‘Halo 4’ Release Date: 'Darker Than Previous Games, Will Series End Better Than 'Mass Effect?' [TRAILER]
"Halo 4" is expected to launch during the 2012 holiday season, and information on the upcoming first person shooter has already begun to slip out. In the beginning of April new concept art leaked, and at the end of March fans caught a glimpse of what's to come when a high-resolution video surfaced. Wikipedia

Halo 4 is sure to come with some new additions to the widely-successful shooter franchise, but 343 Industries is also finding fresh ways to manage the game's expanded universe, according to Game Informer. The Halo team is making an effort to ensure that the expanding storyline will be able to stay focused by crafting side plots for different mediums.

O'Connor explained that with novels, comics, and action figures, the team would put pieces of fiction separate from the main story in bubbles so that there would be no effect on the mainline game universe. He referred to Halo Wars as an example, pointing out how the franchise spin-off takes place in a sectioned-off world.

Now that was nice and safe, and you can see that 'Halo Wars' almost literally happens in a bubble, it happens in a shield world its cut off from everything else, and it's a good metaphor for how we used to handle that problem, he said.

However, this made the other components in the Halo universe begin to feel disposable, O'Connor said. The bubbled-off side stories didn't help build the Halo world, resulting in storyline that couldn't be directly integrated into the main plot. To fix this, O'Connor told Game Informer that 343 has decided to take the riskier option when it comes to expanding the game's universe.

We will make sure that everything counts, he said. You won't have to consume all this new stuff to understand the halo game, likewise you won't even have to play a 'Halo' game to understand how the novels work, but they will all feed each.

He continued to say that fans that immerse themselves in all mediums of the Halo franchise, including the comic books, novels, and video games, will benefit by gaining a deeper more well-rounded understating of the story.

They will get a significantly more resonate experience than they would in the past, he said.

The gaming magazine also talked to Frank O'Connor of 343 about the possibility of future projects outside of the first-person shooter genre.

I think the 'Halo' universe can support more games, he said. I think we just have to be careful not to saturate the console part of the market with too many different experiences.

According to O'Connor, 343 intends to focus on the main storylines developed in the console games, but said that there is always room for new and different types of 'Halo' experience.

In 2011 the Halo Fall of Reach Covenant graphic novel reached an estimated sale of 7,825 copies, according to Comic Book Resources. In addition to this release, there are 10 novels and seven other comic books derived from the Halo series.

Halo 4 will launch this holiday season on Nov. 4th, competing with other heavy titles such as Assassin's Creed 3 and Call of Duty Black Ops 2. The fourth installment in the Halo franchise will take a darker turn than its predecessors, according to a post in Halo's official Waypoint blog in mid-April. Gameplay is also said to be faster than in previous titles, as the post indicated, which only includes information that has already been confirmed.

For those who haven't already seen it, check out the trailer below to catch another glimpse of what the game will include. Be sure to head over to Game Informer to view the full interview with Frank O'Connor.

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