Part of the campaign leading up the biggest console exclusive game this year, Microsoft has announced that they are producing a series of live-action short films for Halo 4. Titles Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, the five episodes series will show on Halo Waypoint and Machinima in the weeks preceding Halo 4’s November 6th launch date.
Cleverly names after the UNSC Charon-class light frigate on which Mater Chief and Cortana find themselves at the end of Halo 3 (also the beginning of Halo 4), however, Forward Unto Dawn, does not exclusively focus on those characters alone. Instead, the web-series tells the story of how Master Chief inspired a young cadet whose journey to becoming commander of the UNSC Infinity ties into the events of Halo 4, while also examining the origins of the war between humans and The Covenant.
This will be the “largest investment” in live-action film-making to date, according to a company representative. 343 Industries’ Frank O’Connor says the web series idea grew, mostly, out of fan demand.
“Every time we do a live-action commercial the audience says, ‘We want to see more so that we can explore the Halo universe a little bit more.’ Demand grew more and more out of the two little vignettes we’d previously produced.”
Also, O’Connor believes that Forward Unto Dawn will offer an easy inroad for players who may be new to the Halo series.
“We needed a way to ensure there was a way for people to get onboard this universe without feeling intimidated.”
Every episode is roughly 15 minutes long and when it is over, Microsoft intends to package them all together and make it available in a yet-to-be-determined form (Xbox Live download seems 95% certain). 343 Industries’s Matt McCloskey wanted fans to be aware that Forward Unto Dawn is more than just an advertising campaign.
“We wanted to go way beyond that and transform this live-action exploration from advertising into a full standalone product that people will enjoy.”
Microsoft and 343 Industries plan to reveal Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn’s cast and director at San Diego Comic-Con in July.