In a recent interview with Halo 4 creative director Josh Holmes, he was able to talk about the philosophy behind the game’s story and gameplay and how the title aims to be an evolution of prior games in the series.

According to Holmes, creativity has always been the driving force behind Halo‘s gameplay. He stated that the “sandbox, systemic nature to the gameplay” was a unique aspect of the series that sets it apart from other games. Indeed, the dynamic AI, inventive weaponry, and non-linear open levels allow ensure no two firefights play out the same way. “Here’s a bunch of tools, here’s a bunch of obstacles. You figure out your own solution,” he said. “It’s empowering players to make choices that are rewarded through gameplay.” Of course, this creativity doesn’t just apply to the combat scenarios. Holmes also emphasized elements such as Forge Mode and the Video Editing System as creative spaces for the players.  “It allows players to create their own experiences and tell their own stories.” Halo 4 aims to retain this creativity throughout the experience.

In terms of thematic material for the story, Holmes stated that he felt heroism and hope for humanity were the two most prevalent themes in the Halo series. “I think that Master Chief is a perfect embodiment of that concept of heroism.” He’s always been a mysterious character in a grand setting that inspires “the sense of wonder and mystery that there is a massive universe out there filled with things beyond our comprehension.” He described humanity’s fight for freedom as thematic as well. “Halo has kind of a hopeful feel to it… Humanity is predestined to achieve something greater, and its something worth fighting for.” No doubt this will be represented in some way in Halo 4.

Holmes went on to talk about the expectations that were set for the game. The fanbase is definitely expecting great things from the game, and it’s always hard to keep a franchise fresh while still remaining familiar. “[We have] a desire to take risks and change things. We had to give ourselves permission to take those risks.” Finally, he touched on the how the game has a “Clearer focus in terms of storytelling. [Master Chief] has always been treated as a vessel for players. If you look at the surrounding fiction [behind Halo], he’s been explored in much more detail. That’s something we very much want bring forth in the campaign; examine him as a human being, put him in new situations, and push him to edge of his capabilities, and in the process redefine who he is as a human being and a hero… My hope is that players will come away with a deeper sense of emotional impact as a result of that story.”

We’re already doing extensive coverage of Halo 4 and will do so until release time. Make sure to visit OnlySP for any future details on the game’s campaign. Halo 4 comes out this fall exclusively for Xbox 360.


Michael Urban
Now an occasional contributer, Michael Urban is the former Editor-in-Chief at OnlySP and has the nickname "Breadcrab" for reasons his therapist still doesn't understand. From the moment he first got hacked in Runescape, he's been uninterested in multiplayer games and has pursued the beauty of the single-player experience, especially in terms of story and creative design. His hobbies include reading, writing, singing in the shower, pretending to be productive, and providing info and feedback regarding the games industry. It is an industry, right? You can ask him a question or send him spam at [email protected] Also, follow him on Twitter or the terrorists win. (@MichaelUrban1)

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