The video game community has a lot to be excited about as of late. In addition to games such as Mass Effect 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken stealing the spotlight, a first look trailer for Halo 4 was just released, after gamers got a little sneak preview at Microsoft's Xbox Spring Showcase in San Francisco last week.

 The Halo franchise will be taking a darker turn when the upcoming release reveals more about protagonist Master Chief's past, reported The Guardian. The game is said to be released around 2012's holiday season, and developer 343 said the shooter's fourth chapter will make up for Master Chief's absence in the previous installment.

Master Chief is the heart and soul of Halo and as gamers we missed him, executive producer Kiki Wolfkill told The Guardian. We wanted to continue his story and map out his journey over the next 10 years. It was a real challenge to think about how we take this beloved hero and move him forward.

The plot focus isn't the only primary change players can expect. The character model has also received a significant graphic overhaul. Master Chief's armor is said to be more detailed, resembling a Batman-style flexible rubber material beneath the protective metal plates.

We want to provide a very visceral first-person experience and to deliver on the fantasy of being this 900 pound spartan, feeling that combination of strength and athleticism that defines him, Wolfkill also said to The Guardian. We reworked the armor with an eye toward the functionality he'll need today, but also trying to think over the next decade to some of the things he could be doing.

According 'Halo' developer 343 Industries, the fourth release will connect story elements from the first three games.

We're not pressing rest on the story or resetting the state of the universe, creative director Josh Holmes said to The Mirror. This is a very deliberate continuation of events that have transpired in Halo 1, 2, and 3. It connects directly to the events at the end of Halo 3.

But the new game is about more that carrying on Master Chief's story; it's about focusing on the bigger picture.

This is about the beginning of a new sci-fi saga that will define the next decade for Halo, franchise development director Frank O'Connor said to The Mirror. This is really just the beginning.