(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)
What you need to know
- Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries has released a new trailer for the game's third season, Echoes Within.
- The trailer shows several high-tech cosmetics from Season 3's 100-tier Battle Pass, a new Big Team Battle map, two new Arena maps, a new fan-made Forge map that might come to the game's Forge matchmaking playlist, and a Gun Game-style mode called Extraction Slayer.
- The trailer also includes snippets of Season 3's narrative cutscenes, in which Spartan Dinh from Season 2 is presumably "infected" by the Banished AI Iratus. Iratus appears to take control of his armor and body, which may hint at the arrival of the Infection mode or the PvE Extraction mode that was previously leaked.
Ahead of its scheduled arrival on March 7, a trailer for Halo Infinite's third season, Echoes Within, has been shared by developer 343 Industries. In it, fans are given a first look at the content additions coming to the game with Season 3, along with hints about its narrative content. You can watch it in the embed below.
First up: cosmetics. Like earlier seasons, Season 3 will feature a new 100-tier Battle Pass filled with customization items for players to earn and equip on their Spartans. While the trailer didn't show off a ton of these unlocks, the ones that can be seen appear to be very high-tech in nature, with lots of visible wires, holograms, and other fancy gear. These armor unlocks will likely be attached to a new armor core or two, as previous ones have been.
Secondly, the trailer shows off three new maps: a large, relatively flat, and sandy Big Team Battle battleground called Oasis that seems to have an emphasis on vehicle combat, an Arena map named Cliffhanger set at a UNSC facility surrounded by multiple huge boulders, and a narrow Forerunner-themed arena called Chasm with two floors and a massive abyss beneath the map's center bridge. A fan-made Forge map with toy-sized players that's themed after the author's dormitory called Art's Room can also be seen, suggesting that it will be added to Halo Infinite's new Forge matchmaking playlist.
Season 3 is also bringing a game mode from Halo: The Master Chief Collection called Escalation Slayer to Halo Infinite. Players essentially play the classic minigame Gun Game in this mode, as when they score kills, they're given instant access to a new weapon. It seems that they'll occasionally get a fresh Equipment piece, too, as in the video, you can see a player's Repulsor get replaced with a Grappleshot after they get an Overkill.
Additionally, throughout the trailer, the use of two new sandbox items can be seen: the Shroud Screen and the M392 Bandit. The former is an Equipment piece that creates an opaque vision-blocking bubble when used, similar to how smoke grenades work in Counter-Strike and Valorant. The latter is essentially a heavy-hitting DMR from Halo: Reach, but without a scope. Compared to other precision rifles in Halo Infinite like the Battle Rifle and the VK78 Commando, it seems that the M392 Bandit is geared towards close-quarters combat since it doesn't come with a sight of any kind.
At the start and the end of the trailer, teases for Season 3's story can also be observed. Spartan Dinh and the Banished AI Iratus from Season 2 are returning, and based on the cutscenes shown, it looks like Iratus will manage to "infect" Dinh and successfully take control of his armor and body. Some speculate that this could result in the return of the fan-favorite Halo gametype Infection or the introduction of the leaked Extraction PvE mode, but we won't know for sure until the developers share more.
Overall, the trailer and its contents were surprisingly awesome. I haven't been impressed with many of Halo Infinite's live service offerings since it launched in late 2021, but these new maps look great, and I'm happy to see Extraction Slayer come to Infinite since it's a blast to play in MCC. New sandbox items should help keep gameplay fresh, too, and if an Extraction mode is coming, PvE fans like me will finally have something new to enjoy. Things are even looking up on the story side, as the cutscene snippets in the trailer look vastly better than what we got in Season 2.
Halo Infinite is available now on Xbox and PC. Despite its issues, it's one of the best Xbox shooters on the market right now for fans of arena-style FPS combat, and since the multiplayer is free-to-play, there's zero barrier to entry. The campaign is fantastic, too, as it features exhilarating gameplay and an excellent story.