"The funny thing about the Chief is he's actually really well described," O'Connor stated, referring to Master Chief's description in the novel Halo: The Fall of Reach, which explains the character's origin.
"If you went down into that line and found a nerd with a deep canon Halo t-shirt and said describe the Master Chief to this police sketch artist, that police sketch artist would then produce a perfectly accurate rendering of an older man, almost painfully pale, almost albino white, with pale blue eyes, reddish hair, close cropped to a skin head, and maybe the last remnants of freckles he had when he was a kid," said O'Connor.
He explains that the act of not showing Master Chief's face is a device to keep players invested in the character without "constantly being reminded that they're not a hero or that they have to be a boy or they have to be a girl, or whatever that is."
While O'Connor won't admit if the team are prepared to kill the character off, he states 343 Industries was previously uncomfortable at committing to "difficult paths" in the game, and now the overall attitude toward storytelling has shifted.
"I'm not trying to hint at something other than our general philosophy and the shift in the attitude we're taking about storytelling. We can make the story matter more to people by doing things that matter. That's not rocket science. Luckily we have a publisher and owner that allows us that freedom and they trust us to make the right decisions with the fiction and the universe."
Halo 4 is scheduled to release November 6th.