It's a pretty sharp promotional move reminiscent of the most generous demos and free weekends in gaming. I certainly don't know anyone with a Paramount+ subscription, and wrangling with another streaming app free trial is a big ask if you don't even know you'll enjoy the programming on offer.
Now though, you have nothing to lose but 58 minutes and 56 seconds of your precious free time. Tune in for a sort of Lone Wolf and Cub side plot and a reveal 21 years in the making: the Master Chief removing his helmet to reveal he is this man.
I appreciate the move here from Paramount, and hope to see more like it in the future. We're facing a veritable deluge of videogame streaming adaptations down the pike, with projects based on Fallout, Dungeons & Dragons, Bioshock, and more all in production or pre-production.
It's looking like there'll be a lot of videogame-based streaming shows vying for our money and attention, and association with a beloved property isn't necessarily a guarantee of quality. Making a one-off freebie episode available on YouTube seems like a must to stand out in this crowded field.