The latest Inside Infinite blog post for Halo Infinite is out now, and it contains a wealth of information and insight about the next-gen Halo game. This latest installment is focused on the game’s audio, but it also served as the reveal of the game’s newest weapon, the Skewer.
A Banished power weapon, the Skewer looks like something out of Gears of War. 343 says this weapon is “savage and violent,” and its audio design matches that. You can hear some audio clips of the newly revealed weapon in the blog post.
“For Banished weapons, we established some core principles to how they should sound. When thinking of Banished the first thing that comes to mind is Brute, the word ‘brute’ is savage and violent, so it only makes sense that is conveyed in the audio with making it sound powerful, animalistic and visceral,” 343 said. “The Banished weaponry has a more primitive feel than some of the other factions so this calls for having a strong sense of organic matter in the content, this helps give a strong grounding and sell the mechanical nature of them.”
The rest of the blog post is a delight, touching on numerous aspects of Halo Infinite’s audio and sound design, while 343 also released some new assets like the video below in which the team uses a piano in … unique ways to capture sounds for Halo Infinite.
Another video–Sounds of Zeta Halo – Forerunner Interior–showcases the moody music from a Forerunner installation. You can listen to this brand-new audio clip below.
Halo fans who want a deep-dive on Halo Infinite’s audio are in for a treat with this blog post, as it goes very deep on the ins and outs of how 343 went about designing the audio and music. The studio pored over feedback from Halo 5 to come up with some tenets for how Halo Infinite should sound.
“We received a variety of great feedback and suggestions, but the highest-level takeaways for us, and our key goals for Halo Infinite, are ‘re-capturing the legacy essence of Halo’ and ‘strengthening the excitement and impact of Halo’s combat.’ With those primary goals established, our team has been passionately working to deliver on our vision as our partner teams around the studio have been bringing Halo Infinite to life,” 343 said.
343 made a big change to the sound effects direction for Halo Infinite to focus on the smaller details such that the game would key in on specific combat sounds “in a clear and impactful way.”
“There are many gun sounds in our game–multiple enemies, teammates, and players are constantly firing weapons. In our past Halo titles, we handled each gun-fire’s listening-volume purely by distance,” 343 said. “So, all gun sound volumes were exactly the same if they’re originating from the same distance. As a result, we had too many loud gun sounds constantly overwhelming a player which made it very difficult to detect true threat position.”
“The new Halo Infinite audio system detects all gun sounds frame by frame, and prioritizes them in a threat order to decide output sound volume for each gun. With this mechanic, if a gunshot is aimed at player, the sound will be louder and if it’s not aimed at player or if it’s a teammate’s gunfire, the sound is still audible but quieter. then you could hear only threat sounds clear. With the cleaner audio feedback, player can ascertain the appropriate threat to make the right action quicker and more accurately, which results in a more immersive and exciting combat experience in Halo Infinite.”
It’s also confirmed in the blog post that Halo Infinite uses various new technology, from Dolby and others, to power and improve the sounds in the next-gen Halo.
“Halo Infinite will be the first Halo title to support the Virtual Surround Sound technologies Dolby Atmos, Windows Sonic, and DTS Headphone:X. These spatial audio technologies allow us to make sounds feel like they’re playing from behind or above you, when you’re only wearing stereo headphones,” Microsoft said.
This is just a small taste of what the full blog post delivers in terms of context and insight on Halo Infinite’s music and sound design. Check out the full post here to learn lots more.
After a delay, Halo Infinite releases in Fall 2021 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. It will be included on Xbox Game Pass for no extra charge to subscribers. Additionally, the multiplayer element is free-to-play (supported by microtransactions).
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