|RELEASED||Sat, 05 25 2013|
Halo 4 marks the return of John-117 – the “Master Chief” – as a playable protagonist for the first time since 2007′s Halo 3, as 2009′s Halo 3: ODST and 2010′s Halo: Reach focused on new characters and playing styles. Having been lost in space in the finale of Halo 3, John-117 and Cortana, adrift aboard the wreckage of the UNSC frigate Forward Unto Dawn, find themselves near a mysterious Forerunner planet, which was first seen at the end of Halo 3 once players beat the game on the highest difficulty setting. A key plot point will involve changes to Cortana and how her exposure to Halo and her operation beyond her natural lifespan may have contributed to her becoming “rampant.” Developers revealed in fall 2011 that the game will involve a “shield world,” a hollow artificial Dyson sphere type megastructure, possibly being set inside it.
The story of Halo 4 will be focused less on the Halo series’ traditional straightforward first person shooter genre, instead relying more on mystery, exploration and discovery. Developers described the game as being grand in scope and scale. Forerunner elements will be featured extensively in the game’s environment. Developers also suggested that the game will reveal how humanity and the UNSC have adapted to the galaxy after the end of their war with the Covenant, particularly how they have co-opted Forerunner technology.
Unlike the original trilogy, the story has been designed to be part of a three-game arc from the beginning. In addition, developer 343 Industries is aiming for a more complete connectivity between all of their future media than before, and the Forerunner Saga novel Halo: Primordium, the post-war novel Halo: Glasslands, and the terminals in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, will “definitely” have “resonant connections” to Halo 4′s story. Little information has been released regarding the storyline trilogy, but developers have intended that Halo 5 will be a much darker title before the conflict is resolved in Halo 6.