Bungie’s Brian Jarrard has said Master Chief will be in Halo: Reach, although not in the way you are thinking.
Speaking with G4 at gamescom, Jarrard explained the Player Reward System present in the game, and with it, the credits you earn can be used to purchase armor upgrades and whose voice you will hear when in Firefight.
Even Master Chief’s.
Players earn credits from everything in the game, even while working Forge, and these can be spent on items made available as players level up.
Items are also opened on a community level as well, as per a hypothetical example given by Jararrd: “When the community collectively kills one billion grunts, a new tier of armory options might become available.”
Credits spent on Firefight voices will net you the chops of Buck (Nathan Fillion), Sergeant Johnson, Cortana and, as referenced above, Master Chief, who is a bit of a Chatty Cathy this time around.
“You’re going to hear him talk more than he ever talked in the original Halo games,” said Jarrard.
So, if you want to hear Master Chief talk, save your credits.
Jarrard has said Reach will set the benchmark for all future games in the series, and it sounds like Bungie is doing all it can to make it happen.
Halo: Reach releases worldwide on September 14.