Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Episode 1

#1 Edited by SushiNao (51 posts) -

This just released via Machinima Prime, and after watching it, I have to say I'm quite pleased with the direction they're taking. It's got gravitas and some subtlety in its story-telling, and some of the shots push all the right classic sci-fi buttons. I recommend it.

#2 Posted by Dad_Is_A_Zombie (1225 posts) -

I have to say this seems to be of much higher quality than I expected. I had written this whole thing off as inevitably cheesy but it looks like it will be pretty damn good!

#3 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8699 posts) -

Very promising.

#4 Posted by Jeffsekai (7049 posts) -

I will watch this tonight when I am home.

#5 Posted by Village_Guy (2657 posts) -

Alright, that is looking pretty good. I'll be watching it for sure.

#6 Posted by flufflogic (291 posts) -

The props all look to be in a different scale to the people. It's a little jarring. Armour looks too thin, guns too huge... but, the drama seems good.

#7 Edited by big_jon (5775 posts) -

@flufflogic said:

The props all look to be in a different scale to the people. It's a little jarring. Armour looks too thin, guns too huge... but, the drama seems good.

It's tiny cadets in training armour so yeah.

I'm only half way through but damn, this is actually good!

Just finished it, it was great!

#8 Posted by flufflogic (291 posts) -

@big_jon: No, on the adults too. It's weird, because it looked fine in the ODST/Reach trailers.

#9 Posted by big_jon (5775 posts) -

@flufflogic: Oh, I thought they looked good personally but there is bound to be a little awkwardness when things that were designed artistically for video games are brought into live action I guess.

#10 Posted by RAMBO604 (137 posts) -

If someone told me this was a SyFy Channel production I would believe it. The reuse of locations from both Stargate and Battlestar Galactica really stuck out like a sore thumb. It must be the most futuristic building in all of Canada apparently. Plus a few actors from BSG are also in there.

But yeah overall pretty damn excellent considering its a promotional web series for a video game.

#11 Posted by Venatio (4493 posts) -

@RAMBO604 said:

If someone told me this was a SyFy Channel production I would believe it. The reuse of locations from both Stargate and Battlestar Galactica really stuck out like a sore thumb. It must be the most futuristic building in all of Canada apparently. Plus a few actors from BSG are also in there.

But yeah overall pretty damn excellent considering its a promotional web series for a video game.

This, I really miss BSG and Stargate and this just reminded me of how much I want a space sci-fi show to be on the air again, I mean, there's nothing at all at the moment, this would be awesome as a full fledged tv show. but as it is, it's surprisingly good

Yeah the use of that school building in Canada as a sci-fi location has been used too much

#12 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

Not bad.

#13 Edited by big_jon (5775 posts) -

The funny thing is that my friend goes to that school, I have run on that track, and lifted weights in that weight room behind the track numerous times, as a big Halo fan I almost pooped myself when I realized that they had been filming the weekend prior to my last visit there.

Wish I could have been a Marine extra, I think I could have passed for it!

#14 Posted by RAMBO604 (137 posts) -

@Venatio said:

This, I really miss BSG and Stargate and this just reminded me of how much I want a space sci-fi show to be on the air again, I mean, there's nothing at all at the moment, this would be awesome as a full fledged tv show. but as it is, it's surprisingly good

Yeah the use of that school building in Canada as a sci-fi location has been used too much

It is such a shame there is absolutely no market for sci-fi on television anymore. On the broadcast networks any science fiction show flounders and on the cable networks everything has just disappeared. Hell SyFy hardly has anything left and I'm sure Stargate Universe scared them off space sci-fi for a good while. And it was pretty decent. And that trailer for the canceled BSG Blood and Chrome looked badass.

#15 Posted by MB (12933 posts) -

I keep forgetting there is an entire generation of gamers that really loves HALO. This looks interesting and I've had fun with co-op in some of the later games, but I just can't bring myself to care about this upcoming game at all.

