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'Halo: Nightfall' blasts from Xbox to VOD, DVD and Blu-ray on 17 March

The series, based on the smash hit game, will merge into a feature-length film and introduce a character who will make an impact in Halo 5.

The "Halo: Nightfall" series is escaping from the Xbox -- the episodes will be stitched together into a feature-length adventure that will be available online on 17 March 2015. The live action outing will be available to rent or buy from video-on-demand services and on DVD or Blu-ray.

Set between the events of Halo 4 and the forthcoming Halo 5: Guardians, "Nightfall" introduces top space-agent Jameson Locke, a character who will be "pivotal" in the new game, according to Microsoft. Locke is played by Mike Colter, who will also play Marvel superhero Luke Cage in a TV show exclusive to Netflix later this year.

In "Nightfall", Locke and his crew investigate the distant colony world of Sedra. There they must unite with hostile locals to fight off an alarming bioweapon and recover an ancient artefact, while saying things like, "What the hell are they?" and "Stay on mission." For Locke and chums, everything leads to the ultimate choice between loyalty and their lives.

Filmed in Iceland and Ireland, "Nightfall" was produced by Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions and directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, who previously worked on "Battlestar Galactica". "Nightfall" was first shown in late 2014 on the Halo channel, an app for Microsoft's Xbox console and Windows 8.1 dedicated to the universe of the popular game.

Halo 5 arrives later this year. Also expected is another TV show, this time overseen by Steven Spielberg.