The release of Halo: Combat Evolved in 2001 ushered in a new era in video games, one filled with earth tone-suited space marines and easily rechargeable health bars. Since it was announced back in April, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn has seemed like it could do for online serials what Halo did for video games. Recently, we’ve been seeing a lot of neat looking sneak peeks of what Forward Unto Dawn will look like, and though they’re just small features, it’s hard not to get excited. Check out this preview that was launched last week:

Forward Unto Dawn possesses a sterling production value rarely seen in original web content. The bleak visuals are stark yet crisp, the color palate reminiscent of many modern video games (or, as Zero Punctuation calls it, “gun metal gray and dystopia brown”). The cast of Hollywood vets adds to the professionalism; overacting is a common curse of many web series, but here the delivery is nice and nuanced. Also, big props to whoever did a perfect job of mixing the sounds.

Keep in mind that the hype here is not just about the future of online video, but also the Halo franchise itself, which is just dying for a lucrative film adaptation ever since a planned Neil Blomkamp/Peter Jackson project fell through in 2007. While that film would have kicked ass (Blomkamp and Jackson ended up making this beauty, while one of the writers, D.B. Weiss, now writes for a show you may have seen), perhaps a successful web series would encourage to give a Halo film project to the Forward Unto Dawn team, similar to the way Kevin Tancharoen landed a deal for a 2013 Mortal Kombat film based on the success of his Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series (also on Machinima).

Forward Unto Dawn will run for five weekly episodes, each one fifteen minutes long, on the Machinima Prime channel. All of this sleek product engineering will lead up to the release of Halo 4 on November 6, a day when Bungie will probably make enough money to buy the entire video game industry. The first full episode will come our way on October 5.

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