When Microsoft and Halo studio 343 Industries showed off the first Halo Infinite gameplay in July 2020, reaction to Master Chief’s new adventure was mixed. Some Halo fans cheered, hailing the game as a return to classic Halo gameplay, but with a few new bells and whistles (see: grappling hook). Others were vocally underwhelmed, and one element stood out to those concerned fans: the dead-eyed Brute who would come to be known as Craig.
Craig’s thousand-yard stare and graphically unimpressive visage became meme fodder, but the developer has since take the extra time — Halo Infinite was delayed more than a year not long after its public debut — to give the heavily mocked Brute a makeover.
In a recent update on Halo Infinite’s development, Steve Dyck, character and combat director, and Bryan Repka, character art lead for the game’s campaign, discussed Craig’s “glow-up” and their “love-hate relationship” with the Brute.
“While it was fun to see the community gravitate towards Craig, he unfortunately represented some content and systems that were not ready for prime time in that demo,” Dyck said. “The positive outcome of Craig was that he was one of the factors in gaining some more time to finish work and get Brutes to a place where the team is happy with them. This is one of the many positive examples of 343 working with and aligning with the Halo community around expectations. Players who look hard enough will still be able to find some evidence of Craig in Halo Infinite, his spirit lives on!”
Repka added that “Craig is in good hands” and said that while Craig’s 2020 was a downer, just like the rest of us, “He is feeling very good about himself and has fit back in well with the rest of his Brute friends. He has also picked up a new hobby and has done well for himself. Long live Craig!”
The official Xbox Twitter account also got in the redemption of Craig, showing how Halo Infinite’s been turning around with the extra time.
How it started: How it's going: pic.twitter.com/Sgcvj1Qz2a— Xbox (@Xbox) October 28, 2021
343’s latest Halo Infinite development update also offers a peek at revised renders of classic Halo enemies like the Elite, Jackal, and Grunt, as well as newer threats, like the Banished and the Skimmer. There’s a lot more packed in there, including an in-depth look at Halo Infinite’s UI/UX, character and vehicle customization, and even a peek at weapon manufacturer logos created and revised for the next Halo game.
Halo Infinite will be released on Dec. 8 for Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Halo Infinite will launch with a free-to-play multiplayer mode and a single-player campaign, but it won’t have cooperative campaign multiplayer or its map-editing Forge mode at launch.