Halo Infinite is on the way. Microsoft and 343 Industries are set to debut the game at a presentation sometime in July, but they’re already teasing us with a few new details. In a brief trailer released Wednesday, the developers even gave fans their first hint at who the antagonists of the latest Halo entry might be.
The teasers starts with a low bellowing voice that explains that “forces occupy the ring,” that “humanity will burn,” and that there will be “no more prophet, no more lies.” Finally, the voice gets to the most important part saying, “We are his will, we are his legacy, we are The Banished.”
So, it seems The Banished are back for the next main installment in the Halo franchise. But for many fans, who might not have touched anything Halo related since Halo 5: Guardians, this alien fighting force may be a little unfamiliar.
The Banished were the primary antagonists in Halo Wars 2, though they should look pretty familiar to Halo fans. The enemies are a collection of aliens, made up of many different races, with a distinct hierarchy all their own. The Banished are made up of Jiralhanae (Brutes), Lekgolo (Hunters, at least in their Mgalekgolo colony form), Sangheili (Elites), Unggoy (Grunts), and Huragok (Engineers). In other words, it’s almost exactly like the Covenant.
However, as the mysterious voice in the teaser mentions, The Banished don’t believe in the Prophets or their Great Journey, like the Covenant before them did. Instead, they are — or were — led by a Brute called Atriox. In the main campaign of Halo Wars 2, Atriox fights the UNSC when he and The Banished occupy the Ark. Later, in the Halo Wars 2 DLC called Awakening the Nightmare, Atriox briefly unleashes the Flood, but manages to destroy the Proto-Gravemind and stop a larger outbreak.
Flash forward to the Halo Infinite teaser, and it appears that some thing about The Banished may have changed. The Banished now seem to be in possessions of a Halo ring themselves, or might be hours away from occupying it. Based on the mention of “his legacy,” it seems that Atriox may be dead and that The Banished may be under some new leadership.
On the other hand, it could also be Atriox himself speaking in the video. While statements like “we are his will,” would be pretty outside of Atriox’s general philosophy in the series so far, it’s sure that many things have changed since his encounter with the Flood, so we can’t say for sure.
Whoever is in-charge of The Banished, the overall motivation seems clearer based on the whole, “humanity will burn,” thing. If that is their true objective then it isn’t hard to imagine how a massive super-weapon like a Halo ring could play into those plans.
But even if we’ve got a few good guesses, the teaser doesn’t reveal everything. Thankfully, Halo Infinite’s larger reveal set to happens sometime next month, we should only have a few more weeks to wait before we find out exactly what The Banished want and how Master Chief will stop them.
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