If you're a Halo fan who only plays the mainline games, it's looking like there may be some lore catch-up to do before diving into Halo Infinite later this year. Today, 343 Industries released a new teaser that seems to build upon the events of 2017's Halo Wars 2. With a big showing for Infinite coming next month, this could be a hint that it's time for us all to get acquainted with the bad guys from Halo's RTS spin-off.
The teaser, released via Twitter, shows a threatening message intercepted by what looks to be human-made communications tech. A gruff, unidentified voice mentions forces occupying a Halo ring and promises that "humanity will burn." Then, just to make the tease ever-so-clear, the speaker identifies the faction they're with: "We are his will, we are his legacy. We are the Banished."
For Halo fans anticipating July's big showing for Halo Infinite, the timing of this teaser seems to suggest that the Banished, a Covenant splinter group, will end up playing a major role in the game. In Halo Wars 2, the Banished serve as the main enemies.
The events of that game take place in 2559, not long after the conclusion of Halo 5: Guardians, but for the most part the two conflicts are far removed from each other. There's already been good reason to wonder whether or not the Banished might appear in Halo Infinite, though, as the end of Halo Wars 2 featured a Guardian—one of the large Forerunner machines commanded by Cortana in Halo 5's campaign.
Additionally, fans who keep an eye on Halo's toy lineup for hints about Infinite have been buzzing about the Banished for a while. In April, Windows Central picked up on preview photos of a black-and-red Banished Hunter from toy manufacturer Mega Construx. The Hunter figure will be included in a set that also features the Master Chief and the pilot character from Halo Infinite's E3 2019 "Discover Hope" trailer.
Microsoft hasn't announced a date for its first-party Xbox Series X showcase in July just yet, but Halo Infinite is guaranteed to headline the event. Halo Infinite is planned to launch for the PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X when Microsoft releases its new console later this year.