I was not surprised to see this at all to be honest. With previous Halo games follows the path of linear styled story implementation, Halo Infinite’s open world sandbox just didn’t sit well or not well executed.
This came after a article surfaced from Bloomberg on what when wrong with Halo Infinite and the mistakes could’ve being prevent. The article then went on say the game was meant to be a openworld game just like Borderlands or more specifically, Breath of the Wild, where the player can explore the map and interact with missions in any order they want.
It turns out the Halo Slipspace Engine that was built on the tech left by Bungie decade ago, didn’t provide up to the task for Borderlands styled openworld and departures of team members at 343 Industries didn’t help either and left the engine “un-tinkered” if you will.
2/3 of the content was cut from the launch in order to streamline the game into a more “wide linear” design, even with a year of delay. The game was suppose to ship with the launch of Xbox Series X as one of the launch titles.
I knew this was the case as I was playing the Gamepass version of the game, I noticed that stories are done in certain way. Of course you can choose what stronghold you want to capture first or what “security” you want to deactive, but more or less the bases of the storyline is the same as any other Halo games where you progress chapter by chapter rather than do this first, do that later. Unlike most of the openworld games, there is no side missions.
Halo Infinite is available for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Gamepass and also on PC and only sold on Steam at the moment.