@Shadow: the difference between an ODST going into the Spartan IV program and a Spartan II going into the same program is that for an ODST it is an upgrade, they get stronger and faster but for a Spartan II it would be more of a downgrade.
Because the Spartan IVs are cheaper it means that they are not as powerful as the IIs.
A downgrade? I thought the armor all the spartans wear were of equal power (at least when it comes to how powerful they could be at the time), and it was just the augmentations/training that was different.
Actually there were no successful Spartans made from the Orion project. The armor was deemed unsafe for an unaugmented human body. As well, you wont be seeing any S2s or S3s at all, Most of them have been retired or killed at this time point. Also, you should definitely play a women. Adds some variety to the usual nerdy sausage fest.
Well technically speaking, the Orion Project didn't necessarily fail
in creating spartans, it just didn't make the spartans like the Spartan IIs, IIIs, and IVs. The spartans didn't wear fancy armor and all that jazz, but they were fairly superior to the regular soldier and also, like you said, served as a prototype for future spartan projects. You have to remember that the Orion Project happened long before the Spartan II project (a couple hundered years I think, as the Spartan I project started in the 23rd century), so the results weren't going to be as successful as they were for the future generations (this might not be a strong argument though, as the Orion project ran until the early 26th century).
That's just how I perceive it though.
But the game will hardly be a sausage fest, since there are already two females in the group. It would be kind of weird to see a spartan team made up of more females than males, considering that there are a lot more males in the military than females (That's the impression I get from the games I've played though. If there is any source that proves me otherwise, feel free to show me).