Every year E3 brings new news, games and an incredibly high level of excitement to the gaming community. One other element that it brings is leaks. Very rarely do real leaks get posted and when they do, it’s extremely hard to believe them. Last week a leak was posted online for Halo Infinite. The leak apparently details what 343 Industries will show at the Xbox Media Briefing on June 9th. It is important to take these leaks with a grain of salt and to look at them in detail. To do so, a full breakdown of the leak is required.
The Halo Infinite Leak
The Halo Infinite leak has many lines of information, some more interesting than others. It is constructed in a way that instantly makes it seem recognisable as a fake leak. Very obscure details followed by very obvious reveals allows the leak to seem somewhat legitimate whilst keeping readers wondering if the content is true. The issue with this leak is that it tries too hard to talk about obscure details. I have altered the format of the leak to make it easier to read. The leak reads as follows;
343 insider here, got some general info about the direction and gameplay style in Infinite. Here is the 343 E3 presentation summarised basically. Sprint is in. Ground pound and Spartan charge are out. Clamber is in, but it’s used more sparingly in map design. Slide is in. Hover is out. E3 demo takes place on the Halo Ring, as chief rescuing a squad of marines from a forerunner tower in the forest (think halo ce level 2). Shows off open levels, NOT open world, just really big maps which are revisited and used in many ways/changed. Shows off new graphics, Flora&fauna.
Encounters CORTANA’S COVENANT. Shows off new AI, brutes are emphasised as returning, callbacks to H3. Promethean Knight is used as a boss encounter, very powerful more so than H5. Shows off new weapons, brute explosive sniper, Forerunner beamsplitter. A mysterious robotic character communicates to chief in his radio. Demo ends when they stumble onto village of farming humans and hobbits, marines crack joke, pelican touches down in distance.
2 multiplayer maps are shown. One of them is a Valhalla remake, revealed to be part of a large “forge world” open map, that shares area with the campaign map we saw. Other map is a small snow-themed map underneath a big glacier, ice caves forerunner tunnels ect. (Shows off snow deformation). MP info ends there but they promise “huge new modes” that will let you play Halo in ways you never have before, and modes you have enjoyed for years already. Teaser with elites and hunters approaching red/blue mp spartans, Spartans act shocked. Release slated for late 2020. Cross-gen, made for Xbone but runs enhanced on new gen.
The Noticeable Errors
When trying to create or post a leak, be it false or real, wording is vital. Sometimes the smallest of clues allow readers to determine if the leak is real or fake. This Halo Infinite leak is no different and looking into it reveals a very large amount of errors.
Looking at the very first line, there are some words and phrases used that immediately tell any hardcore Halo fan this might not be real. The statement “343 Insider here” is one of those phrases. If this leak was real, then there is no doubt that the employee would say that they were an employee. Calling themselves an insider almost immediately takes away from the legitimacy of this leak for multiple reasons. The first reason being that it helps the writer distance themselves with the leak, meaning it is more unlikely that they’d be in the position to make it in the first place. The second reason is the fact that the Halo Infinite Insider Program is a well known upcoming program that has yet to be released. Not only does it seem like an attempt to sound more legitimate, but it also is near impossible to be true, since the Halo Infinite Insider Program has absolutely not started yet.
Another major issue in the first sentence is that the leaker says they have “general info” about Halo Infinite and yet they go on to list very specific information to the gameplay styles of the game. The very last sentence also raises questions. With the next gen Xbox consoles rumoured to be releasing in 2020, there is absolutely no reason that Halo Infinite would be made for the Xbox One and yet release as a launch title for next gen. This is one of the most obvious issues with this leak.
Overly Obvious Points
One main element of making a believable leak is to make at least some of it one hundred percent believable. Be it with information that has already been revealed or information that is near guaranteed to be true. This Halo Infinite leak is no exception and is filled with points that have either been previously talked about, or are incredibly likely to happen.
