[Minor spoiler warning for Halo Infinite. There aren’t any formal story spoilers here, but if you don’t want to know anything about the campaign, turn back now.]
Halo Infinite sees Master Chief fight against The Banished, an apostate faction of The Covenant, which has taken over the Zeta Halo ring that Master Chief is on in this, the sixth mainline Halo campaign. The Banished is led by Atriox, the main antagonist of 2017’s real-time strategy spinoff Halo Wars 2. But Atriox is not just a CEO with an army of live reports. It would not be a particularly effective management structure. No no … he has layers of middle management that the Chief will have to shoot his way through before he can get to the guy at the top of the pyramid.
We’ve already learned a bit about War Chief Escharum, the deputy commander of Atriox, who was revealed in the Halo Infinites 2020 campaign demo, who leads The Banished forces on Zeta Halo. But there are also the so-called Spartan Killers, a group of fighters on the top shelf who are keen to end the reign of the Master Chiefs as the Pact’s own personal collective “Demon”. During our visit to 343, we spent time sitting down with the Halo Infinite team to discuss the idea of a boss fight in a Halo game, and more specifically one of these bosses: Jega ‘Rdomnai, a double-red plasma sword -swinging Elite, which is among the Spartan Killers – also known as the Hand of Atriox – and should provide a fierce encounter on any of Halo’s legendary (including legendary) levels of difficulty. He was briefly featured in the recent Halo Infinite Campaign Overview trailer, but we learned a lot more about him.
“One of the things we tried to do with Jega was make him the scariest, most disturbing character that’s been in Halo,” said associate creative director Paul Crocker. “Just every time you see him … he looks at things as prey. The whole experience of playing with Chief is just … how he is. ”
Elaborate Halo franchise writer Jeff Easterling: “We wanted to build a character to be more like a kind of subtle sidekick to Escharum. They have the closest relationship; they’ve worked together the longest. [Jega] is his most respected soldier, his closest friend.
“The whole group [of Spartan Killers] is a showcase for the power of The Banished, ”Easterling continued. “Not only do they promote the cause of The Banished, they also inspire all the troops under them.”
Halo Infinite E3 2021 Trailer Screenshots
But to return to Jega and the horror, Easterling explains, “He was a member of Silent Shadow.” And in one of his many secret missions: “One of these endeavors left him in the state we see him in now, [where] his desire for battle and revenge completely outweighs even his own pride in his own culture. “Easterling refers to Yega’s crippled appearance. As you can see in the pictures above, he has not exactly won every fight he has been in, despite his savagery and ruthlessness. So contrary to the traditions and principles of the covenant, he accepts a robotic arm and mandibles. “The exiles represent what the covenant would have been like if you did not have it [group’s] dogmatic restraint with things, “Easterling said.
“He’s almost like the reverse of what you would expect from the judge. Instead [taking] high road, it is undressed … we asked ourselves, ‘What is the psycho-element of the arbitrator?’ “Easterling added:” I want [new fans] to feel like they are on the same level as an old-school fan when they play Infinite, and then, when they reach the end of it, get so inspired that they might want to play other games or maybe dig in deeper and explore other parts of the universe. “But at the same time, he clarified that” There are actually hooks in old storytelling, but it’s something you can get completely cold into and just want to know more about this character. “
But now that we know that there is a kind of formal boss fight in Halo Infinite’s campaign – we get a quick insight into the campaign overview trailer of a fight with Tremonius, who has his name and a health bar over his head – Chiefen and Jega must look at some point, right? “Yes,” Crocker admitted. “There’s a confrontation between Jega and Chief.” When I asked if there would be custom AI written for these boss meetings, he also admitted it in the affirmative. “You take the basic character, and then you add personality,” he said of the team’s philosophy of designing those moments.
For more of our exclusive IGN First coverage on Halo Infinite, check back this Thursday for our hands-on impressions of the campaign after playing the first four hours of it. Plus: we get an in-depth interview with Halo Infinite’s head of creative and original Halo author Joseph Staten later this month as well. Earlier this month, we unveiled the new ‘Streets’ multiplayer map.
Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s executive editor of previews and hosts both IGN’s weekly Xbox show, Podcast unlocked, as well as our monthly (-ish) interview show, IGN Unfiltered. He’s a North Jersey guy, so it’s “Taylor ham”, not “pork roll”. Discuss it with him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan.
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