Microsoft and others have confirmed that the campaign story missions in Halo Infinite cannot be replayed on the same save file.
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Taking place five years after Halo 5, Halo Infinite’s campaign will see players fight against the Banished on Zeta Halo while finding out what happened to Master Chief’s AI partner, Cortana.
Unlike previous entries in the series, the game’s campaign will be more akin to an open-world rather than a linear adventure, allowing players to take on almost any challenge outside of story missions – such as taking enemy bases, saving allies, and finding weapons and vehicles to use – in any order or way they wish.
This open world approach has seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to the release of numerous indie survival and exploration games, and similar such major titles as Minecraft and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
However, there is one caveat with Halo Infinite’s campaign that may be a deal breaker to some, as Polygon reports that story missions cannot be replayed on the same save file.
While players are free to return to areas and find hidden items, there will be no way to trigger story missions again after completing them.
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Thus, those who want to access past story missions will have to replay the entire game. This is a far cry from past Halo games, where players could easily select and jump into the story mission of their choice after having completed it once.
Other open-world titles sometimes feature ways to replay activities, side-quests, and even story missions. In games such as Saints Row: The Third or Red Faction Guerrilla, the local area loads in a special state just for that mission, allowing it to be loaded up again for replaying.
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Further confusing matters is the fact that Halo Infinite’s are reportedly structured akin to previous entries in the series, as Eurogamer reports that main quest missions are “siphoned off” from the rest of the world, inside Forerunner structures.
However, the outlet does note that “Objectives set outside on the open-world are, once complete, changed, and you’re unable to give them another go within the same campaign run.”
Further, they suggest that this design choice may lead to collectibles being missed, though it should be noted that Skulls players have earned are tied to their account, and thus can be carried over to other save files.
In response to concerns over Halo Infinite’s lack of story mission replay options, a Microsoft representative confirmed to Polygon that “the postgame does give you the option to keep exploring the wider environment, for missions like the first two, where you’re not on thIe ring yet, you can’t replay from the same save file.”
“You’d be able to get any remaining FOBs, targets, [and] audio logs, but the main story missions would not repeat,” he added.
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However, 343 Industries Associate Creative Director Paul Crocker later told The Verge that the studio was taking steps to rectify this problem, stating, “We haven’t announced a date but that is being worked on.”
“We want to have replay that works well, and when you have a more open game, it gets a lot trickier,” Crocker explained. “So we made a decision to improve the quality of the single-player campaign to ensure that, as a foundation, that it’s as strong as it possibly could be so that we could then add the other features back in.”
343 Industries previously announced that campaign co-op and the Forge map-making mode would not be available at launch, for similar reasons of wanting to improve the base experience of the game.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Head of Creative Joseph Staten confirmed that campaign co-op would be delayed to May 2022 at best, and Forge mode to Summer 2022.