With several lines of Halo 4-themed toys about to go on sale – and hype ramping up for the series' fourth installment – it's not too long until you'll get a good look at the tweaks 343 Industries has made to the series' hero. While the company's not ready to reveal too many images just yet, the Office of Halo Intelligence blog did share a few elements of the thinking at work behind Master Chief's redesign.
Above: Nothing will compare to seeing Chief in-game, promises 343. Right now he just looks all tooled-up with no place to go
Art director Kenneth Scott says one of the main concerns when designing Chief's armor is conveying “his physicality and putting the player in those mighty shoes.” The team looked at contemporary military vehicle design for inspiration, piling “800 pounds of tank and jet fighter” into the character's design. “A Spartan tossing his chest plate should feel like an anvil dropping,” explains Scott: “Putting on your helmet should feel like powering up an F-15E. These are the sorts of experiences we want to give the players.”
The team also worked to convey the character's positive, inherently optimistic nature. “Of all FPS heroes,” says Scott, Master Chief “is distinct in that his arc is aspirational and not a cynical view of the universe.” To that end, the character's helmet and visor are tilted so that, as the OHI points out, “he’s typically looking up into the danger that he needs to conquer.” Also, because his enemies come from space, he's able to reflect positive values while keeping an eye on whose face needs a-shootin' next...