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#16 Posted by emem (1972 posts) -

Great, I already really enjoyed the real life Halo 4 trailer they showed at E3 (which felt a bit like Wing Commander to me, which is a good thing) and I think I'll enjoy this live action series more than the game. The first episode actually totally reminded me of Starship Troopers... also not a bad thing.

#17 Posted by BraveToaster (12588 posts) -

it wasn't bad, I just hope it doesn't go the route of the live action Mortal Kombat webseries and become progressively terrible.

#18 Posted by Aetheldod (3682 posts) -

Ahhhh nice ... got me hooked , a good sign bet bro is dead :P

#19 Posted by big_jon (5775 posts) -

@Aetheldod said:

Ahhhh nice ... got me hooked , a good sign bet bro is dead :P

Very possible, I would assume that ODST's would have been doing a fair bit of the leg work when the Covenant attacked, so I would imagine his brother would quickly have been pulled away from fighting Innies to fighting the far more dangerous Covenant. The fact that he was plaing Chess with his brother leads me to believe that he is alive at the time of that recording.

#20 Posted by AngelN7 (2972 posts) -

I like the production values they even got what's her face from Narnia but they need to show a Spartan (the Chief) those kids look too weak to be Marines but they're cadets so it makes sense... it remind me of Valkyria Chronicles 2.

#21 Posted by Snail (8648 posts) -

I guess this is not a very smart thing to do since I'm posting in the Halo 4 forums, but... that video isn't great. It's got sub-par acting and a generic plot. Those are the only two things about it that need be pointed out, those two facts are as descriptive of that video as anything about it. I stopped watching before it was over though, so, while I find that to be quite telling of the video's quality, I also have to concede that there's the possibility that it turns out to have something genuinely interesting in it after I stopped watching, like a cool cliffhanger - but I really, really doubt that.

#22 Edited by big_jon (5775 posts) -

@Snail: The end is by far the strongest part, that is when the characters get flushed out a bit, but really it sounds like you're going to be too picky to impress with any part of it so. I mean, "generic"? It's about Halo, it's in the Halo universe, and is about as far from the games as it could be in terms of scale, and story telling, it's about a few young cadets/kids wrestling with their training, and the protagonist not believing in the war, I mean if you find Halo generic that's fine, but then of course you are going to find this show generic, that's just it.

I also have to ask what was wrong with the acting? I though it was all pretty on par, I can see not liking this if you're not into the subject matter, but I think this is anything but low quality, especially considering what it is.

#23 Posted by Snail (8648 posts) -

@big_jon: You seem surprised that I find it generic, but when you try to list reasons why you think it isn't you come up with this:

@big_jon said:

it's about a few young cadets/kids wrestling with their training, and the protagonist not believing in the war

And nothing else. I'll just go ahead and say that you failed to make a case for yourself. As for the acting, you're right when you say that it's good for what it is, which is a web-series based on a video-game and aired on YouTube. And whatever, that's totally fine in a B-movie kind of thing which this resembles, even fitting. It's just that the story is generic stuff and doesn't grip me for its whole length.

As for the ending, well, maybe I'll watch it again sometime.

#24 Edited by big_jon (5775 posts) -

@Snail: I'm not making a case for myself... Now on the subject of generic, I ask you what makes the story generic, you say I'm not making a good case, then offer no reason as to why? Generic would mean common, or over used right? Well if that is what you are going for then let's hear some examples of what it is that makes this story generic? Examples of similar stories which have been over used or over done maybe? But by the sounds of it you are writing off future Si-fi military as a whole as generic, but if that is the case then that has more to do with your taste in the genre as whole then the individual quality if this series.

I think it is fine if you don't like it, but really, I just find your points of it's supposed flaws to be lacking any fair reason, it sounds like a matter of taste, not quality of acting, or story.

