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(01-19-2012, 09:09 PM)
343 Industries: Halo 4 will "re-inject some new life" into Halo multiplayer.

Waking up and realizing that it's 2012 — or in Master Chief's case, 2553 — is a joyous occasion if for no other reason than it means one thing: Halo 4 will be out this year. We sat down with 343 Industries Franchise Development Director Frank O'Connor to get an update.

On how much focus Halo: CE Anniversary took away from Halo 4:
“Out of 200-plus people working at our studio, roughly 200 are working on Halo 4.”

On whether they will collaborate again with Certain Affinity, the studio founded by former Halo 2 lead multiplayer designer Max Hoberman:

“Certain Affinity will absolutely be working with us again. They’re a part of our family.”

Clarifying whether or not that means Certain Affinity will be doing multiplayer maps for Halo 4:
“We are definitely building Halo 4 multiplayer stuff in-house, [but] would we consider working with [them] on that stuff? Of course. They’ve done some of the best maps for everything since Halo 2.”

On whether or not they’ve been fighting an uphill battle with fans simply because they’re not Bungie:
“When people see what we’ve been able to achieve technologically, and how both careful and ambitious we’ve been with the gameplay — those things sound contradictory but they’re not — I think they’ll become more and more confident [in us].”

On whether or not any of the new engine technology from Anniversary will make its way into Halo 4:
“The technology in Halo: CE Anniversary is really cool, but it has nothing to do with the technology that [the Halo 4 team] is working on.”

On just how different Halo 4 will be from Bungie’s games:

“The core of what’s going to make Halo 4 great is some of the universe building and gameplay creation that Bungie seeded way back in Halo: CE.”

On where changes might be most visible:

“Now is the time when we really need to do something fresh and new and re-inject some new life…at least in multiplayer.”

On how lost you’ll be, storywise, if you play Halo 4 without having ever played Halo before:

“If Halo 4 is your first [Halo] game, that’s fine — don’t worry about it.”