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Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn - Episode 4 review

Hail to the Chief

What if Halo was a survival horror game? What if all the guns and ammo were locked in a steel box at the other end of a corridor, patrolled by a ten-foot-tall invisible demon armed with a double-pronged lightsaber? Thus the questions posed by the increasingly worthwhile Forward Unto Dawn video series, which goes properly loud for its penultimate instalment.

Space Marine High School is in ruins, the Covenant are all over the shop talking scary reptile gibberish, and Hastati Squad are so many frightened, under-sized whipper-snappers, trying to outrun Needler shards and plasma bolts. Kids these days don't know they're born. When I was a lad, learning the ins and outs of Covvie-plugging in darkest Addingham, West Yorkshire, we'd get through six Elites before breakfast with one arm tied behind our backs. Sometimes we'd have the Elites for breakfast. It was that or wrestle a boulder.

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Another takeaway from today's episode - Spartan Armor weighs a tonne. Lord knows how Master Chief pulls off that little Batman-esque "now you see me, now you don't" trick towards the finale, because when this man breaks into a jog, it shows up on the Richter Scale. Meanwhile, in space, Cortana continues to have kittens about her impending computer senility. Hopefully, Halo will give the latter case of psychological shenanigans a decent degree of play.

Forward Unto Dawn had a quiet start in life, but now that war's officially broken out I'm rather enjoying it. The game's tropes are well-deployed, the special effects scrub up nicely and the cast continue to make the most of a fairly limited script. It would be nice to hear more about the UNSC's dodgy colonial dealings, hinted at in last episode's clandestine Oni materials, but that's possibly a story for another day.

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