While 343 Industries might be kicking off an entire new trilogy with Halo 4 with its own name, they’re sticking with Master Chief, and they’re going to make sure Halo 4 is the Chief’s own story.
“We called it a new trilogy, but that’s really just a chronological description. It’s a direct continuation and evolution of the Master Chief’s story,” director Frank O’Connor told 1UP in an interview.
“We’re going to be pretty front and center about that. This is about the Master Chief and we’re going to make him a deeper and richer character than he’s been, but just in the way that I’m sure Bungie would have naturally done anyway.”
But fear not- they’re not going to give Chief’s personality a big overhaul. He won’t suddenly become very talkative or dark or gritty. “You’re just going to learn more about him, and that’s the best way to explore anybody’s character.
“The Chief has had a strange, difficult, and brutal life. And I think people want to know a little bit more about that – that’s one of the attractions of the books and it’s something that we’re able to put into the games very easily, and something we’ve always wanted to do.”
O’Connor also said that while they’re not going to clone Bungie’s style of game-making, they’re not crazy enough to mess with a winning formula.
“We had a lot of people saying, ‘Why does the Chief’s armour look different?’” he said. “Well, the Chief’s armour has looked different every single game. It’s a natural evolution of trying to make your graphics better and having different artist approach it.
“But in the case of the trailer in particular, there’s some fairly radical modifications to his armour. Some of those are definitely an artistic evolution, but some of it is connected to the story. We just can’t talk about it yet. He’s been in space for a long time.”
He also talks about Cortana, about how her 7-year lifespan in coming to and end, and drops some hints about what might lie in store for her in Halo: Reclaimer Trilogy.
“Cortana was getting close to the end of her natural lifespan at the end of Halo 3. The reality is that Cortana has been exposed to far more information and far more technology than any other A.I. in existence,” he said.
“So she’s going to develop some weapons and some muscle from that process, but it also directly contributes to her rampancy [AI overload] – that much information and that much thought, that makes things worse.”
Halo 4 releases in 2012 exclusively for the Xbox 360.