The Spartan Abilities are extremely easy to predict. “Sprint is in. Ground pound and Spartan charge are out. Clamber is in, but it’s used more sparingly in map design. Slide is in. Hover is out.” These are all points that just about every Halo fan has been saying since Halo Infinite was announced. Sprint was almost always guaranteed to stay in Halo, as 343 Industries have made it clear that Halo Infinite is a hybrid of styles and will not fully return to Bungie era Halo gameplay.
Ground pound and Spartan charge were heavily disliked in Halo 5, so those features being removed are once again a likely scenario. Clamber returning in Infinite was also likely to happen and the point about it being “used more sparingly in map design” seems very strange, since it is a gameplay mechanic and as such would need to be integrated into map design regardless. Slide returning to Halo Infinite was another almost guaranteed feature if sprint was also returning.
The main issue is the last spartan ability. The leaker names this ability “Hover”. As most Halo 5 players will know, the correct term for the ability is Stabilise. If this leaker was a 343 Industries Employee, the only people with access to the game, then they would without a doubt know the names of the abilities being used or altered. This is another sign that the leak is not legitimate, but is instead relying on some very obvious reveals to help the credibility of the leak. Another obvious detail is that 343 Industries will “Shows off new graphics, Flora&fauna.” If gameplay is shown, this is already a guaranteed point. It would not need to be mentioned in a leak. The same applies for the “Shows off new AI” statement.
Aside from the Spartan Ability details, another detail that may be obscure to some Halo fans is “Encounters CORTANA’S COVENANT”. Those who keep up to date with Halo lore will no doubt see this as, once again, a very obvious element that will no doubt feature in Halo Infinite. To those who don’t know anything about the lore though, this may seem somewhat mysterious and as such, make the entire leak seem more believable. As mentioned in one of the previous articles regarding the Halo Infinite Antagonists, Cortana has already put together her own faction. This faction, The Created, does include some species previously involved with the Covenant, such as the Grunts. However, the faction that Cortana leads, as previously mentioned, is named The Created. Naming this faction “Cortana’s Covenant” seems to be forcing partially true information into a potentially incorrect line of thought, leading readers to believe that there might be more to already established Halo lore.
One point that this leak tries to emphasis many times is that Halo Infinite will have many callbacks. The majority of these callbacks are more than likely completely false information and are simply written in the leak to entice readers to share the leak with others. The first callback is in regards to the campaign “E3 demo takes place on the Halo Ring, as chief rescuing a squad of marines from a forerunner tower in the forest (think halo ce level 2).” Whilst this may seem like a very specific E3 demo, it is actually extremely vague. Not only does the leak not specify Zeta Halo, but the entire scenario is entirely bland. If the leaker had truly played or witnessed this gameplay, then more specific details could have been given.
The reason this scenario was mentioned is to give the reader a feeling of nostalgia. This feeling helps fans picture this gameplay scenario and adds weight to this leak being legitimate. Moving onto the next statement which reads “Shows off open levels, NOT open world, just really big maps which are revisited and used in many ways/changed.” is yet another callback. It is referring to Halo Combat Evolved style levels. Fans have been asking for more open levels for a very long time. Whilst this point is likely to be true, it does not add legitimacy to the leak. The leaker is simply once again using obvious information and speculation in hopes to persuade readers that the entire leak is real.
A very clear example of callbacks and likely information being used together is the “brutes are emphasised as returning, callbacks to H3” statement. Brutes are almost guaranteed to return in Halo Infinite as part of The Banished. The “callbacks to H3” statement seems extremely forced and unnecessary from both a leak perspective and a gameplay demo perspective.
“Promethean Knight is used as a boss encounter, very powerful moreso than H5.” Could also been seen as a callback. This statement seems to refer to Promethean Knights as they were in Halo 4. It is not unlikely that they will become a strong foe once again in Halo Infinite, but the chances of Promethean Knights being used as boss encounters are small, as fans already have an established understanding of the Promethean enemies.
The callback attempts continue into the multiplayer details. When talking about the multiplayer maps, the leak mentions that “One of them is a Valhalla remake.” This may be the strongest evidence that the leaker is using near guaranteed reveals as a way to make the leak seem more legitimate. Valhalla is a Halo 3 map that was heavily inspired by Blood Gulch. In a previous article about Halo maps that should return for Halo Infinite, Blood Gulch was first on the list. The map has had remakes in every Halo game, so stating that it would also have some sort of remake in Halo Infinite is one of the easiest guesses a Halo fan could make.
