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Preview Purview

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ISSUE 119

Welcome back! I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited about the particular moment in time we find ourselves. American football has kicked back off, playoff baseball is nigh, the leaves are changing, the weather is cooling, and there’s some sort of new sci-fi video game coming out soon as well. Spacehoop Eternal I think it’s called? As many of you are already well aware, we’re in the midst of a double-header weekend of flighting for Halo Infinite multiplayer, which means that more and more people are able to get their hands on more and more of the game as we hurtle towards the ever-impending December 8 launch date. With that all in mind, we thought we’d take a few moments (if you have them to spare, that is) to catch you up on some recent and/or upcoming elements you’ll be interacting with during your flight time. Unfortunately, none of them will be a “Wet Floor” sign.

TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

One of Halo’s greatest qualities is the underlying sense of “belonging” even the smallest object can seem to possess. Whether it’s hopping in a vehicle, picking up a new weapon or piece of equipment, or even just taking a good long look at some well-designed space crates, the universe always seems to try and help you feel at home in it—even if that also involves running for your life from encroaching aliens or enemy fireteams. The latest Halo Infinite multiplayer flights have added a few new sandbox items to encounter, both from last weekend’s Arena focus to the upcoming Big Team Battle bonanza. Let’s take a look at some of their underlying lore!

SCORPION

M808 Main Battle Tank

Widely considered the apex of UNSC tank design, the M808 is effectively a massive mobile battle platform armed with an M512 smoothbore heavy cannon and supplementary machine gun for ancillary engagements.

SHOCK RIFLE

Sicatt Workshop Volt Piercer

Charged and maintained at local armory outposts, the Shock Rifle is a long-range Banished electrolaser, the latest in a long line of experimental voltaic appli­cation devices that represent some of the only remaining vestiges of the Jiralhanae’s own great technological age.

HEATWAVE

Once employed by Forerunner Warrior-Servants, the Heatwave is a robust hard light projector that fires multiple energized shards which can effectively slice through living creatures while bouncing off dense terrain or architecture. Equipped with alternate firing modes that allow its wielder to tune the weapon’s variable impact geometry on demand.  

PLAY PLACES

One of the best things about multiplayer maps is that they provide an opportunity to explore different locations or scenarios that you might not necessarily see otherwise. Two of the maps encountered in the current flight do just that, giving their own unique glimpses of Installation 07, inspiring players to ponder the form and function laid out before them.

FRAGMENTATION

Set within one of Zeta Halo’s myriad canyons, Fragmentation is rife with enigmatic elements to take in and mull over. From ancient artifacts and nebulous nodes to networked beacons channeling untold energies, this map is one to add plenty of wonder to the wander.

BEHEMOTH

Amidst the backdrop of a vast desert landscape, Behemoth offers a glimpse at one of Zeta Halo’s tectonic fabrication seams—architectural features built to serve a multitude of parallel purposes, from remediation to transportation.

And speaking of Behemoth, content creator Sierra I07 put together a really awesome ambient edit of the map featuring some perfectly-fitting Halo Infinite music. Definitely check it out for the full vibe.

FROM ART TO FINISH

In case you missed it, last week we released a hefty collection of concept art from The Art of Halo Infinite book, showcasing a host of early explorations into the game’s development. There’s nothing specifically story-spoilery in there, but it does give further insight into the intention and “feel” of Halo Infinite and its particular pocket in the universe. If nothing else, there is some primo desktop wallpaper material in here, that’s for sure.

Check out some of the available pieces below, and if it strikes your fancy, you can download the collection here: 4K Zip File | HD Zip File

And of course, you can preorder a copy of the upcoming art book yourself right here.

RESOURCE INTENSIVE

Recently, community story stalwart Alex “Haruspis” Wakeford put together a monumental resource that helps summarize and catch folks up on basically every piece of Halo media available. It’s a brilliant exploration for fans both new and old, and it’s a great way to pass the time as you await the arrival of Halo Infinite’s campaign experience this December. If you haven’t checked it out yet, make sure you go do so on previouslyonhalo.com.

CANON, CURATION, AND CURIOSITY

Today’s edition is a bit of a special milestone I must say. Last week happened to mark the seventh anniversary(!) of the Canon Fodder blog series, which saw its first issue drop on Sept 24, 2014, during the lead-up to Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It’s been an epic adventure so far, and I certainly hope it will be around for many more issues and anniversaries to come. In thinking back on its run thus far, it’s only fitting that we now find ourselves in the midst of another runway to launch—this time for an adventure taking us to, fittingly enough, Installation 07. With Halo Infinite primed to introduce fans to a host of new moments, memories, and mysteries, and across more platforms and places to play than ever, it’s expected that we likely have plenty of new readers coming on board—both in recent months and still to come. With that in mind I thought it might be a good time to offer a bit of a refresher on not just the feature itself and its purview, but also on the nature of Halo’s lore and universe all up.

Long-time readers of this feature will no doubt have a good idea of what to expect from these particular pages (and this particular penman, for that matter). Canon Fodder was an idea that was built from the very beginning to look at the Halo franchise specifically through the lens of its lore, making fiction the foundational focus no matter what subject we tackled. Sometimes it was diving deep into hard core canon and continuity questions or looking closer at a particular event or element to offer new insight into its story significance. We’ve offered both elucidations and revelations alike, but we’ve also taken the opportunity to put a fiction-focused spin on other aspects of the brand. We interviewed real-life star-searching scientists to get their thoughts on the relationship between science and science fiction. We asked Halo pro players what their favorite campaign and story-related aspects of Halo were to celebrate the Season 1 Finals of the then-fledgling Halo Championship Series. And of course we’ve covered cross-over adventures with the likes of Killer Instinct, Gears of War, Rocket League, and more. Over the years, this feature has also become a go-to outlet for announcements and reveals of new story-related products, from new novels and comics to guidebooks and gear. Canon Fodder is a celebration of all things Halo, as viewed from a tailored perspective specifically aimed at fiction-focused fans.

Let’s talk about Halo fiction for a moment though. For newcomers, it might be daunting to dwell on the prospect of a universe with so much “established” detail and history. It can definitely seem like a lot. Fortunately, you have official outlets like this one alongside scores of others across the incredible Halo “lore” community all eager to welcome folks in to discuss and learn, from blogs and forums to YouTube channels and podcasts. And if you’re unsure what we mean by “canon,” it’s essentially the curated collection of “official” fiction and story elements, which includes a mix of games, novels, reference books, and comics, as well as various “linear media” elements like animated features, live action mini-series, and even certain marketing trailers and content. Part of what makes the Halo universe so enthralling is that very history. The depth that seems to always give you more to look for, to discuss and discover. Of course, even for old veterans there’s always more to learn. Sometimes it’s easy to make assumptions or jump to certain conclusions, but it’s always good to remember that world-building and storytelling in a universe as vast as Halo is an incredibly complex endeavor, and that surprises can be around any corner—no matter how long you’ve been exploring that universe.

And with that, we draw today’s edition to a close. Thanks for spending the last seven years reading these crazy love-letters to lore, and here’s to at least another seven more! So don’t think we’re going anywhere. We have a lot to discuss in the coming age—new moments, new memories, new mysteries. Actually that also reminds me, we have another book coming up soon so we should talk about that a bit more in the nearish future, shouldn't we?

In the meantime, go read the latest Inside Infinite article and also check out the most recent Technical Preview Overview to get updated on all the current flighting information. And when you're ready, grab a fireteam, check your schedules, and go put your new Mjolnir to the test!

Until next time… Live well, play Halo, and always be ready to learn new things.

<3 Grim

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