"Wake up, Chief. I need you."
Beginning with those words, spoken by the sexy, shimmering artificial intelligence Cortana to the emerald-armoured super-soldier called Master Chief, Halo 4 will mark the return of one of this generation's most iconic video game heroes.
But even a guy as tough as the 26th-century cybernetic warrior Master Chief might be daunted by the expectations that are weighing on this game, launching Nov. 6 on the Xbox 360. With a new studio (led by a Canadian, no less) at the helm and a fan community that ranges from casual sci-fi dilettantes to ferociously competitive online warriors, Halo 4 will be one of the most-scrutinized and most-played games of 2012.