‘Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn’ Trailer Released

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 9th, 2012 at 9:02 pm,

It’s a simple enough question to pose: what would the Master Chief’s adventure and experience look like through the eyes of any number of UNSC Marines on the battlefield? With more and more emphasis placed on the personal element of the Human/Covenant war for Halo 4, there’s clearly too much story to be contained in the game itself.

The live-action web series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn will be getting fans ready come October, and the first full trailer shows that Microsoft hasn’t spared any expense, or limited the scope of their narrative.

The live-action project with the Halo license isn’t all that shocking, since the tradition of stellar cinematic trailers preceding each release always left film fans wanting more. The immediate assumption when Forward Unto Dawn was announced was that hardcore fans would have yet another platform to see the – at this point, somewhat intimidating – fiction of the franchise explored. But the new series is quickly starting to defy that estimation.

The teaser for Forward Unto Dawn didn’t show much other than a brief look at a real, live Master Chief in full Mjolnir armor. The set photos showed it in all its glory. But the new extended trailer shows far more about the characters that the series will be following before the Chief even enters the picture. Namely, a group of extremely young soldiers being trained for war.

Since ODSTs – Orbital Drop Shock Troopers – were presented as being highly important to the plot of the series, the trailer’s focus on a group of young students at a military academy is interesting.

Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn Full Trailer

Film and television fans will see many familiar faces in the trailer, most notably Anna Popplewell (The Chronicles of Narnia) and Tom Green (Dance Academy) as protagonist Thomas Lasky, which is a good sign for those who felt that the live-action Halo 4 trailer shown at E3 lacked a certain amount of recognizable talent.

The man inhabiting the armor of Master Chief is none other than Daniel Cudmore, first noticed for his portrayal of Colossus in the X-Men series. Any casting of the Chief is sure to evoke some controversy, but for now it isn’t confirmed that the helmeted hero’s face will be shown at all. The series also seems to be much more grounded than the previous footage, packed with special effects and grand speeches. That doesn’t mean it won’t be without action befitting the Halo name.

Fans of the franchise’s extremely robust extended fiction will no doubt be glad to see many of the universe’s smaller nuances being paid service. Whether it’s the application of ancient military tactics into modern combat which also happens to have given the Spartan IIs their names, or the simple stenciling of ‘117’ on the Chief’s armor to show he is only one member of a larger force.

Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn Cast

It will be interesting to know how much of the decision to follow teenage students was motivated by the recent, overwhelming success of The Hunger Games. If the uniforms or armor of those seen in the trailer seem especially reminiscent of the feature film, it’s no coincidence: the same special effects team is at work here. That’s not a complaint, merely highlighting the fact that the military training of children that the Halo novels center around is far more palatable now than it was when first published. Especially if that’s the direction a Halo feature film would take…

If personal story and drama is taking precedence over making Master Chief seem like the hero yet again, then the possibility of Forward Unto Dawn lending momentum to a Halo feature film is even greater. One step at a time, though.

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn will be released via Halo Waypoint and Machinima starting October 5, leading up to the launch of Halo 4 on November 6, 2012.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

TAGS: 343 Industries, Halo, Halo 4, Microsoft, Microsoft Game Studios, Xbox 360

  • Jack7

    Where is steve downes? He is the voice of master chief!

    • wolferchief

      it’s years (i want to say ten+ years) before halo, so they wanted to give chief a more youthful voice than his future, older self.

      • Garrett

        it’s actually closer to 30 years before Halo: CE…. Just saying. The voice definitely would not fit, Jack. I thought the same thing you did until I realized how long before CE it was. Makes more sense.

        • Jack7

          agreed. didn’t realize the time change

  • tankD


  • Michael

    I cannot see where this could fit in the timeline. The recruits are unfamiliar with the Covenant when they attack, meaning that it is in the beginning of the Human-Covenant war. However, the suit that Master Chief is wearing is the Mark VI armor, which Chief did not get until Halo 2, and Chief did not visit any academies in the Halo 2-3 campaigns, which happen consecutively, and I don’t see how this could fit directly before or during Halo 4’s campaign either. It seems that the production team fumbled big-time with the continuity here.

