343 Industries has been pretty damn diligent about releasing information about Halo 4 as it continues to be developed. Speaking to GameInformer, creative director Josh Holmes answered a number of boiling questions about the game that have been hot on the minds of Halo fans.
Holmes says that the Forge will be making a return to Halo 4, and that it'll be as big a deal for the game as it was in Halo 3, when it was first introduced. The developer couldn't share any specific details about it, apart from saying that it'll be more expansive than the previous version.
343i made the decision to axe dual wielding early in the game's development in favor of balance. Holmes explained that dual wielding complicated the goal of the studio's decision to add customizable loadouts into the multiplayer mode. Your loadout will simply be the equipment you load into the map with, so you'll be able to drop your weapons and pick up gear left behind by other players while on the battlefield.
Players can choose between both male and female characters in the character creation screen for Spartan Ops. All characters will have a host of weapon, equipment, and cosmetic unlockables that are said to dramatically change the look of your Spartan.
With regards to features not present in Halo 4, there won't be any bots in multiplayer, and there will not be any support for dedicated servers despite requests from the fanbase. 343i describes the netcode as "phenomenal" and says adding dedicated servers would require far too much time for them to focus on. Instead, the developers are going to leverage matchmaking and other techniques to create a level playing field for players.
Halo 4 is slated for release later this year and is exclusive to the Xbox 360.