Details on Master Chief and Cortana in Halo 4 have been revealed through the latest issue of Xbox World.
According to an interview with 343's Frank O'Connor, Master Chief's armor have been given some "fairly radical modifications" some of which are "connected to the story," and the fact he's been in space for such a log time.
Also, Cortana is once again in danger, but this time it's because her expiration date is looming.
"Seven years is the lifespan for a smart AI before it enters a state called rampancy," said O'Connor. "Cortana was getting close to the end of her natural lifespan at the end of Halo 3 but she has been exposed to far more information than any other AI in existence.
"She's going to develop some muscle from that process but it also contributes to her rampancy - that much information makes things worse."
Halo 4's story, the first in the planned trilogy, will focus on the Forerunners and is something O'Connor hopes will bring back "the sense of wonder and mystery" to the Halo series.
"We're definitely going back to that air of exploration, and putting in some surprises that I think people will like," he said.
Halo 4 is slated for a 2012 release.