Leaks have been a reality of the industry for ages now, and technical tests allowing even slightly tech savvy players to dig around game files have only made them more common, with datamining being both vastly more reliable than regular hearsay, and also increasingly easier to do.
Halo Infinite is the latest game to get datamined, with a bunch of features seemingly confirmed, including photo mode.
Since the results of datamined leaks are nonetheless posted by unofficial sources, readers still shouldn't take this at face value - but the info being confirmable makes these sort of reports much easier to believe. Game files often have a layer of abstraction in their naming schemes, but it's still fairly easy to figure out what various components mean.
First posted by a Twitter profile appropriately called HaloLeaks, this latest batch of datamined information confirms previous rumors of a photo mode being included in Halo Infinite. Increasingly common in AAA games, photo modes make it much easier to make fancy and impressive screenshots with a cinematic tinge (so that players posting these help advertise the game even more), and these modes have been getting more and more advanced.
— HaloLeaks (@NewHaloLeaks) August 19, 2021
The datamined information not only confirms the presence of a photo mode, but also most of the editing options. You'll be able to add various filters, borders and stickers, edit the visibility of HUD elements, adjust overall color and change the dimensions of the final photo. There's a chance these won't be the full extent of options in the final photo mode feature.
Alongside the photo mode, files mined from Halo Infinite have revealed a list of weapons, emotes, vehicles and various abilities you'll be able to use in combat. The weapon list is a combined document with various other handheld props and objects like flags for CTF and balls for, presumably, Grifball. Classics like the Needler and Plasma Pistol return, with some new weapons included as well.
The file naming scheme of the leaked emote list makes it rather obscure what sort of actions these animations will entail, but there's, uhh... a lot of them? Some seem to be idle animations and waiting emotes, though in a fast paced shooter like Halo these might end up being underutilized. As for the vehicles, we're getting multiple Warthog variants among a crop of UNSC and alien vehicles, some of which have written descriptions attached.
Halo Infinite still hasn't got a fixed release date, though now that Call of Duty: Vanguard has been revealed to be arriving on November 5, an announcement might be happening soon - Phil Spencer has said in the past that Microsoft is not announcing a release date for Halo Infinite yet as they plan to avoid other major releases. Nonetheless, the game is expected to arrive sometime in November.