Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries continues to slowly build excitement around the much-anticipated sci-fi shooter. In the latest "Inside Infinite” update published yesterday, the studio’s audio team revealed that Halo Infinite would be the first game in the series to support spatial audio technologies such as Dolby Atmos.
"Halo Infinite will be the first Halo title to support the Virtual Surround Sound technologies Dolby Atmos, Windows Sonic, and DTS Headphone:X. These spatial audio technologies allow us to make sounds feel like they’re playing from behind or above you, when you’re only wearing stereo headphones," explained Chase Thompson, Lead Audio Technical Designer on Halo Infinite.
Spatial audio can make a big difference in competitive shooters, helping players to locate where opponents are coming from more easily. "We’ve created a custom setup for our in-game sounds so that you get a clear separation between spatial and non-spatial content. This way, whether playing over headphones or on a surround sound system, you can very clearly tell exactly where your enemies are when you’re in combat,” Thompson said.
The 343 Audio team also revealed that it used some pretty extreme methods to create original sounds for Halo Infinite. As seen in the video below, one of the experiments led the team to use various objects to destroy a piano, and the results are quite fascinating. "The violent act on the piano gave us some really nice beefy impacts, with some satisfying debris," explained Kyle Fraser, Lead Sound Designer on Halo Infinite.
343 Industries also explained that there will be some differences between multiplayer and campaign audio. There will be a higher focus on combat sounds in multiplayer, but the game’s campaign will use a slightly different audio mix that gives more room to voiceover, music, and other story elements. "For campaign we really want to deliver on the feeling that combat itself is much more exciting but also really emphasize when special moments occur,” explained Sotaro Tojima, Audio Director for Halo Infinite.
We invite you to read the lengthy blog post on Halo Waypoint for an in-depth look at the work of 343 Industries’ audio team. The next Inside Infinite update to be published next month will be focused on the PC version of Halo Infinite. The Halo Infinite gameplay demo Microsoft showed at its July Xbox Game Showcase last year was actually running on a PC, though the game is also being developed for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles.