In case you missed the news among The Game Awards hype and Cyberpunk 2077 finally releasing, 343 Industries has shown off another batch of Halo Infinite armor variants that should tickle your fancy. In this month’s Inside Infinite blog post, together with announcing the game’s latest release window of Fall 2021, Lead Progression designer Chris Blohm provides some insight regarding the game’s armor customization options.
Looking back at Halo: Reach‘s “breadth and depth”, he and his team knew that they had to not only return to that level of customization but add more stuff into the game. While they haven’t detailed exactly how many customizable armor pieces are there, Reach‘s influence on the designs is pretty apparent. As you can see below, one of Halo Infinite armor variations even pays tribute to Bungie’s last Halo title using the Noble Defender coating:
To me ‘Reach Customization’ is both the options, helmet, helmet attachment, left shoulder pad, right shoulder pad, as well as the number of individual assets. To dial it in a little, the geo that could be changed or added to in Reach was: Helmet, Helmet Attachment, Chest Gear, Shoulder Pads (left and right), Knee Guards, Wrist Gear, and Utility as well as Visor Color. These will all be back, and we will go further.”
One of the armor and coating showed here will be available as an exclusive bonus to Halo 5 players who have reached SR 152 — or have grinded around 10,000 matches back in the day. This is because 343 Industries believe they didn’t properly reward loyal Halo 5 players and now have learned a lot to better structure player progressions and rewards for their next game. Chris added that he knows he’s still being vague with Halo Infinite armor options, but he wants to “save some surprises” for later while still have some more stuff to show off “soon” as well.
On the other hand, the inclusion of the coating system that replaces previous games’ color options is still a hot topic among fans. Defending their decision again, Chris said that “flat colors” is not good enough for Halo Infinite armor customization. And the coating system lets them create more color variations for armor, weapon, and vehicles faster than “they could create weapon skins in Halo 5“.
In previous Halo titles, we had a series of inputs that were simple RGBs in primary and secondary channels. For Halo Infinite, we didn’t feel that flat colors in a singular pattern were good enough. The coating system allows us to define color, wear and tear, patterns, and materials on a region-by-region basis on the Spartan or anything in the game be it armor, weapons, vehicles, or even environment elements like fuel barrels. To get to our design vision we needed to make an exceedingly difficult decision to move away from a system that was in the game from early days – primary and secondary color. This decision was not made lightly, but it has laid the foundation for greater detail and variation when it comes to color customization.”
With this month’s update, to date 343 Industries has shown six different armor coatings:
- Monarch: Purple
- Red Shift: Red and white
- Scorpion Punch: Dark gray and red
- Noble Defender: Greenish brown and gray
- Splinter Desert: Camo green
- Watchdog: White and dark gray
Do you like how the Halo Infinite armor options are looking so far, especially regarding the coating system? Do you think they could’ve combined it with the classic primary-and-secondary system easily? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.