    That’s not to say that I don’t like what I see. It’s awesome. I just wish more attention-to-detail was taken in the production.

    • wolferchief

      this happens very very early in the war where the events on harvest is just a “rumor” so it’s young in the timeline. yes it does seem like the MarkVI armor but could be a Mark IV.2 of some sorts to ready the future Mark V, like the armor shown in Halo: Legends on “the package”

      • Varteras

        It’s the Mark IV armor which looks very similar to the Mark VI. It’s the same armor used by Spartans during the majority of the war leading up to the Fall of Reach. The first time it was seen in-game was during Halo Wars. It was also seen in Halo: Legends during the episodes Homecoming and The Package.

        • Michael

          Take a closer look at the armor and you will see that the details show that it is the Mark VI armor. The Mark IV and V did not look like the Mark VI. The IV and V armors were more angular and blocky, while the Mark VI was curved and more natural-looking.

          Even though the story takes place at the beginning of the war, it seems that the production team either messed up or intentionally used the Mark VI armor because it’s more recognizable. Shouldn’t have done that.

          • Varteras

            Ah yeah okay. I just read the wiki on the Mark IV. Frank O’Connor pretty much clarified any confusion about the Mark IV armor (due to there being several different versions of it) by saying that the design of the Mark IV in The Cole Protocol and Halo Wars are the correct models just different variations. I was focusing on the fact that an episode of Halo: Legends showed the Mark IV to be pretty much the same thing as the Mark VI and that along with that there had been different looks to the same model.

  • fugfish

    Sweet !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kat

    I actually really like this idea of having the a web series to go along with the game. The trailer looked amazing too. Can’t wait!

  • Alex

    Armor questions aside, how many of you read Ghosts of Onyx? While this trailer is WAYYY before the book, the stage is being set for bringing about a connection with that kind of desperation. I think its great, I have always thought the Halo series could have more emotional connectability because of its very nature. War makes for desperate measures, and this would be a good start. I hope this gets TONS of good reviews, if its worth them!

    • http://gamerant.com/author/dyce/ Andrew Dyce

      Absolutely. Great book (possibly my favourite) and all this kids/army stuff rings pretty familiar for even the young Spartan IIs. Microsoft laying the ground work for a movie pitch…?

    • Jack7

      Ghosts of Onyx was awesome. I’d put it at number two behind the fall of reach. The space battles in reach were just too cool.

      • Alex

        Can’t say I have read better, what with the stellar physics (Newtonian anyway) and all. Couple of times it seemed like reading Battlestar Galactica for the space battles. That well thought out anyway. Different flavor of storytelling.

  • dan

    This looks awesome! I can’t wait! However, I have to say it… what in all hells does this have to do with Halo 4? *scratches head*

  • http://www.screenrant.com KNIGHTPREDATOR

    I’m lost, haven’t followed up on this so a big question???
    Is this trailer for a mini series that will be showing continuous episodes online like that Mortal Kombat one that came out not too long ago??? Or is this a trailer for a spin off game or to introduce halo 4???

    • http://gamerant.com/author/dyce/ Andrew Dyce

      No worries! It’s a weekly series that’s going to be released over Halo Waypoint and through Machinima on YouTube. Starts October 5th, with a new 15 minute episode every week up to the game’s launch. When it’s all over with, they’ll be selling a slightly extended version at 90 minutes altogether.

      The story takes place before the Halo series, but apparently tells the backstory of Halo 4 for those who will be looking for even more story or insights.

      Aside from the extended footage, it’s all free!

  • ATG

    Not a huge fan of Halo, but this looks pretty damn cool.

  • crazymanhandcuffs

    Was I the only one who thought this looked absolutely pants? Like some condensed version of a teen drama in a trailer about Halo featuring some dude wearing MC’s suit… wth??

  • Pencil

    The MasterChief armor looks too much like CGI… Which is sad.

    • AlexMech

      Gone are the days of actual models and costumes man. Even Darth Vader would be a CG character now. sniff Its sad change, you can’t connect the same way anymore.