Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that the Halo universe has a rich background from which to draw inspiration. From its roots in all out space combat and survival, to stories that managed to encompass the relationships in a squad, to epic tales that spoke of universal extinction level events, Halo has managed to craft a lore for itself as engaging as anything on the market today.
But when it comes to main characters, details surrounding the face of the franchise himself, the Master Chief, are few and far between. Halo 4 however, is set to shed some new light on the enigmatic origins and motives of our our favourite space marine protagonist.
â€œWe 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 storyâ€, 343 Studios Director Frank O’Connor in an interview with 1up.
â€œWe’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.â€
But if you’re dreading the idea that the Master Chief will turn into a catchphrase spewing stereotype with a sassy sidekick to boot, don’t worry. 343 Studios are still going to stick close to his original personality, while building a deeper layer around it. â€œYou’re just going to learn more about him, and that’s the best way to explore anybody’s character,â€ O’Connor said. â€œThe 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 doâ€.
343 Studios are also wary of the task that they’re faced with for Halo 4, as they don’t want to produce a carbon copy clone of what Bungie has done in the past, nor do they want to deviate too deeply from a successful formula, lest they lose the fans.
â€œWe had a lot of people saying, â€˜Why does the Chief’s armour look different?’â€, O’Connor said. â€œWell, 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 itâ€.
â€œBut 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 timeâ€.
O’Connor also explained how Chiefs’ AI companion, Cortana was still around, noting that according to Halo lore, she should only have a lifespan of seven years. â€œCortana 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 existenceâ€, he said.
â€œSo 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 worseâ€.
Looks like things will be getting interesting for the Master Chief, and we might have a few twists and turns when the game launches towards the end of 2012. 343 Studios is firmly dedicated to the task before them, and it will be interesting to see what the next Halo trilogy does to further shape that particular universe.
Last Updated: September 6, 2011