Check out the video first and then dive into our analysis:
Wow, AMAZING, right?! This series just gets better and better! And we were totally wrong – the series doesn't end at 4 episodes. There's at least 5, and we're giddy to find that out. The series pays off in Episode 4 so we feel that everything from this point on is just a delicious bonus.
The tension in this episode was palpable. We can start to see Laskey become the leader we expect him to be, and his character development is suddenly beginning to make sense. The effects behind the Elites worked shockingly well, and we expected that to be the hardest task for the series to pull off. In our opinion they did amazing. And then comes the reveal of Master Chief – perhaps the most important moment of the entire webseries. Fortunately it felt true to the game and the practical effects of his armor are spot-on. The Chief stands at least 4 heads taller than the near-adult cadets, and he feels dramatically bigger. We expected this to be very hard for the show's producers to pull off, but they did it flawlessly.
At one point we hear Master Chief talking to “Kelly” over the coms. We're betting this is SPARTAN-II Kelly 087, who works frequently with Master Chief in the extended Halo universe before the events of Halo: Combat Evolved. This means that there are other Spartans on the planet, and that tells us that the Covenant incursion there is full-scale and very serious. These people need to get off the planet before the Covenant “glass” the surface (like they did on Reach, for example).
We count only 2 types of aliens in this episode – the Elites and the bird-like Jackal snipers. Even so, the combat is convincing and we feel that the series creators got the signature of the Covenant's plasma weaponry spot on, given the ripple of the plasma trails coursing through the air and the way that they cast a glow on the character's faces. And there's a full-size, honest-to-Halsey Warthog, complete with a convincing LAAG turret (that's Light Anti-Aircraft Gun, by the way). We hope to see the Chief shoot down a few Banshees with it in Episode 5. We also expect that we might see some Covenant heavies in the next episode – perhaps a few Hunters? Ooh, the thought gives us chills!
We're thrilled with how this series has turned out, and salivating at the thought of getting more. This just confirms our claim that a Halo television series would be possible using a mix of live-action actors, CGI characters, and the occasional Spartans. HBO, AMC, Showtime – take note!