It seems hard to believe but has it really been five years since Microsoft's flagship warrior, the Master Chief, appeared in Halo 3, finishing the fight against the alien covenant in a series that was hailed as a revolution for console shooters when it first appeared on the original Xbox in 2001?
Gamers haven't seen Master Chief, the cybernetically enhanced super soldier, since he last appeared in 2007, but he's on his way back - and soon, but this time under the gaze of a new company, 343 Industries. The game sees the Master Chief and his AI companion, Cortana, adrift in the wreckage of the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn, floating toward a mysterious Forerunner planet, when much of the action will take place.
Halo 4 is the first of three games planned by 343 Industries, with word that the second one will be much darker in tone before concluding with Halo 6.
I'm bringing up Master Chief and Halo 4 as I'm off to Sydney today to get some hands-on time with the latest campaign build of 343 Industries' Halo 4, see some of the multiplayer and Spartan Ops modes in action, as well as talk to the company's creative director, Josh Holmes.
I'm keen to talk about the company's vision for the Master Chief and Cortana, how important Halo 4 is for 343 as a company and how much internal pressure the company has put on itself to deliver a knockout hit with the game.
So, with the Master Chief a few years older and taking on a new foe, what do you hope 343 Industries will bring to the Halo franchise? Do you want to see the tried-and-true formula that served Bungie (the previous Halo developers) so well or are you keen to see 343 take some risks as the series looks to the future?
** I'm staying on in Sydney until the weekend to check out the EB Games Expo so this will the last blog until Monday. Happy gaming.
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