Halo 4 is the next installment of the most beloved and recognizable game franchises, with the return of Master Chief and his smart (and sexy), AI companion, Cortana. Microsoft has created a new development team called 343 Industries to be "the wardens of the franchise." Bungie, the original developer of the previous Halo games has broken away from Microsoft to pursue a new project with Activision, more on that later. 343 Industries looks to be making some good improvements so far in the game. I haven't seen any screenshots yet, its looking like Chief is getting some bulky improvements. The guns have been remodeled to look completely different, the changes are amazing. The battle rifle a will be returning with a few "upgrades" according to 343. The HUD is going to have a few tweaks. 343 is trying to make you feel like the powerful soldier that is the Master Chief.
343 Industries is make a direct continuation of Halo 3, beginning right were we left Master Chief, in cryo sleep on the burning wreckage of the Forward Unto Dawn. The game will pick up as Cortana awakes Chief saying his name, John. To me this shows that the relationship between Cortana and Chief is a little closer then it was before. According to 343, the Dawn has come upon a planet that will harbor a race known as the Forerunners. This race is responsible for the creation of the Halo array. This along with the Covenant will be the main antagonist in Halo 4. The campaign is going to discover an all new planet and the new Forerunner race, but will be more drawn to the relationship that has formed between Cortana and Chief. Cortana will begin her degradation process, a process that all AI begin to reach after their 7 year life span. Not a whole lot of details have been released for the campaign side of Halo 4, but the multiplayer seems to be the biggest improvements, or changes, they have made.
Multiplayer is going to have a full back story and will intersect with the campaign of Master Chief and will explain why the red Spartans fight the blue Spartans. You be playing as the new Spartan IV, a shiny new upgraded version. The Spartan IV's will be customizable much more then before, but to what extent, we are still not sure. The multiplayer will take place on a ship called the USNC Ifinity. The multiplayer will take place in a "holo deck" style battlefield, similar to the holo deck on Star Trek or danger room from X-Men. They are introducing a new mode called Spartan OPS. It will play out like a tv series, with new "episodes" every 2 weeks. If you miss an episode, don't worry because it will be possible to start at the beginning even though you have missed a few weeks worth of episodes. There will be a rank progression similar to COD according to some sources including armour upgrades and abilities. Weapon attachments were rumored, however, nothing has been confirmed yet. 343 Industries has stated that no foreseeable beta will be available, which will ruffle some feathers for gamer's. Everyone knows that the best way to get feedback and to make a game better is to test it, and what better way to test it then with the direct audience. Whether your a Halo die-hard or maybe just a FPS fan I think this game is going to be a step in the right direction for the next Halo. Check out some of the videos here: