A hot potato: Did you watch Microsoft's Xbox Games Showcase yesterday? While there were some exciting reveals, most people are talking about Halo Infinite---though not for the right reasons. The title will be one of the Xbox Series X launch titles, yet it didn't exactly ooze next-gen graphical quality. But Microsoft insists it will look a lot better when released.
The Halo Infinite demo certainly stirred feelings of nostalgia for those who remember the first game on the original Xbox. But rose-tinted glasses can't hide the fact that compared to some of the other next-gen titles we've seen, it didn't look that visually impressive.
Much like the recent Crysis Remastered reveal, a lot of people have compared Halo Infinite to a fan mod. That's something Microsoft doesn't want to hear---Crytek delayed the launch of Crysis in response to the negative feedback.
According to Xbox Marketing Manager Aaron Greenberg, however, the demo is an early build, and those who watched the stream in 1080p should watch the 4K/60fps version (below) to get a better idea of what to expect.
"We're in the middle of a global pandemic. It's July, we're far from Holiday, you're seeing a work-in-progress game," said Greenberg, in an interview with Inside Gaming's Alanah Pearce. "That said, you've probably watched the stream in 1080p, maybe. So we've put up a 4K 60[fps] on-demand stream. Go look at the game in 4K and 60FPS."
If you've watched the 4K/60fps clip on the Xbox channel, you'll know it is an improvement over the lower-res/framerate stream, obviously, but it's still far from mind-blowing.
I sincerely hope these are not the graphics we will see in the final version of Halo Infinite.--- The Act Man (@TheActMan_YT) July 23, 2020
I know it was a 'demo' but this doesn't look next-gen. This doesn't look like it's being powered by "the world's most powerful console." pic.twitter.com/Yg5BxrS4kf
"It's very hard to show the full power and graphic fidelity of what Xbox Series X will be able to deliver for you over a stream. So go back and look at it in 4K and 60 fps," reiterated Greenberg.
Some viewers had problems with the art style, which at times was a bit too cartoonish and made objects appear fake, while the very blocky rocks definitely don't scream next-generation graphical fidelity.
Could it be that in Microsoft's quest to make a Halo game that scales across everything from the Xbox One to PCs of all specs, Halo Infinite on the Xbox Series X will look like something from a couple of years ago? Hopefully, things will have improved by the time it launches.