If you’re a fan of the Halo video games, then you know that this has been a long time coming. Originally, the franchise was slated to be a feature-length film by Neill Blomkamp, but that ended up being scrapped and turned into Elysium. There were some other short shows that came and went, but none of them seemed to stick the landing (barring the wonderful collection of animated shorts we know as Halo Legends). It didn’t seem like Halo fans would ever catch a break…until now.
What’s the Big Deal?
For those that have never played a Halo game, there’s a reason why this day was a long time coming. Halo is not only known for its enamoring gameplay experience, it is also known for its immensely engaging storytelling. There is so much material, games and otherwise, to pull from, not unlike Star Wars. From the contentious relationship between the Insurrectionists and the UNSC to the ideology behind the Covenant’s religion known as The Great Journey, there’s a lot for the show to play with in terms of lore.
Seeing it finally get adapted into a show is exciting, to say the least. The games were great at keeping you hooked as you soldiered on through the campaign but as great as the story was, it was more so about the gameplay experience than anything else. Converting the story to a streaming medium allows the storytellers to really do a fun deep dive into the expansive universe Halo has become.
What Can We Expect From Halo The Series?
Now fans and incoming viewers are likely thinking about what this show has to offer. According to GameSpot, Halo The Series is going to be set in its own timeline, meaning that this will not be considered a canonical story where the games are concerned. While it is somewhat disappointing, there’s a good reason why the creators of the show have decided to go this route. By making this its own canon, it gives everyone working on the project free reign to explore the characters in different ways we’d never imagined before. Plus, it also means they don’t have to worry about being confined or married to the original story, and thus, don’t need to worry about inconsistencies with the story at large or breaking canon (which would be pretty bad).
It also gives Halo fans something fresh to consume, while also inviting newcomers to the franchise. If it were telling the original story scene-by-scene, there would be a lot of catching up to do in terms of familiarizing oneself with all the content that has come out prior to the series. At the end of the day, it looks like the creators want to make Halo The Series as enjoyable for everyone as possible, which is something to be appreciated.
Though this isn’t meant to be a review of the first episode, it is worth mentioning that this fan of the Halo franchise has seen it. To other Halo fans out there, I would like to say this: there are some things the show does that are quite different, but so far, there hasn’t been anything truly egregious that completely detracts from the viewing experience. As for what happens closer to the end of the episode (you’ll know what I mean when you see it), I err on this side of saying, give this route a chance. Is it ideal? No, but we are dealing with a different visual medium when it comes to storytelling. So making the decision that they did is in some way understandable. The only way that this peculiar element can become truly problematic is if they did it on a regular basis, which would in my humble opinion, be too much.
That being said, if you’re in need of a new super-awesome sci-fi show, as it currently stands, I cannot recommend Halo The Series enough. Halo The Series can be streamed exclusively on Paramount+.