'Halo Infinite' is the first game in the series to support spatial audio

Saqib Shah
·Contributing Writer
·2 min read

After receiving flak for Halo Infinite's first gameplay footage, developer 343 Industries has been in damage control mode. Fans have been treated to screenshots of the shooter's evolving visuals and told of new features, including the ability to push enemies off the Halo ring. The studio's latest progress report shifts away from graphics and gameplay to offer a mother lode of audio updates. Top of the list is news that Halo Infinite will be the first title in the series to support spatial audio like Dolby Atmos, Windows Sonic, and DTS Headphone:X.  

While you'd expect that from a big first-party exclusive, the move is part of 343's broader push to bestow the game with improved sound clarity and depth. The virtual surround sound tech sits alongside improved weapon and shooting audio that analyzes gun sounds frame by frame. 343 claims the new system prioritizes sounds in a threat order to decide output volume for each gun based on its origin and relation to the player. For instance, if a gunshot is aimed at you, the sound will be louder compared to a teammate's gunfire.

In terms of the campaign mode's score, the studio recruited three composers with different specialities to record around three to four hours of written music. Gareth Coker was picked for his "command of an orchestra," Curtis Schweitzer for his choral and piano writing and Joel Corelitz for his knowledge of synths. The new score takes its inspiration from the original trilogy to offer up a "strong dose of nostalgia."

It also seems like the audio technicians had a blast recording real-world sounds for use in the game: From Tasmanian Devil vocals to explosions set off in a desert and recorded through 80 mics. The team also violently destroyed a piano using bats and golf clubs to create beefy impact and debris sounds. They then applied dry ice to its remains to make it sing, bellow and screech. You can check out the destruction in the video below.