The lights are on
Halo 4 promises to introduce gamers to a whole new set of locations, enemies, and story lines surrounding the adventures of Master Chief and Cortana. While many elements of that new vision, including details about the new enemies in the game, remain under wraps, a closer look at concept art from the game helps to illustrate some of the most exciting new elements on the way.
Lost in Space
John-117 and Cortana have been floating through space aboard the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn for four years, seven months, and ten days. This interior shot of the shattered ship hints at some important story elements. Cortana's curled up form speaks to her distress, which will play strongly into some of the events of the game. As Halo 4 begins, Cortana will be facing her own imminent madness and death; as a smart AI, her seven year lifespan will create serious challenges to the unshakeable partnership between the two characters.
A Glimpse of Things To Come
This atmospheric piece is more than meets the eye. Depicting the observation deck of the Forward Unto Dawn, a closer look offers two big details outside the ship's window. The Covenant Banshee flying past proves that Master Chief isn't quite done with his fight against Elites and the rest of the Covenant races. More importantly, the glowing blue light further back reveals the opening into the vast Forerunner artificial world called Requiem. Events will conspire to send the Forward Unto Dawn through that gateway and down to the planet beyond the outer shell.
The Forward Unto Dawn will eventually pass through the outer shell of Requiem and crash land onto the surface of the planet inside, echoing the beginnings of Halo: Combat Evolved and Master Chief's unceremonious crash onto the original Halo. While it's unclear how central this crash site will be to the rest of the story, it's apparent that Master Chief will get at least some of his human-built weapons and vehicles from the remains of the hulking wreck.
One of the central locations depicted in Halo 4, Requiem is an ancient artificial world created by the mysterious Forerunner civilization millennia ago. A big part of Halo 4 will involve exploring its many secrets. Take a closer look at the art, and you can see that the pillar-like objects are actually hanging from above. That's because Requiem is surrounded by a huge outer shell, and numerous stalactite-like objects hang down from the interior of the ceiling.
This Forerunner artifact image comes with few details from 343 Industries, but it's not hard to make some guesses. At first glance, the artifact's shape calls to mind an ancient sarcophagus, or storage chamber. Could this be the resting place of a dead Forerunner, or even its ancient cryo chamber? Or does this Forerunner artifact have another purpose? 343 isn't telling, but the developers have hinted that this image relates to the multiplayer storyline.
NEXT UP: The largest ship in the human fleet, and the mask-free look for a familiar foe
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