It should be no surprise that my most anticipated game of 2012 is none other than Halo 4. I love the Halo universe. I've played all the games and read most of the novels, so my imagination is going crazy about what is in store for Master Chief and Cortana. The last time we saw them, they escaped Installation 04's detonation onboard Forward Unto Dawn and attempted to make a slipspace jump back to Earth. However, the slipspace portal collapsed before the ship was through, leaving Cortana and Master Cheif stranded on half a ship.
The only bit of info we know about Halo 4 is that they finally reach that planet we see in the final cutscene of Halo 3 (at least everyone assumes it's the same planet). Cortana wakes up John just in time to bail. They don't show us much of the planet so it's hard to know what to expect... unless you've read the books.
From now on, there may be some spoilers. I'll keep it light and vague so if you do get around to reading the books, you'll still be surprised.
We know Cortana is a very special AI. She was created from a flash clone of Dr. Halsey, so we know she's one smart cookie. Like Dr. Halsey, Cortana doesn't exactly follow protocol (in fact her very creation from a flash clone was against UNSC protocol), which is why both ladies have uncovered some very important information, and made some enemies within the UNSC. We also know Cortana is more than 7 years old, so rampancy is a major concern. Even worse, she's cloned herself hundreds of times (most notably during Operation First Strike), she's been captured by the Grave Mind, and has been exposed to more information than any other AI ever created. She has literally sacrificed parts of herself in order to hold on to information she needed. If you didn't think she was a bit on the crazy side already, just wait. She's going to be nuts in Halo 4, but still incredibly genius.
We also know Dr. Halsey is still out there, along with a small team of Spartans. Of course there's no way MC and Cortana are approaching the same planet, but we know Forerunners had the ability to teleport between their installations, so perhaps they'll cross paths... perhaps. I would love to write more about this possibility but I'm trying to avoid spoilers. Just read Ghosts of Onyx. That's one of my favorite Halo novels. Read all of them while you're at it.
Halo 4 is the game that continues the story of the most notable heroes of the Halo universe. I'm so damn excited for this game. Give it to me now.