Microsoft teases Master Chief's return to Halo.

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Hours after Bungie touted Halo 3's 1 billionth online game, Microsoft sat down with USA Today to discuss the game's first expansion, Halo 3: ODST. The stand-alone game will complement the original by depicting events between Halo 2, released for the original Xbox in 2004, and Halo 3, which hit the Xbox 360 in 2007.

However, rather than be seen through the visor of series hero Master Chief, Halo 3: ODST will be seen from the perspective of several Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. As shown in various trailers, the game will begin with a squad of the elite troopers dropped behind enemy lines in New Mombasa, which is occupied by the multispecies fanatical armies of the Covenant.

"[Halo 3: ODST] is significantly more than an add-on" Halo franchise development director--and former Bungie employee--Frank O'Connor told the nationwide newspaper.

"It's a lot of game. You play the game through the point of view of an ODST. They are dropped into combat from orbit. They have a rivalry with the Spartans that is well known to the fans of the fiction. We finally let you into their boots as it were. ... It's kind of a detective story in a way. But it is much more action-packed than that."

But will the Master Chief make an appearance in Halo 3: ODST? O'Connor was coy about the possibility, saying only, "I doubt we have seen the last of Master Chief."

The comment could also potentially be a teaser for Halo 4, since the final Halo 3 cinematic--if played on legendary difficulty--shows the Master Chief and the Arbiter as having survived the explosion of the starship Forward Unto Dawn.

Oh...Microsoft why must you tease us?! Who else is looking forward to ODST?

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