Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn—Part 2 continues the web series.
Like the first episode, it begins with a voice-over, presumably from Cortana, and the images of a derelict ship. The episode then cuts backs to the cadets. There’s a lot of the same from last week. Lasky watches video letters from his ODST brother. Connections to the Halo series are pointed out, either subtly or not-so-subtly. We learn a bit more about what’s going on. But it’s still mostly exposition.
It feels like the tone has been set for the series. The episodes are largely-character-driven, with much of the critical development happening in the quite, slower-paced scenes that hold the episodes together. There are one or two major action scenes per episode—if you wanted to watch a first-person shooter, you’re out of luck. I have to give them credit for making this project so character-oriented. It could have really easily become a bunch of poorly executed YouTube action-schlock. But it needs to deliver a bit more to be truly great.
It could be that the series was written more as a giant movie, broken up into digestible chunks. If this was the case, the individual episodes might not work well as Youtube episodes. But the whole would be great to watch all at once. This would be sort of a failure of the project, a failure to fit the story to the medium. At this point, it could go either way. Now that the series has a bit more momentum, and they got all of that exposition out of the way, the next episodes might pick up a bit and feel more like an episode than a clip of a bigger movie.
The biggest flaw so far is that the second episode still feels like the pilot. There’s still a lot more exposition than action. And I don’t just mean action in the low-brow shoot-‘em-up sense of the word. Very little happens plotwise. Hopefully the momentum from the end of this episode will kick the next episode off with a bang.
Check out episode 2 below: