Halo Infinite’s campaign launches on Wednesday, but after your first trip through the story, you won’t be able to replay missions without starting all the way over, Microsoft confirmed to Polygon. It’s a significant omission, since it means you won’t be able to get collectibles you miss the first time around. It also means Infinite is the first Halo game without a way to go back and easily replay a chapter.
That might not always be the case, though, as developer 343 Industries wants to add the feature down the line, the studio told The Verge. “We haven’t announced a date but that is being worked on,” 343 Industries associate creative director Paul Crocker said in an interview.
“We want to have replay that works well, and when you have a more open game, it gets a lot trickier,” he said. “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.”
It’s frustrating not to be able to play through missions again; Halo Infinite’s campaign has some impressive set pieces and great boss fights that I’d love to tackle without going through the entire story another time. However, there are some elements that do carry over between full campaign replays, according to Crocker, including data pads (which contain story-focused voice logs) and the hard-to-find skulls that, in past games, let you modify certain aspects of the experience (such as doubling enemy health).
Replayable story missions aren’t the only thing that was pushed back for the launch; you’re going to have to wait at least six months for the time-honored tradition of playing through the campaign cooperatively with a friend, something you’ve been able to do since the very first Halo game. The goal was “from day one” to make the game playable in co-op and allow people to replay missions, but “we just had to prioritize what we could get done in time,” Crocker said.
Halo Infinite has had a somewhat rocky development. It was originally set to release alongside the Xbox Series X / S in November 2020, but was delayed to 2021 after a gameplay reveal that birthed the infamous Craig meme. Forge mode, which was introduced in Halo 3 and lets players develop multiplayer maps and games, is also missing for Infinite’s launch. And while 343 Industries launched Halo Infinite’s free-to-play multiplayer beta early, it has had to address criticisms of the game’s progression system and lack of dedicated playlists.
Despite those problems, the extra development time paid off for Halo Infinite’s campaign and multiplayer, which are both pretty good. That bodes well for the features that won’t make it at launch — even if we don’t know how long we’ll have to wait for them.