Microsoft and 343 Industries will have a special tie-in animated series for the upcoming Halo 5 game focusing on the Spartan-II project and the first Covenant attacks. Serving as an Origins story, Halo: The Fall of Reach will take place before and after the Covenant’s attack on the planet Reach and introduce Master Chief’s Blue Team.
If the story and the name of the series sounds familiar that’s because it should be for Halo fans, as The Fall of Reach was a 2001 Erik Nylund novelization of the same name. The animated series will look to update the Novel, giving that the series has continued in specific directions after the novelization.
“Without getting into the weeds, we’ve been careful to align with the novel where it makes sense, but in visualizing the universe–which has evolved so much in the intervening years–we were presented with a few challenges, but also a lot of opportunities,” Halo franchise development director Frank O’Connor explained. “So you’ll see a few differences, choices of Covenant ship, weapons and so on, but it adheres tightly to the core canon, with a few flourishes here and there to fill in gaps or smooth over previous errors.”
Executive producer Kiki Wolfkill (which is the most badass name I’ve ever gotten to write) explained that it would be beneficial for Halo 5 players to watch The Fall of Reach.
“The theme of family and the bonds that exist between soldiers (and even AI) has always been intriguing for us. We left the Master Chief at the end of Halo 4 contemplating a future without Cortana. Who can the Master Chief trust? In Halo 5: Guardians, John is reunited with Blue Team who represents a different kind of family for him–what is their bond and how was it forged? Halo: The Fall of Reach explores not just John’s origin story but also that of Blue Team itself.”
The Fall of Reach will be included with the Premium version of Halo 5: Guardians. Everyone else can pick up the film a week after the game’s launch on Oct 27th, no pricing has been announced.