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Halo: Nightfall - Impressions

To say I'm a massive Halo fan is putting it lightly. I have a borderline obscene collection of anything Halo related: games, toys, novels, art, you name it. I've already accepted the fact that there's likely not going to be a big budget Halo movie, as that seems to have fallen through the cracks over the years, which is ok. Instead, we've been given Forward Unto Dawn which was a live action short set in the Halo universe, a direct tie in to Halo 4, and now we're able to see the next chapter of the Halo live action films - Halo: Nightfall.

Halo: Nightfall

The first episode (the only available as of this writing) runs almost a half hour, so at a five-episode run, if the rest follow suit we've essentially got a full length movie to enjoy once it's all been released. So what makes Nightfall unique? Well for starters, is being produced by Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) and serves as an origin story for a new character to the Halo universe that we're all going to know very well shortly, Agent Locke.

I can hear you now: "Why does this matter? What about Master Chief?" Trust me, I would also love to have a full length film that follows Spartan 117 and his AI Cortana, but Nightfall's endgame purpose is to be a direct tie-in to Halo 5: Guardians that is releasing holiday 2015.

Agent Locke (played by Mike Colter) is going to be a playable character in Guardians and if you've been following the Halo 5 teasers or bought Halo: The Master Chief Collection, then you know how pivotal of a role he is going to play as a Spartan assassin searching for Master Chief. Why?

Well, we won't know until next year in Guardians most likely. What we know from what's been shown is that Locke has met with Arbiter and is getting all the information he can about all of Master Chief's missions to not only learn about him, but to hopefully find clues of his whereabouts. If you're a huge Halo fan like me, this probably makes you giddy as well.

Agent Locke

It's also been said that Nightfall will have ties to the Halo TV series (being headed by Steven Spielberg) that's due to release alongside Guardians next year, but for now we'll have to wait to see how the remaining episodes lay that groundwork.

As you're watching your episodes of Nightfall through the Halo Channel app (which you'll need to own the Halo: Master Chief Collection to access), there will be opportunities to watch "Second Story" clips that will give you even more back story of what's going on that simply wouldn't make sense being in the original episode itself. For a Halo fanatic like me, it's a fantastic way to get more information about the Halo lore and allows you to dive in even further if you wish.

As for the main plot points of Nightfall, I'll avoid most spoilers where possible, but be warned, you may want to watch the episode first before reading on. Nightfall may not start off with a bang, but it doesn't take long to start to get interesting. Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) Locke and his small team are searching the colony world of Sedra for a smuggler.

As they are tracking down this individual, they follow a terrorist Sangheili (Elite) who sets off a biological weapon that seems to randomly affect humans. Following the attack, Locke must now work with Sedran forces to find out where the weapon came from and how to stop any further attacks.

Halo: Nightfall

They find where they need to go, and it's something that got me incredibly excited as a Halo fan. They've found a partial piece of Installation 04, the Halo that Master Chief destroyed in Combat Evolved. The episode ends with a very exciting teaser and I'm looking forward to see if they can keep delivering for the Halo fans.

That being said, Nightfall is for the Halo fans, and much less so for the casual or non-fan. If you've never played Halo before and watch Nightfall, you're going to be completely lost as nothing is explained at all. It's assumed you're a Halo fan which is why it's behind the barrier of owning the Halo: Master Chief Collection, so I can't fault it for that, but just know that going in.

On the other hand, for the Halo fanatics like myself, there's so much fan service here that you'll be searching every scene for the slightest bit of extra information about the lore you can.

The visual effects are quite good; not blockbuster move good, but for what it is, I'm content. It's far better looking than Forward Unto Dawn and simply feels like it has a much bigger budget. It may only be a single episode in, but I'll be watching it each week to learn more about Agent Locke and hopefully have a better understanding of not only his character, but also his vague intentions once it's time to dive head first into Halo 5: Guardians next holiday.