I mean, I always use JRPG's as an example, I hate them in their modern non-SNES form, but for that reason I am not the right person to speak to their quality, because there is nothing that they could do to make me like them without them no longer being JRPG's.

#25 Edited by Snail (8648 posts) -

@big_jon said:

@Snail: I'm not making a case for myself... Now on the subject of generic, I ask you what makes the story generic, you say I'm not making a good case, then offer no reason as to why? Generic would mean common, or over used right? Well if that is what you are going for then let's hear some examples of what it is that makes this story generic? Examples of similar stories which have been over done maybe? But by the sounds of it you are writing off future Si-fi military as a whole as generic, but if that is the case then that has more to do with your taste in the genre as whole then the individual quality if this series.

I think it is fine if you don't like it, but really, I just find your points of it's supposed flaws to be lacking any fair reason, it sounds like a matter of taste, not quality of acting, or story.

Okay, so I guess I wasn't clear enough for you. I am making a statement right here that the story of a trainee soldier not liking the war he's going too is an over-used aspect in movies at this point. That's not to say that a new movie with such a theme can't be terrific, but when you make the whole story essentially about that, give it no idiosyncratic ideas or quirks, slap a generic sci-fi setting and stale characters on it, it becomes pretty generic yes.

To say that that short episode is surprisingly well produced is fair. To say that it is "great" is overpraising it, and perhaps a consequence of your affection for the franchise and low expectations for this sort of "made-for-the-internet" content.

I also never wrote off futuristic sci-fi as a whole, but I hope you're having a good time making stuff up?

#26 Edited by big_jon (5775 posts) -

@Snail: How can you know that the "whole story is essentially about that" when you watched half of the first episode, the action heavy part, and then wrote it off. I mean you have seen 1/10th of the series, you can't really speak to its story quality yet, can you?

I also never claimed you were not into Si-fi as a fact, I said it sounds like to me, I did not make anything up, maybe take the time to actually read my post.

I say it's great because I am a Halo fan, it is about a universe that I love, I am already invested in it, and there are a lot of throw backs to the universe and books in this series, I don't expect it to be great to a person with no investment in the universe. I am only taking issue with your specific, very direct criticisms, and asking for elaboration because I didn't find them fair.

But to each their own I guess.

#27 Edited by Snail (8648 posts) -

@big_jon said:

@Snail: How can you know that the "whole story is essentially about that" is the entirely of the story when you watched half of the first episode and then wrote it off. I mean you have seen 1/10th of the series, you can't really speak to its story quality yet, can you?

I wasn't. I was telling you what I thought about the two-thirds of the episode that I saw. I didn't even try to hide that, so I don't know what you're accusing me of.

@big_jon said:

I say it's great because I am a Halo fan, it is about a universe that I love, I am already invested in it, and there are a lot of throw backs to the universe and books in this series, I don't expect it to be great to a person with no investment in the universe.

Yeah, exactly. That is just about the only reason why you'd like this series. If you're really into the Halo universe, then seeing it being developed in live action must be all sorts of cool. Otherwise it's lame and uninteresting. And because it only pleases fans of the franchise it expands upon, I think calling it "great" is quite an overstatement, and I stand by that. To be fair though, it's just the first episode, and things can get a lot better from here on out - but, again, I really, really doubt that.

#28 Edited by big_jon (5775 posts) -
@Snail said And because it only pleases fans of the franchise it expands upon, I think calling it "great" is quite an overstatement

Wouldn't that mean any sequel considered great by past fans of the series would be an overstatement then? And who says it only pleases fans of the series, I know a few people who don't really play Halo, or even games at all for that matter who liked it.

I mean this is a glorified commercial and given that I and I bet many others, would argue it has already been of higher quality in terms of plot quality than a lot of summer blockbuster movies like Tranformers, or Gi-Joe, I don't think it is any stretch to say what has been seen so far could be seen as great. By the end I could see this series being much more entertaining, and having more substance then a lot of movies with 50x its budget.

