Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn live-action film series debuts today

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn

In an effort to simultaneously promote the upcoming Halo 4 (in stores November 6) and momentarily quench the ravenous appetites of Halo fans who are simply unable to get enough of the epic mythology surrounding Microsoft’s most famous mascot, the computing giant and Halo 4 developer 343 Industries have created a series of live-action shorts which serve as something of a side story to the events of Halo 4. A Halo 4: Gaiden, if you will.

Dubbed “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn,” the series debuted on Machinima Prime as well as Halo Waypoint earlier today, and while there is so far only one episode available, it does an excellent job of establishing what we might see from the remaining four weekly episodes (read: lots of character-driven drama, and surprisingly little footage of aliens being shot).

As for the plot driving this promotional tie-in, the series’ official synopsis describes things as follows:

Set against the backdrop of a United Nations Space Command (UNSC) military academy, “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” follows a group of cadets who are training to be the next generation of soldiers in the UNSC’s ongoing war with insurrectionists in the outer colonial planets. Among these cadets, Thomas Lasky struggles with his doubts about the war, and with the burden of expectations he may not be able to carry. As Lasky comes to terms with his potential as a military leader, the terrifying alien alliance known as the Covenant arrives and turns his world upside down. Inspired by the Master Chief, he must decide what it means to be a hero.

Notice that bit about Lasky being “inspired by the Master Chief?” That’s crucial. We don’t want any of you hardcore Halo fans going into this thing hoping to see John-117 blasting hordes of Covenant troops to pieces. That just doesn’t happen in this series. Instead, it focuses on characters who would be seen as largely incidental in any of the Halo games. By doing this the film’s creators believe they can offer fans some deeper insight into the backstory of Halo 4 than what they might otherwise glean from simply playing the game. Of course, it’s also likely that this decision was made because creating a live-action series that documents the adventures of the Master Chief as seen in the Halo video games would be prohibitively expensive.

Mind you, that isn’t to say that the Master Chief doesn’t appear in this series. He does, it’s just that he’s not the focus of these shorts. Hopefully that doesn’t bother too many of you.

Now, assuming you enjoy the first episode (which, conveniently, you can find embedded below), and the four episodes to follow on a weekly basis leading up to the release of Halo 4, the good news is that Microsoft and 343 Industries plan to release an “extended, 90-minute Special Edition” version of the series on DVD, Blu-ray, Xbox Live Video, iTunes and as part of the $99 Halo 4 Limited Edition bundle. Barring catastrophe, that should all be available come November 6.


Xbox-exclusive games could find a second home on Nintendo Switch

Microsoft is reportedly set to release some of its first-party games on Nintendo Switch, as well as the Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud services. Cross-play between Switch and Xbox One is already enabled.
Movies & TV

An Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series might be headed to Disney Plus

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney Plus compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Legion'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Transform into a tetromino master with our Tetris 99 tips and tricks

Tetris 99 is the latest battle royale game to stir up quite a bit of commotion. The Nintendo Switch Online exclusive adds a few new unexplained quirks to the Tetris formula. We've got you covered with our Tetris 99 tips and tricks.

Metro Exodus update brings DLSS improvements to Nvidia RTX 20-series PCs

Having issues in Metro Exodus? A February 21 update for the title recently delivered enhancements to Nvidia’s deep learning supersampling feature and other fixes for low-specced PCs. 

Need to perform a factory reset on your Xbox One console? Here's how to do it

Whether you're upgrading to a One X and giving your old console to a friend, or troubleshooting a technical issue, sometimes your Xbox One needs a clean slate. Here's our quick guide on how to factory reset an Xbox One.

Battle royale-style Tetris 99 is the first Nintendo Switch Online-exclusive game

If you want to play online multiplayer on Switch, you'll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Here's what you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online, from price to features to the awesome library of NES games.

The best PUBG weapons to win you that coveted chicken dinner

Which weapons in PUBG are worth the time to scout out and fit with attachments? Which are going to help you become the last player standing? We've got the answers you need in our best PUBG weapons guide.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

Want to play as Iron Man or Waluigi in GTA V? Our favorite mods make it possible

Grand Theft Auto V is best on the PC for many reasons, and modifications may be the most important. You can cause riots, spawn unique cars, and play as a cop with just a few extra files.

Walmart slices prices on PS4 DualShock 4 controllers just in time for Anthem

The standard black PS4 controller is what usually comes with the console itself, but if you want to add something a bit more customized your gaming experience, Walmart is offering a wide variety of colorful DualShock 4 controllers at…

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.