Halo Infinite Graphics Problem Can Be Fixed, According to Experts
This past week’s Xbox Games Showcase gave us a taste of what’s to come for Microsoft’s premiere next-gen console, the Xbox Series X. As there’s nothing that could possibly go better with a new Xbox console than the latest game in the seminal Halo franchise, it was hardly a surprise that we were treated to over 11 whole minutes of new gameplay and campaign footage from the upcoming Halo Infinite, which showed off everything from Grunt-throwing-Brutes to the series’ first jab at an open-world direction.
Though Halo Infinite is slated to release on both Microsoft’s current-gen Xbox One and the upcoming next-gen Xbox Series X, fans excited for the latest and greatest Xbox experience have noticed something a little off about what was shown in those new trailers, quickly taking to social media to air complaints (h/t Metro for the roundup) that Microsoft and Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries haven’t ventured far enough outside of the technical bounds of what was already possible with the Xbox One.
Given that PS4-exclusive The Last of Us 2 offered visuals that are far more detailed, in practice, than what was shown off in anticipation of Halo Infinite, criticism of the new trailers isn’t exactly unprecedented from those seeking the shiniest graphical fidelity in their next-gen box.
In response, Alex Battaglia from Digital Foundry has created an 18-minute-long analysis of this issue, clearly laying out how games like Halo Infinite use the same dynamic ‘global illumination’ style of lighting that’s been popular in games since around Far Cry 3‘s release in 2012, which can cause characters and objects to glow, and specific details to become almost invisible when the character or object enters a dark scene or moves into a covered area. You can watch the video right here:
Battaglia goes in-depth, eventually reaching the conclusion that Halo Infinite is constrained by its own ambition to maintain a strict 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, and that a catch-all solution that could appease Xbox Series X players without alienating Halo Infinite‘s Xbox One audience could be as simple as a ray-traced global illumination method released exclusively for the Xbox Series X.
Ray-traced global illumination, also known colloquially as ‘ray-tracing’ in the gaming community, has been at the forefront of PC gaming discourse for the past several years. First appearing in PC releases of games like Metro Exodus and Control, and only being available to those who could afford expensive Nvidia RTX graphics cards, ray-tracing has largely been sworn off by those less inclined to drop $1000+ on a capable gaming PC. Now that both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are confirmed to ship with ray-tracing capabilities, developers may soon begin pushing the technology at a larger scale.
Luckily, there’s already hope for a ray-tracing solution to appear in Halo Infinite at some point after its launch. In an interview with IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews Ryan McCaffrey, Halo Infinite studio head Chris Lee has stated that Halo Infinite will be updated indefinitely, which could bode well for those waiting on ray-tracing to appear in the game.
343 Industries Community Manager Brian Jarrard has already given a nudge and a wink to the Halo fanbase on Twitter, playing slyly off of the ‘Craig the Brute’ meme that’s been making the rounds since Halo Infinite‘s new gameplay footage went live on July 23.
There is currently no set-in-stone release date for Halo Infinite, which is currently slated to release later this year on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Windows 10 via Xbox Game Pass.