When the Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn serials hit the web it was hard to enjoy the story as it was difficult to be able to watch them in sequence. With this Blu-ray release from Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries we get the true experience as it was meant to be.
The majority of the series takes place before the war with the Covenant and follows the Hastati Squad at a UNSC training facility. Of course the series was really created to learn about Lasky before his lead role in Halo 4, which unfortunately, I still have yet to play.
Microsoft and 343 have created a great story that shows what could be done with a Halo movie. Now, I hope someone puts some money behind a “big screen” adaptation of this Halo. When Master Chief finally makes his appearance it’s very exciting. It’s the type of moment that makes you cheer.
The only small mistake I picked up on is at one point they used an actor’s name instead of the character’s.
Crave Factor – 8
As this didn’t come from a “movie” studio, the video quality usually doesn’t quite compare, however, this is one case where I’m happy to be wrong. This looks as good as anything Hollywood has churned out. The indoor darks are well balanced against the overly bright outdoor scenes. The special effect overlays blend nicely and everything is extremely sharp. Fans of Halo will not be disappointed.
Crave Factor – 8
You can tell this was designed by a video game company as there is extraneous ambient noise where extra noise would be cut from a film, such as extensive low rumblings while the cadets are being yelled at by the commander early on. The war sequences on the other hand are awesome. You feel like you’re part of the battle. Microsoft Studios took full advantage of the sound stage during the sequences that required it.
Crave Factor – 8
I’m surprised to see so many extra features here. Well done MS/343.
First you’ll be able to view once again the Pre-Release Vignettes. There are 13 of these and they do get repetitive as some of the scenes are in the film or show up again in the other vignettes.
This one speaks for itself. Corbulo Academy of Military Sciences Recruitment Video. You could have signed up if the Covenant hadn’t already destroyed it.
Now we get to the meat and potatoes of the extras… The Behind the Scenes featurettes. They show us a lot of the production from pre-prod, productions design, costume design, stunt work, the Chief, the Warthog, and much much more. It was just as fun as the full feature. Sit back and enjoy all 10 of these.
There are three audio commentaries for your listening pleasure. The first features director Stewart Hendler, it is the hardest to sit through, yet is full of movie making goodness. The second with 343 Industries Frank O’Connor and editor Kevin Grace is full Halo geek goodness. The third features producer Josh Feldman and writers Aaron and Todd Helbing and is chock-full with a bunch more info. The shocking part is that none of them seem repetitive. They all focus on different aspects of the series.
Some people love scores and if you want to watch Forward Unto Dawn there is an Isolated Score for you.
I might be one of the few who didn’t think this was funny in any way, but fans of Red vs. Blue will enjoy their PSA: Sleeper.
Wrapping up the extras are the teaser trailer, full trailer and Sully’s Comm Database (artwork / photos)
Crave Factor – 9
I’ve only found one Easter Egg so far. Hit the Extras and select Behind the Scenes. Now press RIGHT on your remote for an Easter Egg.
Conclusion & Final Thoughts
This is not the Halo movie we deserve, but it’s the Halo movie we have right now. I for one am not disappointed. While I would have liked more Master Chief, his fentrance was exactly the “woah” moment required. Video is solid and the audio has one annoyance, but other than it may become a demo disc during the MC sequences. My verdict… if you’re fan of Halo you’ll want to own this. If you’re fan of sci-fi you’ll want to own this.