If you're an Xbox gamer, well, odds are you have played at least one iteration of the wildly popular Halo franchise.
To be sure, Halo has been around since the very first Xbox, and was actually the reason many people bought Microsoft's console to begin with.
As you may recall, Bungie traditionally handled development duties for Halo, but Redmond has since transferred such responsibilities to 343 Industries. Fortunately, Josh Holmes, the creative director at 343, has acknowledged the necessity of keeping Halo's identity intact.
Nevertheless, Holmes told Wired 343 would be giving Halo a much darker and realistic tone. Of course, how one keeps a series based on pure science fiction grounded in reality remains to be seen.
"We really want to give ourselves the freedom to take risks and drive things forward in a way that goes beyond anything that people have experienced before with the Halo franchise," Holmes explained. "We don’t want to just imitate what’s been done before. We need to find our own voice as a team."
Clealry, adopting a new direction can be quite positive for an entertainment franchise, as Daniel Craig proved when he starred as a much grittier and more realistic James Bond than either Roger Moore or Sean Connery.
Halo 4 will be released later this year. Gameplay looked pretty sweet when we saw it back at E3 in June, and I can only imagine how it likely improved exponentially as we move closer to launch. Thus far, devs have showcased a few minutes of gameplay that feature the Master Chief entering hyper sleep and Spartan soldiers in combat.
Two multiplayer maps of also been touted, with one known as "war house" and another dubbed "wrap-around." Both were apparently designed to take advantage of faster paced multiplayer action Halo 4 will offer.
The new game also promises to explore the human side of Master Chief, the hero of the franchise. This marks the first-time Master Chief has been featured in the Halo title since he was missing from Halo: Reach and Halo 3: ODST.