A decently written expose into the life of an ONI agent, tasked with a near suicidal mission. Like forward Unto dawn, this short film’s purpose is to create a backstory for Agent Locke for his appearance in Halo 5
Full Review: Nightfall is another short film produced by 343 Industries to once again deliver a backstory for an emerging character their latest game, Halo 5. This time around we follow the story of Agent Jameson Locke, an officer working for the ever secretive Office of Naval Intelligence. The story follows Locke and his team’s mission to destroy the last of a mineral which can selectively kill humans when weaponized, a mineral that can only be found on a section of the Halo ring Master Chief destroyed. Everything goes great until they realise the
remains of the Halo installation on which they’re on is not as hospitable as once thought. Technology becomes their enemy as Hunter worms flock to anything powered by electricity. Locke and his crew must survive in the oxygen deprived world as they march across the land to get their nuke and destroy the hell they are stuck on, all before the sun rises and cooks the team alive.
Just like with Forward unto Dawn, 343 does an amazing job delivering a short film fit to bear the name Halo, with another great cast and crew, an amazing set, and a unique and original story to deliver the best short film they can muster. The character dynamic between the ONI agents and the crew from the colony world which assists the agents, led by a former SPARTAN II, adds a very nice sense of mistrust and conflict as well as forced camaraderie amongst Locke and the colonists in order to accomplish the mission. The shady nature of Locke’s men leads to interesting developments as fresh oxygen becomes short, and the threat of being killed by the Mgalekgolo worms grows as they near the wreckage of their ship. The ending dispute between the survivors, and the sacrifice of a key character gives Nightfall a very nice cinematic and thought provoking end. The movie does a great job telling Locke’s story, and painting him in a different light than most ONI agents are shown. Unlike Karen Traviss’ Osman, Locke is respectable and honest, and someone who fans can grow to love over time, as long as 343 doesn’t abuse him like they did throughout the halo 5 ad campaign.
The locations they chose for filming are nothing other than perfect. From the futuristic city on the lush green planet in the beginning, to the ashy, dark, rocky plains that represent the remains of the Halo ring, the set and locale they use for this film is absolutely beautiful and perfect for the film. The men in charge of location did their job perfectly and deserve every ounce of credit they can get. It’s only after watching the behind the scenes do we learn this hot volcanic wasteland was actually quite cold, and one sympathizes with the actors who had to walk around in muscle shirts and Tees as the filming progressed.
At the end of it all, Nightfall offers an entertaining story and delivers in its promise to give us what we need to know about Locke in a succinct and enjoyable fashion. After all, what more can we ask for but an action packed adventure filled with well written and delivering story as well as very professional and talented actors and actresses.
Final score: 8.5/10