Halo 4 to make Master Chief a “deeper and richer” character

That Master Chief; we’ve fought by his side countless times but we never seem to get under the armor and find out what this guy’s really about, other than sticking grenades to the faces of countless aliens. 343 Industries’ Halo 4 could change all that, however.

Speaking to 1up (via), game director Frank O’Connor revealed that the Chief’s latest adventure will attempt to uncover more about the iconic Spartan. “We called it a new trilogy,” he said, referencing the recently announced Reclaimer trilogy name, “but that’s really just a chronological description. It’s a direct continuation and evolution of the Master Chief’s story.”

“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.”

That won’t mean a fundamental change to the character, however. “You’re just going to learn more about him, and that’s the best way to explore anybody’s character,” O’Connor continued.

“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 turned his attention to other questions marks in the story such as the Chief’s armor and Cortana.

“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.”

Moving onto Chief’s faithful companion, he revealed: “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.

“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.”

Big changes are in store for sure, then. We’re bound to learn more about them before Halo 4 launches in the 2012 holiday season.