There are a few games that easily earn the designation "heavily anticipated," and Halo 4 is definitely one of them. However, now that 343 Industries has taken the reigns from Bungie, there is obviously some concern that the series won't live up to the quality of past titles.
We got a taste of what 343 is capable of with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, but preparing a brand new Halo trilogy staring Master Chief is a significantly different prospect than an HD re-skinning of the original Xbox launch title. Change is also cause for concern amongst the franchise's fans, and there will be quite a lot of it judging by some of the new story arcs that were recently revealed for Halo 4.
Anyone who was upset when Master Chief swapped out his original armor from the first game may or may not be happy to learn that his appearance will once again be altered in Halo 4. According to Frank O'Connor of 343 Industries, Spartan-117's suit will go through some “fairly radical modifications,” but a lot of that will be attributed to the fact that the super-warrior has been floating around in space for an extended amount of time. Some of Master Chief's visual change will also be “connected to the story,” so it's possible that his new armor will see some high-tech enhancements.
Halo 4's leading artificial lady, Cortana, will also be placed in some serious trouble, and this time the threat isn't coming from the Covenant or Flood. Instead, the Chief's A.I. companion is her own biggest threat. O'Connor elaborates:
“Seven years is the lifespan for a smart AI before it enters a state called rampancy. Cortana was getting close to the end of her natural lifespan at the end of Halo 3 but she has been exposed to far more information than any other AI in existence. She’s going to develop some muscle from that process but it also contributes to her rampancy — that much information makes things worse.”
Halo 4 will surely be an epic adventure, and even though the game's creative director bailed on the project, it seems to be progressing quite nicely. 343 Industries has a lot of people to please, and they'll probably do a bang-up job, but hopefully they won't try to add new content at the expense of the user's experience. O'Connor is excited for the project though, and mentioned that they'll definitely be "going back to that air of exploration, and putting in some surprises that I think people will like."
Sounds good to us. How about you?
Halo 4 releases Q4 2012 exclusively for Xbox 360.
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