The very first glimpse of all-out Master Chief action had the world sold on Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. Now, the time has come for the characterization and drama to give way for a bit more violence. The previous episode of the Halo 4 web series showed that the Chief was worth the wait, but now Hastati Squad takes their fights against the Covenant onto four wheels.

While this may be the last chance for fans to see Thomas Lasky before his leading role in Halo 4 (read our review here), those who love the series have a chance to get a bit more when the extended cut of the project will be coming via Blu-ray, and included with the Halo 4 Limited Edition. It may be goodbye, Master Chief, but not for long.

The Chief/Cortana portion of the episode shows the trusted AI is still capable of composing herself into a new and (at least visually) improved version, although the extent of her rampancy will have to be seen firsthand. From there, the Chief and his young squadmates take center stage, sent headlong into a veritable turkey shoot of superheated plasma. That said, we’ll take Jackals over a Hunter any day.

Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn Hunter

The last episode of the web series may be hard to take for those who fell in love with its young cast and the budding romance between Lasky (Tom Green) and cadet Chyler Silva (Anna Popplewell), but in the Halo universe, victory always comes with a price. But while the loss is tragic, the Covenant provide the hesitant officer with a motivation strong enough to carry him through the war about to unfold.

One he’ll carry with him (in more ways than one) directly into Halo 4. The final moments will leave fans desperate to jump into the Chief’s Mjolnir armor once again, which was 343 Industries‘ goal all along.

Aside from giving players a chance to start Halo 4’s campaign feeling informed (while the Chief may not be), Forward Unto Dawn has managed to turn one of its secondary NPCs into a fully-realized character before the game has even shipped. Where they go from there…well, we’ll have to wait and see.

Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn Cortana

Luckily fans of Halo‘s extended fiction won’t have to go far to get their next dose. We’re not just talking about the mysteries that Halo 4‘s campaign will be unraveling, or the new overarching story that will be woven into multiplayer. Fans have an entire season of Spartan Ops that won’t just bring episodic content to mainstream gamers, but could change the entire industry.

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn has done its job paving the way for the arrival of Halo 4 on November 6, 2012, exclusively for the Xbox 360.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.