Halo 4 is coming. Get caught up.

We’re barely more than two weeks away from the launch of the next iteration in arguably the most important franchise for Microsoft and the Xbox 360. So, before Halo 4 actually invades your living room, it might be wise to get caught up on the history and lore of the previous games and surrounding fiction. With about 15 days to launch, you should be able to get through everything of importance, so we’ll list all the important stuff here.

Previous Games

Probably the best way to absorb yourself in Halo is to play everything again. Start with Halo: Combat Evolved (we recommend Anniversary Edition) and move through Reach. If you have any interest, take a look at our reviews of the two most recent titles in the series:

Books & Comics

In addition to the games, there is a massively rich history and fiction alive and well in paperback form. For many, this will be old news, but some are just finding out that there have been quite a few Halo novels, starting with The Fall of Reach. It might also be worthwhile picking up The Halo Graphic Novel as it too provides a lot of information about the Chief that the games don’t explain.

Other books worth noting are the following (all Amazon links because you should buy them all right now):

Interviews and Video Documentaries

343 Industries has tried hard – and succeeded, from what we’ve seen – to live up to Bungie’s creation while also crafting their own path through the Halo universe. They’ve been steadfast in releasing video documentaries showing just how they’ve changed gameplay but also stayed true to the roots that Bungie laid down where necessary. The embedded video below is probably the biggest indication of the incredible work 343 has accomplished so far with Halo 4, but we’ve added some links for even more below that are definitely worth checking out.

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Video Series

It probably won’t get you up to speed as well (or as quickly) as getting to the legendary ending in Halo 3, but Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn is a marvel of a video series and an incredible way to get us hyped up for Halo 4. With a combined 7.9 million views on YouTube alone, the mini series is worth every second of your time. Watch the first three episodes below.