The studio’s campaign co-op flight preview stream starred community director Brian Jarrard, campaign lead designer John Mulkey, campaign lead engineer Isaac Bender, and program manager Ron Brown. All four appear in-game as Master Chief, as Halo Infinite campaign co-op doesn’t use any generic Spartans in place of the hero himself.
“We made the decision that we want to be able to play our campaigns together,” Mulkey explained on the stream. “It’s not like playing co-op is a different fictional construct. I’m playing my Master Chief story, you’re playing yours, and we’re getting to play together which is really, really fun. But when I go back to my solo campaign, it’s my Master Chief story.”
The stream went about as you’d expect: playing the Halo Infinite campaign with friends looks fun. The devs showed off the co-op UI as they set up a session, adjusting difficulty and enabling Skull modifiers as they wish, and the mission sync works as described. Progress is shared, and if anyone in the party hasn’t collected anything out in the world, it’ll be available for them to grab and permanently unlock.
Co-op lobbies also indicate how far each player has gotten in the campaign, which is part of 343’s “No Spartan Left Behind” system. This basically means that any open-world activities or campaign missions which haven’t been completed by everyone in the lobby will be playable in the co-op session, and clearing these with a group will also progress them in your solo game. This will let veteran players play with newcomers and, if they want, essentially level them up or carry them through.
It’s worth noting that the four-player split-screen layout of this gameplay is just a function of the streaming format; the campaign co-op itself is an individualistic, online-only affair. And speaking of perspectives, it looks like the devs are able to stray pretty far from each other during missions, which bodes well for the previously mentioned “area of operations” that acts as a soft tether between players.
Halo Infinite is getting its own prequel novel next month.