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Public Service Announcement: Halo Infinite's plot has leaked.


Wahwah*
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Subtitle: 343 Industries are Cursed and inept. 

 

Leaked isn't quite the right way to describe what  happened, but it's quicker than saying "343 industries included the plot to Halo Infinite in the  files of the 'technical test' that 343 were in control of and distributed to over 100,000 people."

 

I've long defended 343 and felt that games they'd put out would have been better received had it said Bungie on the box, I really think they get some unfair criticism (not all, but at least some). I sympathise with 343 for being surely pressed by Microsoft to get The Master Chief Collection out the door before it was ready in order to prop up the Xbox One's disastrous launch.  What's more,  I think the Halo community cannot be appeased, no one game is universally praised or one feature set, TTK or whatever else agreed to be the correct iteration. All of that, I think they get a raw deal on.

 

But, when I see this from last year:

Halo_Infinite_2020_Ascension_Demo_Campai

An approved screenshot from 343's press office. I ask "what the fuck are they doing?" Like, even if the game looks like that sometimes, that cannot be how it looks all the time. There must be better shots to show. Putting a shot like that out isn't promotion,  it's sabotage.   It was someone's job to pick screenshots.  A job that they pay rent or a mortgage with. That's the shot they chose? How is that possible? 

 

Right now, here's what Halo's community manager is saying:

 

 

The line from a 343 industries is "mute all mentions of our -delayed by around a year- game that still doesn't have a release date." 

 

Incredible. Is there any developer as well resourced but simultaneously constantly on the back foot? What about that but taking aim at their other foot at the same time? 

 

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This is unfortunate, but hardly unique to 343, surely? Big games get leaked and data mined all the time, ie Last of Us 2, Destiny, etc. It even happened to Nintendo.  

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1 hour ago, Wahwah* said:

Subtitle: 343 Industries are Cursed and inept. 

 

Leaked isn't quite the right way to describe what  happened, but it's quicker than saying "343 industries included the plot to Halo Infinite in the  files of the 'technical test' that 343 were in control of and distributed to over 100,000 people."

 

I've long defended 343 and felt that games they'd put out would have been better received had it said Bungie on the box, I really think they get some unfair criticism (not all, but at least some). I sympathise with 343 for being surely pressed by Microsoft to get The Master Chief Collection out the door before it was ready in order to prop up the Xbox One's disastrous launch.  What's more,  I think the Halo community cannot be appeased, no one game is universally praised or one feature set, TTK or whatever else agreed to be the correct iteration. All of that, I think they get a raw deal on.

 

But, when I see this from last year:

Halo_Infinite_2020_Ascension_Demo_Campai

An approved screenshot from 343's press office. I ask "what the fuck are they doing?" Like, even if the game looks like that sometimes, that cannot be how it looks all the time. There must be better shots to show. Putting a shot like that out isn't promotion,  it's sabotage.   It was someone's job to pick screenshots.  A job that they pay rent or a mortgage with. That's the shot they chose? How is that possible? 

 

Right now, here's what Halo's community manager is saying:

 

 

The line from a 343 industries is "mute all mentions of our -delayed by around a year- game that still doesn't have a release date." 

 

Incredible. Is there any developer as well resourced but simultaneously constantly on the back foot? What about that but taking aim at their other foot at the same time? 

 


I mean the answer is obvious. Bonny needs to be on Bezos #2 the point of no return. Having played the tech test i am genuinely worried they’ve fucked Halo into the ground. 5 was so good and this is pish.

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I looked these up because the campaigns have never got me particularly invested since the first one, and it seems to be a list of mission names and objectives that is indistinguishable from the output of a neural network trained on existing Halo mission names and objectives. I genuinely couldn’t tell you if they were even in the right order.

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Anyone know exactly what files were extracted in order to reveal these plot points?

 

Was it the text of cutscene subtitles? (Presumably that would be the most spoilery thing possible?)

Mission names?

Achievements?

 

And why did they even include single-player files in this multiplayer test?

 

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Just imagine three sides of A4 like this actual excerpt.*
 

Spoiler

838221727 Lead the Obfuscator to the Realm of Banjos

58372639472 Capture Firebase Sausage

8675309 ”Whoops, I pressed the wrong button.”

102938372 Reload ammunition.


*Not an actual excerpt.

 

Edit - Not that I’d recommend trying to dig it up, if you pay attention it’s possible to carefully deduce that 

 

Spoiler

someone who worked on Destiny probably wrote it.

 

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I know someone who is deeply invested in the Halo story, its lore, and holds it up as a bastion of great sci-fi.

 

As someone who played Halo religiously up to Reach, solely for the campaigns, and yet can't remember the plot outside of CE (and the fact that the Arbiter is Keith David, a deeply significant piece of world building), I find that perspective slightly bemusing.

 

Still, though. 34 novels. Crikey. I'm sure some people will be upset by the spoilers.

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2 hours ago, K said:

This is unfortunate, but hardly unique to 343, surely? Big games get leaked and data mined all the time, ie Last of Us 2, Destiny, etc. It even happened to Nintendo.  


It’s a wee bit different surely, because in this case 343 have effectively leaked it themselves, they weren’t hacked. Quite embarrassing. 

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6 minutes ago, Wiper said:

Still, though. 34 novels. Crikey. I'm sure some people will be upset by the spoilers.

 

I suspect there are some people who'll don't particularly care about knowing plot points in advance, but do care a lot if any of them don't precisely match the details of a novel released 15 years ago.

 

Remember Reach.

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I’ve played all the Halo games and all I remember about any plot is there was a comedy crocodile thing in a cut-scene that had a crown and looked a bit like Gex.

 

Apart from that, shoot baddies, get from A to B.

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7 minutes ago, Nick R said:

 

I suspect there are some people who'll don't particularly care about knowing plot points in advance, but do care a lot if any of them don't precisely match the details of a novel released 15 years ago.

 

Remember Reach.


I am actually really pleased that obsessive single issue web sites like this still exist.

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There's a decent framing story for a series of shooters buried somewhere deep in the Halo lore. It's just always needed a ruthless editor with a butcher knife to hack away at it.

 

The 343 era games feel like they're written by someone whose understanding of storytelling starts and ends with Marvel comics big summer events. Which in all fairness, is probably because it was.

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1 hour ago, Popo said:


It’s a wee bit different surely, because in this case 343 have effectively leaked it themselves, they weren’t hacked. Quite embarrassing. 


It’s not that different. Destiny, Warzone and Fortnite have all had upcoming plotlines and events revealed through datamining. I seem to recall that details of the plot of Resident Evil 7 were found out ahead of time by people datamining the demo. It happens a lot - it’s obviously not ideal, but also not that out of the ordinary. I imagine this kind of datamining is hard to prevent (or at least, the developers have higher priorities, like finishing the game). 

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