As if Comic-Con wasn’t exciting enough, Microsoft and 343 Industries released the official trailer yesterday for their upcoming digital web series, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. It. Is. Epic.
Based on the beloved Halo universe, the series will premiere on October 5, 2012, on machinima.com’s new premiere channel, Machinima Prime, and on Halo Waypoint on Xbox Live. Five episodes are planned for promotional purposes leading up to the release of Halo 4 on November 6. The official Xbox Halo Waypoint site says, “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn brings a brand new Halo story to life on a scale never before seen in the Halo Universe.” (Xbox.com: Halo Waypoint)
The story goes something like this:
Set against the backdrop of a United Nations Space Command (UNSC) military academy, a group of highborn cadets 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 this 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. Halo fans who experience Lasky’s thrilling origin story in Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn will be rewarded with special insights into the story of Halo 4 and the “Halo Infinity Multiplayer” experience. (finance.yahoo.com)
Written by Todd and Aaron Helbing of Smallville and Spartacus, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn also boasts director Stewart Hendler of Sorority Row. The up-and-coming cast is riddled with smaller names that have made appearances in big-title films. For example, Master Chief will be played by Daniel Cudmore, who has been in X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, and The Twilight Saga. Tom Green (Dance Academy) will play Thomas Lasky, the character whose story drives the web series. More stars and their respective characters include Anna Popplewell (The Chronicles of Narnia) as Chyler Silva, Ayelet Zurer (Angels & Demons, Munich) as Mehaffey, Mike Dopud (Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol) as General Black, Enisha Brewster (Footloose) as April Orenski, Masam Holden (Grey’s Anatomy, Elizabethtown) as Michael “Sully” Sullivan, Osric Chau (2012) as JJ Chen, Iain Belcher (Supernatural) as Vickers, and Kat De Lieva as Dimah. (finance.yahoo.com)
Do I think this web series will be incredible? I think that was just a rhetorical question. Of course it will be. When video games started coming out with live-action trailers before the official release dates, all I could think of was, “That’s genius! What a way to get people more interested in the story than the gameplay. Video games are becoming real and relatable now.” Then when I saw the “Remember Reach” trailer which came out for Halo: Reach‘s promotion, I thought, “HO-LY SHIT. What did I just see?! My mind cannot contain or comprehend the glories that just scrolled in front of my eyes.”
If I was that stoked about the Reach trailer, you can very well expect this Halo fan of over 10 years to be more than ecstatic for another live-action viewing opportunity. For those of you wondering about the actual Halo 4 gameplay that is currently available at Comic-Con, all I can report is that our very own C Tan claims that the “multiplayer is awesome.” Take our word for it. (EDITOR’S NOTE: It was pretty sweet. Reminds me more of Halo 2 multi versus Halo 3, which is good. What was bad was I sucked at playing Halo so I got my ass kicked. Regardless, enjoyable and just feels a bit more balanced but that might have to deal with the fact no one else played it and didn’t have a great feel off the bat.)
For some additional eye candy on this series, you should check out this video by IGN: IGN First Look: Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Behind-the-Scenes. They were able to attend the set in Vancouver, B.C., and get some incredible behind-the-scenes footage. You can then add this to your list of total Halo achievements completed.