One of the most striking features of the new Halo 4 is the new look of Master Chief, designed to show off the power of the returning character while also cluing the player on the effects that the long cryo-sleep has had on him.
Kenneth Scott, the art director at 343 Industries, states to Gamasutra that the main focus was on creating a very physically imposing character, because “a Spartan tossing his chest plate should feel like an anvil dropping.”
Gabriel Garza, an artist working on Halo 4, adds, “We had a couple of buzzwords when we were designing the Master Chief. Things like 'tank', 'heavy,' 'tough.' When you think 'tank,' there are certain colors, certain types of materials, reflectivity.”
The pair has also talked about the development process for the Master Chief look, saying that they have submitted multiple sketches for each body art from multiple angles and then have focused on eliminating the weaker looks before tweaking the best ones to achieve the image that players now get to see.
Garza, who has been working with 343 Industries for four years, says that he actually became obsessed with Master Chief’s look, thinking about it even when he was at home or driving.
The look also needed to mesh with the story of Halo 4 and that meant that the art team worked closely with the creators of the narrative and made sure that the character was suited to his own evolution.
Halo 4 sees Master Chief return to the series after being absent in ODST and in Reach as he wakes up from cryo-sleep and engages in a new adventure involving both Cortana, his Artificial Intelligence companion, a Forerunner and their Promethean servants.
Halo 4 has already broken the series’ sales records and the game is only available on the Xbox 360 from Microsoft.