days and even played the gba titles).. i have to say what you say is totally true lol.

botw world is mostly empty.. yes theres camps to clear .. whcih reward you with a chest.. and yes there are hidden shrines which often have clever and thought provoking physics puzzles that make good use of the various kinetic abilities.. but overall - there weren't any emergent/real time events occurring that make the world feel alive and spontaneous.

something along the lines of RDR2 and even RDR1 felt more alive in this sense of the word..

totally my opinion of course and everyone is entitled to their own.. but botw def gets a halo effect boost because of the IP and rich history it has behind the zelda branding.

-13

u/Alliddboon Dec 08 '21

I only played the game this year and it's one of my favorite games so you're wrong.

3

u/Alliddboon Dec 08 '21

that's how you end up with assassin creed bloat. full of tedious crap

2

u/TheGoldenCaulk Dec 08 '21

That's where balance comes in. I never said to make the map full to the point of bursting. Zelda games aren't the most dense, my point is that they strike the right balance of density.

1

u/Chimwala Dec 10 '21

Yea as much as I think assassins creed Valhalla is great, the open world has no sudden encounters when traversing the land it’s almost sad

1

u/Alliddboon Dec 10 '21

did you play odyssey? Assassin creed gets old when you play more than one game. It's just doing the same thing with different dialogue at a different location.

9

u/AbysmalVixen Dec 08 '21

Open world free roam halo doesn’t seem thematic.

2

u/2222lil Dec 09 '21

Been playing it today and the size feels good. Couldn’t imagine it if it was Zelda sized because I think the time it takes to get around is pretty good.

1

u/Chimwala Dec 10 '21

Does the map feel massive though like the ghost recon maps?

1

u/2222lil Dec 10 '21

Never played those games but it is not massive. alive played Far Cry and Assassins creed games and those maps were wayyyy too big. This one feels just right.

1

u/Chimwala Dec 11 '21

Alright I’ll take you’re word for it. Thank you

2

u/ketamarine Dec 09 '21

Good job' Apparently it's already mostly empty. Quality > quantity.

5

u/Hustler-1 Dec 09 '21

Who thought it was a good idea to make Halo open world? Who asked for this?

Wtf.

3

u/Imaginary_Act5759 Dec 08 '21

Well…. I’m sure this game just went through a narrowing of scope that most games go through. Not every game will come out as it was is the minds of its developers, as I’m sure we all know. I think that this might be a click bait title (classic IGN) that makes you think they made and entire game, then just started going through assets in the final copy and deleting shit (kinda like what they did in destiny). While I believe all games are finished and have one or two things cut like dialogue or in the more extreme maybe a combat sequence. I can definitely say, not “2/3” of the game. Granted I am a piece of shit and I only read the first threee sentences of the article before writing this post SO IGN could go on to say EXACTLY what I just said (I’ll go read the rest when I’m done) making me a dumbass BUT if I know anything about IGN…. It was clickbait.

2

u/InspectorOwn7656 Dec 09 '21

The game's barely open world at all. It's super linear for the 6 hour campaign and the rest of the open world portion is just freeing FOBs, rescuing captured marines and hunting down Elites. All that in a green hilly biome. It takes a handful of minutes tops to drive across the entire map.

1

u/Chimwala Dec 10 '21

See!! And this is the exact same reason why I haven’t played the game yet because they had me pumped that I was going to play a massive open world halo game only to be disappointed that wasn’t true. Smh

0

u/Stoned_Skeleton Dec 09 '21

Isn’t that a good thing? I don’t like long FPS games cause I get the point rather quickly and would rather get the dopamine from completion and if I really like it go again on harder difficulty.

1

u/Biggu5Dicku5 Dec 08 '21

I hope they expand the campaign after launch, but that's probably too much to expect from 343i...

0

u/DYMAXIONman Dec 08 '21

Good. BOTW had a shitty empty world

5

u/samri Dec 09 '21

There is a lot to criticize botw for but I don't think the world is it. Exploring the nooks and crannies and the interesting details put into the main world is what always bring me back to botw, especially when you just want to chill and explore

5

u/DoomPurveyor Dec 09 '21

I wouldn't call it shitty, but definitely underwhelming and empty with super repetitive shrine clearing.

-2

u/SiestaWillNotDie Dec 09 '21

Gotta stop you there mate.

Every shrine, excluding the Tests of Strength, is unique on its own.

"Super Repetitive" isn't the right word for it.

6

u/DoomPurveyor Dec 09 '21

Low-effort reskinned shrines. Super repetitive is exactly the right word for it.

-1

u/Konvic21 3900x@4.3GHz, RTX 2080 Super, 32GB Dec 08 '21

I read the books and was expecting more from the open world version of the ring but its lifeless and I am not going to lie I am a bit sad. I am glad they made a new open world Halo but I expected better.

3

u/tyhiyo3 Dec 08 '21

If it is truly a 10 year game maybe it will get better over time. Hopefully.

1

u/Konvic21 3900x@4.3GHz, RTX 2080 Super, 32GB Dec 08 '21

I hope so, but I am really digging being able to snipe fobs out, my fav halo thing to do lmao

-6

u/JoshuaC4 Dec 08 '21

Good I'm glad I get to feel let down by a game I've not gotten a chance to even play yet. Keep that negative energy flowing.

1

u/Chimwala Dec 10 '21

🤣😂 I hear you

0

u/Radiant_Bed_4999 Dec 09 '21

This probably explains why the over world is so bland they probably used assets from and existing piece of the map and by the lack of diversity only a small piece of the map.

0

u/Stoned_Skeleton Dec 09 '21

Why did you post this twice?

1

u/Equivalent_Alps_8321 Dec 09 '21

Hope it does well enough for more biomes in DLC.

1

u/FrootLoop23 Dec 09 '21

I don't need a giant open world, just for the sake of having a giant open world. Glad they cut it down to make a more focused experience.

1

u/thebogeyman777 Ryzen 5 1600 | EVGA GTX 1660 Dec 10 '21

The open world being smaller is a positive thing (honestly the one we got might still be a bit too large even), but the repetitive environments in the story missions (i.e. the non-open world parts) just drove me up a wall. The exact same rooms, texture for texture, geometry for geometry, appeared so many times in so many places. I felt deja vu in every single level. That's where the game needed more work, not the open world part.