Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn

As part of the new Halo 4 game release, 343 industries decided to tie in a live action series. There is a stigma that games translate poorly to non-interactive storytelling and for the most part that tends to be true. Games can take anywhere from 6-8 hours to play through, that’s not including RPGs which can consume 50-70 hours, or your whole life if it’s an MMO. Having to cram all that story into an hour and a half can be a bit daunting. Thankfully director Stewart Hendler and writers Todd Helbing and Aaron Helbing have been doing a weekly webseries that uses the Halo universe but tells a story we haven’t seen yet.

General Black dresses down the cadets

In 2525, as mankind has begun to colonise space, a group of cadets are training to fight against human insurrectionists. One of these cadets, Thomas Lasky, has doubts about his abilities as a soldier and his convictions for this war. Whilst he struggles with himself, the planet is invaded by an unknown alien race. Reeling under the assault, Lasky and his squad mates are rescued by John-117, one of the UNSC’s legendary SPARTAN-II super-soldiers. John must inspire Lasky to fulfill his potential as a soldier and a leader to fight against an enemy deadlier than any that humanity has faced before.

The Halo series has a history of marketing using live action sequences to show us brief moments. I’ve found previous live-action material for the Halo series well done and always leaving me hungry for more. Forward Unto Dawn, the newest live-action episodes set in the Halo universe, has recently been filling the need for more content.


  • Tom Green as Thomas Lasky
  • Anna Popplewell as Chyler Silva
  • Kat de Lieva as Dimah
  • Osric Chau as JJ Chen
  • Iain Belcher as Vickers
  • Masam Holden as Michael ‘Sully’ Sullivan
  • Enisha Brewster as April Orenski
  • Mike Dopud as General Black

Sully and Dimah watch classified footage

Hinting at events at the conclusion of Halo 3 you jump back in time and follow the story of Hastati Squad, the newest cadets at the UNSC’s Corbulo Academy of Military Science, and watch them go through training dealing with their own personal issues as well as learning what it means to be UNSC marines. The Covenant attacks and everything changes forcing the cadets to put their training into use trying to survive against an invading enemy fleet.

The cast has been doing an amazing job and I’m really enjoying the show. Every Friday is a new episode and they’re four episodes in. These episodes are leading up to the release of Halo 4  on November 6th, 2012.

It’s shows like this that make me wish TV networks were smarter about what they choose to air. I understand we’re all here for Master Chief but I actually care about what’s happening with the cadets and their story. Seeing this series on a weekly basis reminds me of just how many great stories people are missing by not playing games.

Matt Scott is an experienced gamer, zombie survivalist, and lover of all things robot. He firmly believes that games are one of the ultimate ways to bring people together to learn, teach, and grow. You can follow him on Twitter

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