The next part of the sentence reads “part of a large “forge world” open map, that shares area with the campaign map we saw.” Forge world was one of the most loved features in Halo Reach Forge mode, so it is clear that fans would want this large open space back. The end of the sentence is what makes the entire statement seem false. “Part of a large “forge world” open map, that shares area with the campaign map we saw” suggests that campaign and multiplayer will be integrated into one space at one point in time. Something that is highly unlikely to ever happen in Halo due to the Arena Shooter style of the multiplayer.
The final callback that many may have missed is “”huge new modes” that will let you play Halo in ways you never have before.” This is near identical to the statement that was made for Halo 5s Warzone mode upon its release. This repetitive nature of the statement is unlikely to be stated at E3 and as such seems like a generic sentence that the leaker wanted to add into the leak.
Far Too Obscure
Unlike adding very obvious elements in a leak to make it seem believable, adding obscure information is just as important. The only problem with doing so with Halo fans is that a lore expert will easily debunk any potentially false information. This has been the case on social media, as fans of the Halo lore quickly called out this leak for being fake. The sentences that was called out was “Shows off new weapons, brute explosive sniper, Forerunner beamsplitter. A mysterious robotic character communicates to chief in his radio. Demo ends when they stumble onto village of farming humans and hobbits, marines crack joke, pelican touches down in distance.”
The weapons are the most obvious attempts at being obscure. Not many fans may know, but a Brute explosive sniper was actually cut from Halo 5. It was found by modders and is known to have been developed in the past. Adding cut content from previous games is an easy way to make the leak seem more believable, as the leaker has done here. The “Forerunner beamsplitter” sounds extremely similar to that of the current Promethean Sniper, the Binary Rifle. Beamsplitter just sounds like a description of how the Binary Rifle works, rather than a completely new weapon, so this is highly unlikely to be true.
The next sentence “A mysterious robotic character communicates to chief in his radio” is again an attempt to touch on obscure lore. Since the leak does not add specific character details, it leaves the possibilities open for fans to discuss. Halo has many robotic style characters both in games and in the additional lore. This statement simply exists so that further speculation can be made. “An unknown character speaks” is essentially what this statement says and adds nothing of interest to the leak for those who have done some research. Many other previous leaks have also mentioned that characters such as Mendicant Bias may be seen in future Halo games, although this is once again a suggestion for the sake of discussion, rather than an accurate leak.
Moving onto perhaps the most obviously fake part of the leak is the final sentence of the demo. “Demo ends when they stumble onto village of farming humans and hobbits, marines crack joke, pelican touches down in distance.” This statement touches on the possibility of ancient humans taking part in Halo Infinite. Ancient humans have been a part of multiple Halo books in the past, so trying to link them into Infinite is no stretch. It encourages readers to state that “It lines up with what we know.” However, this is once again stretching to make obscure details seem relevant. In truth a few notes about Halo Primordium would allow any fan to write a leak that could seem somewhat convincing when referring to the obscure points alone.
The final obscure point is regarding a multiplayer map. “Other map is a small snow-themed map underneath a big glacier, ice caves forerunner tunnels etc.” This is actually very similar to the Halo 4 map Meltdown. A map that many are likely to forget. Meltdown features ice caves and forerunner tunnels. The statement also has similarities to the Halo 2 Anniversary map Lockdown, which is a small snow-theme map underneath a big glacier. The multiplayer map described in the leak sounds near identical to already existing maps and as such the information seems very unreliable.
Overall, the Halo leak seems to be a somewhat poor attempt at giving false information to fans. Whilst the leaker may have had good intentions for hyping up both Halo Infinite and E3, it also without a doubt causes a lot of issues for the handful of points that may be true. What are your opinions on the leak? Should we encourage leaks of all kind, or call out leaks and ban them? You can let us know on the Gaming Instincts Twitter and keep up to date on Halo at Gaming Instincts.