Talk about ending the work week on a high note. Microsoft and 343 Industries today posted the first episode of the Halo 4 live-action webseries designed to introduce the Halo franchise to people new or otherwise unfamiliar with the game. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn is a 20-minute clip, which we've embedded below, available in Full HD 1080p on YouTube.
"Set against the backdrop of a UNSC military academy, a group of highborn cadets are training to be the next generation of soldiers in the UNSC’s ongoing war with insurrectionists in the outer colonial planets," Microsoft explains on its Halo website. "Among these cadets, Thomas Lasky struggles with his doubts about this war, and with the burden of expectations he may not be able to carry. As Lasky comes to terms with his potential as a military leader, the terrifying alien alliance known as the Covenant arrives and turns his world upside down. Inspired by the Master Chief, he must decide what it means to be a hero."
The first episode begins by following Thomas Lasky aboard the wreckage of the Forward Unto Dawn spaceship. It's intended to portray the Halo universe through the eyes and perception of a teenager.
Future installments (released weekly) will run up through the release Halo 4 on November 6, 2012, at which time fans of the franchise will also be able to buy an extended, 90-minute Special Edition on Blu-ray, DVD, Xbox Video, iTunes, and video-on-demand (VOD) services with additional footage and bonus content.