#29 Posted by pweidman (2355 posts) -

Heh, that was pretty good. Better than I expected for sure. And keeping in mind this is only the first half of the first installment. It's story set-up time, and laying down a foundation for the other parts of the story. Character development too. But overall, it was good and I could see it becoming a show on cable if the creators would be interested. The dearth of sci-fi series' out there gives it a shot at least in terms of viewers, let alone the Halo faithful.

#30 Posted by Tebbit (4480 posts) -

I dunno... seems a little generic to me.

Also, I don't care that it's named after the ship, that title is pretentious as hell.

#31 Edited by Snail (8648 posts) -

@big_jon said:

@Snail said And because it only pleases fans of the franchise it expands upon, I think calling it "great" is quite an overstatement

Wouldn't that mean any sequel considered great by past fans of the series would be an overstatement then? And who says it only pleases fans of the series, I know a few people who don't really play Halo, or even games at all for that matter who liked it.

I mean this is a glorified commercial and given that I and I bet many others, would argue it has already been of higher quality in terms of plot quality than a lot of summer blockbuster movies like Tranformers, or Gi-Joe, I don't think it is any stretch to say what has been seen so far could be seen as great. By the end I could see this series being much more entertaining, and having more substance then a lot of movies with 50x its budget.

Well no, I won't entirely dismiss it right off the bat (actually I'm just saying that to not sound rude).

It isn't better than those movies because they, while being terrible, make up for the lack of plot with a lot of action. But comparing this webisode with a summer blockbuster makes no sense. I didn't mean to make a straight up comparison between this and every aspect of a movie, I seriously only alluded to movies a while ago to make the point that, yes, the main plot here is pretty derivative and thin. But who cares, it's a YouTube webseries. I'm not trying to go all-out pretentious and make a thorough analysis of this 20-minute long YouTube Halo thing: I'm just saying that it is not great. Your friends liked it. To say that this is great is a blind senseless compliment that is fueled singularly by your affection for the franchise, that I'm guessing is a long-lasting one.

It is, however, surprisingly well-produced. But that's all it is. It still has a story that is anything but gripping, it is still a webisode based on a video-game franchise, it is still at best only okay entertainment. I'm not saying that you shouldn't enjoy it - for a Halo fan this certainly looks like a real treat. It's just that I'm of the opinion that anyone hailing this video as something awesome is driven to that opinion because, for a product of its nature, this is surprisingly well-funded and has a rarely seen amount of effort and polish put into it. Also because it's Halo. So then people think it's great. But it's isn't. It's just better than what you would expect.

Anyway, I'll shut up for now, at least until I finish watching it (which shouldn't be today considering how late it's gotten).

#32 Posted by mgray5159 (53 posts) -

I like it a lot. I hope the action picks up a bit but it is the first episode and they have to build up the characters and stuff. It looks really promising.

#33 Posted by Jackel2072 (2278 posts) -

Yeah... i like Halo and all but this is kind of bad. Hey if you like it great, fantastic! me? i think its fucking god awful. always enjoyed the shorts they did in the past (ODST was the best imo) but this is not jiving with me at all. seems like HALO 90210.

#34 Posted by minotaka (320 posts) -

I'm on board.

#35 Posted by Redsox44 (485 posts) -

This was pretty cool. Still want that Blomkamp Halo movie! But this'll do for now, I like that they're putting so much effort into Halo 4.

#36 Posted by TheHBK (5554 posts) -

Pretty good, just not too hyped up about the douchie looking main character.

#37 Posted by Gamer_152 (14100 posts) -

I have kind of mixed feelings about this. On the one hand it looks aesthetically very similar to BSG and similar stuff that I didn't care for, and I found it a little hard to take the young soldiers seriously, but the character interaction nearer the end was actually pretty good and it's really cool to see a lot of the Halo stuff brought to life.

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