Halo: Nightfall (DVD Review)

Halo NightfallHalo: Nightfall tells the personal story of Jameson Locke, a legendary manhunter and agent with the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), Earth’s most powerful and secretive military branch. He and his team are investigating terrorist chatter on the distant colony world of Sedra, when they are caught in a horrific biological attack. Led by Locke, ONI agents are forced to coordinate with Randall Aiken, a local commander with a remarkable history and deep-rooted mistrust of ONI. As they unravel a plot that draws them to an ancient, hellish artifact, they will be forced to fight for their survival, question everything, and ultimately choose between their loyalties and their lives.


Halo Nightfall


Halo: Nightfall is the latest from 343 Industries and tells the story of Jameson Locke (Mike Colter), a legendary man hunter for Oni (Office of Naval Intelligence). The film starts us off with a mysterious meeting by two characters that should not be meeting and exchanging potentially dangerous information with one another. A firefight ensues and a chase begins before this creature known as a Sangheili unleashes a biological attack that only affects humans.

Time is short on their side as they group up and try to learn where the source of the biological weapon came from. Once they fins the source the time are immediately under attack once again by a swarm of insects called Lekgolo – worms that can combine to make larger functional objects and increasing their coverage to affect larger areas in mere seconds. Think of the octopus like robots in The Matrix, when they swarm and combine themselves – the Lekgolo do the same except that they are drawn to metal and technology and if they swarm organic material (like flesh) they will consume it.

Locke and his team have to figure out how to get off the rock they’re on before it’s too late. My only experience with this Halo world is with their previews film called Forward Unto Dawn from a couple of years ago. That had the charm of featuring a cameo by Master Chief. Nightfall does not have that same advantage and if you’re unfamiliar with the source material the film will drag. Luckily the production values are nice and for a 10 million dollar price tag look more than adequate for what it is.

If you’re like me and not familiar with anything having to do with the Halo franchise then you will be lost and it may be frustrating trying to keep up with what’s going. If you want to just take it as is then you may find familiar themes embedded into the show. Nightfall reminded me of The Matrix due to the worms but since folks are stranded on an unfamiliar planet being systematically wiped out by their members and alien beings it reminded me of the Pitch Black series, which I loved.

Ridley Scott came onboard to executive produce and I think this brought the level of quality way up but as I mentioned before you would really need to be a fan of this universe in order to fully get it. I’m sure there will be more of these webisodes turned films in the near future and I am totally okay with that.


Halo Nightfall


Encoding: MPEG-2

Resolution: 480p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Clarity/Detail: We did not get a copy of the Blu-ray for review but boy is this DVD spectacular! Yes, it’s in standard definition but looks amazing. It’s crystal clear and a lot of the CGI looks great. DVDs should strive for this level of quality.

Depth: The world of Halo: Nightfall is a vast one and the DVD brings out the depth in spades during some of the more epic panoramic shots of the alien world the team is on. It’s shocking at just how clear it all is.

Black Levels: Black levels adequate and they do crush just a tad but it’s standard definition, so it goes with the territory.

Color Reproduction: The color palette is a very muted one, with lots of monochromatic patterns sprinkled in here and there. I would say that the first part of the film is the most “colorful” before switching visual aesthetics.

Flesh Tones: If they’re getting munched on by worms the folks in Halo: Nightfall look fit and healthy.

Noise/Artifacts: This was obviously scanned from a digital source I was only able to detect very minor spots of noise and debris – nothing to bad.


Halo Nightfall


Audio Format(s): English Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Portugese, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese

Dynamics: Halo: Nightfall sounds great for the most part, with exception to a couple of scenes where I was expecting some bombastic effects though the center channel that came out relatively flat. There are a couple of scenes like that throughout the film, which lowers the audio score a bit. I do hear that the Blu-ray features a 7.1 lossless soundtrack, so something may have gotten lost in translation on this standard 5.1 track.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel is on point 99% of the time and it does pack a wallop.

Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels handle the worms and all of the assorted alien rumblings in crisp detail. I had no complaints there.

Dialogue Reproduction: Nightfall is part of the Halo-verse and it’s surprising at how much dialogue there is in the film. The center channel did its job like a trooper and handled it efficiently. I have no complaints with those spoken levels.


Halo Nightfall


The special features for Halo: Nightfall really shine on this DVD. You get many featurettes covering every detail about production and what the producers and director were looking to accomplish. What seals the deal on this package is the almost 20-minutes of “Secondary Story” footage. These act as mini-feature stories happening at the same time as our heroes are investigating the biological outbreak and when they’re stranded on the alien planet. It gives the main feature added depth.


  • Beyond the Game: Expanding the Halo Universe
  • Canon Fire: Developing the Story of Halo: Nightfall
  • Old Dogs & New Tricks: The Tech of Halo: Nightfall
  • Try to Keep Up: The Stunts of Halo: Nightfall
  • Return of the Ring: Locations of Halo: Nightfall
  • Heroes Evolved: Introducing Agent Locke
  • Character Building: The Cast of Halo: Nightfall
  • New Horizons: Forging the Worlds of Halo: Nightfall


Second Stories  (presented in 1.78:1)

The Path of Belief


Recon 14

Walk the Path


Soldier Within

Outbound Cargo: Part 1

Outbound Cargo: Part 2

Rhoen Border Security

Indebted Travelers

Cooperative Protocol


Seed of Honor


Trade Barriers


Halo Nightfall


Halo: Nightfall will please most fans as it furthers the Halo-verse. There will be more features I’m sure. This DVD was put together really well and is worth the price of admission on the special features alone. The video and audio specifications are also pretty stellar. If you want to get caught up on all things Halo then I would also recommend Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, as well.



Halo: Nightfall is released on DVD March 17, 2015





Halo Nightfall


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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