343 Industries has hit the ground running as it works to revitalize the Halo franchise. Bungie’s original Halo trilogy came to a close in 2007, in what was supposed to be the end of Master Chief’s story. It only took five years before Microsoft Studios was all, “jk lol” and began working with 343 Industries on the next trilogy, effectively bringing Master Chief back. The studio started modestly with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the HD remake of the first Halo game, before moving on to the main event: Halo 4.

The project is being taken very seriously — and why not? Halo is one of the biggest gaming franchises in history. 343i has a lot to live up to with Halo 4, and the team knows it, having already planned out the series for the next decade. In an interview with Game Informer, Franchise Development Director Frank O’Connor briefly dished on some of the amorphous ideas the company has already mapped out and how next-gen consoles might affect plans for the series.

“We have things mapped out fairly far, probably 10 years, but they’re pretty vague — big, big plot points. We think that x will happen, we think that y will happen, we think they should go visit z. We try not to paint ourselves into corners, but what he have done very carefully and very deeply is build ourselves a, sort of, believable parts of the universe, which we can pull from. And so there are these events and characters happening elsewhere in the universe that are real enough that we can connect the mainline story of the, what we call The Reclaimers Saga right now, directly back to those things.”

O’Connor promises that the main focus will still be Master Chief, but fans will want to follow the threads of other stories.

“How we present that and how that’s distributed over the next decade, honestly, we don’t really know because technology’s going to change go dramatically. People’s habits and the way they digest video games are gonna change.”

The staff at 343i is playing it smart by focusing on one game at a time, using the roadmap they’ve made for themselves as a guide to navigate what might come their way. Being flexible and adapting will do nothing but positive things for the series.

In a separate interview with Walmart’s GameCenter (he’s a busy fella), Mr. O’Connor promises that Halo 4 will have, “the absolute biggest additions to the Halo sandbox that we’ve ever put in an episode of the game.” While not revealing specifics, he mentions weapons, vehicles, abilities and enemies, including a very hush-hush new enemy type. This new adventure will introduce Master Chief to new allies and gobs of new foes, and will take place primarily on a world called Requiem. One really interesting story point is the inclusion of new Spartans, the Spartan 4 Series, which have been acting as Master Chief’s replacement since he went MIA, but presumed KIA. OMG.

Check out the full video below and take a peek at the multiplayer details recently released.

Halo 4 will release on the Xbox 360 November 6, 2012.

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Source: Game Informer, GameCenter