Halo 4 is specifically set to be the first game in the next trilogy of the franchise and suggestions from both 343 Industries and publisher Microsoft indicate that they are also thinking beyond that, to a third series of games using the same universe.But Halo 4 shows that there are some breaches in the space armor of the series and that, despite solid sales and solid positive reception, the Halo franchise might have a tough time wooing players in the future.
The new game delivers a semi-interesting story, which convinces only because its focus is on Cortana, and the new Spartan Ops cooperative mode is yet unconvincing, especially given that it replaces the community-appreciated Firefight.
Sure, the game also has strong elements, like the big arena fights, always filled with adrenaline and tactics-heavy, and the redesigned multiplayer, which should make it a competitor to Call of Duty (although it turned off some long-term fans).
But the essence of Halo was never in the story or the multiplayer but in the connection that players formed with Master Chief as he tried to defend humanity, and that link is less apparent in the fourth core game in the series.
Of course, Halo 5 will be one of the biggest game launches on the next Microsoft-made home console and that means that it might use ideas and technologies that no one has yet thought of outside of the Research & Development division inside the company.
We might see more motion tracking integration, we might see more cooperative driven stories or the integration of ideas taken from strategy or role playing games.
Regardless, I think that 343 Industries should work closely with fans in order to make sure that Master Chief, such an icon for the current generation of players, remains relevant.