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Halo: The Fall of Reach Launch trailer looks to the past to explain the future

If you plan on picking up either of the limited editions for Halo 5: Guardians, you’ll have the chance to check out Halo: The Fall of Reach, a three-part animated series based on the 2001 novel by Eric Nylund. While it might seem odd to include an adaptation of a 14-year-old book that takes place before the original Halo in the limited editions of Halo 5, the series’ launch trailer helps to give some answers.

As with Nylund’s novel, Halo: The Fall of Reach chronicles the origins of the Spartan program under Dr. Catherine Halsey — the intellectual base for the Cortana AI — and sees John 117 (eventually the Master Chief) and a collection of recruits as they’re kidnapped from their home planets and are forced to become the ultimate soldiers.

Unlike Halo: Legends, which used an anime visual style, The Fall of Reach resembles a watercolor painting — almost realistic, but with just enough artistic flair to separate it from the games. If it looks familiar, it’s because the series was produced by Sequence, the studio behind the unlockable Terminals featured in the past few Halo games.

“We’re the best possible option: your only option. Blue Team is ready,” a teammate tells the Master Chief. Sound familiar? It’s the same Blue Team that will be featured in Halo 5: Guardians, albeit with a few … membership changes. The series has certainly taken some drastic turns since the days of the Master Chief being the supposed last hope for humanity.

Currently, the only confirmed way to watch Halo: The Fall of Reach is to purchase the Digital Deluxe Edition, the Limited Edition, or the Limited Collector’s Edition of Halo 5: Guardians. The series will then be made available on the Xbox One’s Halo Channel, similarly to how Halo: Nightfall was made available with The Master Chief Collection.

Both Halo: The Fall of Reach and Halo 5: Guardians arrive exclusively for Xbox One on October 27.