343i's immensely popular live-action series set in the Halo universe seamlessly blurs the lines of gaming and film, but Forward Unto Dawn has run its course and closes the circle with its recently released final episode.
"Stay close to me. It's your best chance at survival." –Master Chief, Forwad Unto Dawn
Halo 4's live-action mini-series Forward Unto Dawn has been hailed, celebrated, and beloved by Halo fans worldwide. Not only does the series give a personal and intimiate look at the life of an ordinary group of cadets, but it also gives a first-hand look at the original war against the UNSC and the Insurrectionists as well as how the war against the Covenant united humanity together.
Forward Unto Dawn chronicles the daily lives of Hastati Squad, a fresh group of cadets training to become soldiers at UNSC's Corbulo Academy of Military Science. The series starts off with everyday drama wherein viewers see the interactions of the characters as they stuggle to become soldiers, then Hastati are thrust into a brutal and chaotic war between a hostile race of unknown aliens who suddenly attack the planet.
Seeing the Halo universe come alive with fully fleshed characters who have personalities and emotions is a real treat, especially since it brings a whole new level of realism to the franchise. Not since the live action Halo Landfall videos has the universe seen such caren taken to represent the fan-favorite saga.
This series is a monumental shift from Halo 3's live-action snippets and promos: Forward Unto Dawn shows the total evolution of live-action gaming fiction and how its grown into an amazing medium that blurs the lines of gaming and film.
One of the most enjoyable and iconic moments of the series is the appearance of Master Chief, who saves the survivors and dispatches Covies with ease. Forward Unto Dawn exposes Master Chief's role as a savior and a beacon of hope for humanity, which is something that isn't always adequately represented in the games.
The series breathes new life into the franchise, allowing fans to experience an in-depth view at a living adaptation of Halo. It has everything from Warthogs to ODST pods, orbital elevators, Covenant cruisers, needlers, energy swords, Sangheili warriors, and of course Master Chief, and it honestly is like watching a feature film on the big screen.
With the recent release of the fifth episode, the series comes to a close, but it has done its job with an exemplary performance and has been exceedingly enjoyable, building the anticipation for Halo 4 even more. 343i's newest chapter of the Halo franchise goes above and beyond, and Forward Unto Dawn has helped push it over the edge and become one of the most anticipated games of 2012.
Watch all five episodes of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn via a playlist on Machinima Prime's YouTube page, and check out IGN's official mini-Wiki on the series for a rundown of cast and credit info as well as a few other interesting tidbits.