If rumors are to be believed, new details about the upcoming Halo 4, in addition to a deeper insight into the game’s characters and their fates, have been revealed.

In a recent interview with CVG, 343 Industries’ Frank O’Connor, who was hired away from Bungie to oversee Halo, gave a brief glimpse about what can be expected from the upcoming game. Just to remind the gamers who may not have played Halo 3 or may have forgotten, it (the final game in the Halo series) ended with Master Chief in stasis, floating in the wreckage of a ruined space ship, and Cortana watching over him and waiting to awaken him when he is most wanted. The end was intriguing.

O’Connor said a lot of changes had been planned for the characters, both in terms of aesthetics and game play. The game, however, will still feel primarily like a Halo game. The first difference to expect is the modifications made to Master Chief’s looks.

He said that some radical modifications have been made to the Chief’s armor in the upcoming game and some of those amount to an “artistic revolution.” The game is set to start off with Master Chief awakening just as the remains of his ship arrive at a new planet. At the end of the third part it was revealed that Chief was heading for a planet covered in some form of technological circuitry.

It was also previously revealed at the Halofest that the new game would take place in a forerunner shield world, which is an artificially constructed world designed by the forerunners to survive the firing of the Halo rings. The rings were created to destroy the now extinct Flood by eradicating all organic material in the galaxy.

O’Connor revealed that AI Cortana would be facing the end of her lifecycle in the game as the years have not been very kind to her. To be precise, seven years is the lifespan for a smart AI before it enters a state called rampancy.

“Cortana was getting close to the end of her natural lifespan at the end of Halo 3 but she has been exposed to far more information than any other AI in existence. She’s going to develop some muscle from that process but it also contributes to her rampancy – that much information makes things worse,” O’Connor said.

He made the prospect of the new game more exciting by discussing about the future when he stated that the new trilogy (The Reclaimer Trilogy) will get much worse before it gets better. This means that Halo 5 is likely to be a bit bleak before Halo 6 determines the forthcoming conflict.

Halo 4 is set for a release in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to a Digital Trends report.