Halo Infinite has come a long way since the days of Craig

Halo Infinite screenshots
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The campaign launch trailer for Halo Infinite has been posted to the official Halo YouTube channel, and it's a gorgeous preview of what to expect when the game's campaign launches on December 8, 2021 for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC, as well as for Xbox Game Pass subscribers on day one at no extra cost.

Originally set to launch in 2020, Halo Infinite was pushed back a year following criticisms of the game's lacklustre presentation and visual fidelity. That original gameplay showing gave birth to the now infamous Craig meme, a Brute that when paused at a certain frame looked like he'd jump straight out of the Xbox 360 era.

Thankfully, Halo Infinite's prospects are looking much better now than they did last year. The game's multiplayer component launched early in November 2021, and hit a peak concurrent player count of 272,000 on Steam alone. Additionally, in our initial Halo Infinite campaign preview, we couldn't sing enough praises about 343 Industries' refreshed approach to designing a single player Halo experience.

The Halo Infinite campaign launch trailer itself is packed with a ton of action, despite the short 2-and-a-half minute length. Running at a buttery smooth 60fps, we're treated to the game's stunning visual overhaul while the Master Chief takes the fight to the Banished (a coalition of remnant Brute and Covenant forces).

It's already a far cry from the phoned-in campaign of Halo 5: Guardians, as we see John-117 fight both on foot and in iconic Halo vehicles like the Scorpion tank and the ever-reliable Warthog. This, combined with a look at new toys like the Grappleshot deliver an exciting trailer that surely only scratches the surface of what we can expect when Halo Infinite launches next week.

Welcome back, Spartan

The last few years has been fairly tumultuous for Halo fans. As mentioned, Halo 5's co-op centric campaign was a massive disappointment for many, stringing together mostly linear missions in a non-cohesive fashion, recycling the same boring Promethean enemies ad nauseum and taking the series' plot in a confusing, confounding direction.

While Halo Wars 2 and Halo: The Master Chief Collection have somewhat been able to pick up the slack in recent years, fans have been left wanting for a truly excellent game ever since Bungie's superlative Halo Reach. 343 Industries might just have taken this objective to heart, as Halo Infinite's campaign looks to be extremely promising based on our short time with the preview.

It's not all roses, unfortunately. Despite getting what looks to be a brilliant campaign paired with an already brilliant multiplayer suite, Halo Infinite won't quite be complete at launch. The co-op campaign option isn't being added until 2022, alongside the series' staple Forge mode that allows players to build their own multiplayer maps and modes. 

There's still plenty to chew through on day one, of course, but the lack of two of Halo's mainstays at launch is undeniably disappointing. Still, we're hoping that the extra development time granted to co-op and Forge can result in the best versions of them yet when they're added to Halo Infinite next year.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.