The embargo for Halo on Paramount+ has been lifted, just over a week before the series is set to premiere. Naturally, diehard fans of the Xbox series are curious to find out what reviewers thought of the show's first two episodes, and it seems that reception is somewhere between positive and mixed. From what most reviewers are saying, it seems that these first episodes are mostly setup for the rest of the series, making it difficult to get a feel for how things will play out over the course of the next seven episodes. Some reviewers seem excited to see where things will go from here, while others are less interested in sticking with the series.
While the general reception is fairly average, many reviewers seemed to have positive things to say about Pablo Schreiber's role in the series thus far. Schreiber takes on the role of series star Master Chief in the series. Fans have been dying to see the character appear in live-action since the release of Halo: Combat Evolved back in 2001, so it bodes well that critics have had positive things to say about his performance. It is a difficult thing to bring a beloved character to the screen, and it appears that the show has done justice to one of gaming's biggest icons.
Live-action adaptations of video games have historically been a mixed bag in terms of quality, though it seems that things have started to turn around on that front. Major video game adaptations such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, and Uncharted have proven a hit with gamers and casual audiences alike. It remains to be seen whether Halo will be similarly well-regarded, but things are looking fairly promising, at the moment!
Do the reviews for Halo have you excited to check out the Paramount+ series? Have you been eagerly awaiting the show's release? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming! And keep reading to see what reviewers are saying about Halo!
ComicBook.com - Rollin Bishop
"The storytelling can overall be a bit clunky at times, but it largely hits the mark while nailing the visuals and overall vibe of what it broadly means to be part of the greater Halo franchise. That clunkiness is likely thanks in part to the attempt to crystallize all things Halo into a digestible package for a much broader audience. Not everyone that watches the show will have years of experience with Master Chief, but for those that do, it only makes the moments where Schreiber is fully armored up, taking on Elites with precision that much sweeter."
Rating: 4 out of 5
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IndieWire - Ben Travers
"The action feels more like watching kids play with their toys than slickly choreographed cinema, but the money invested in this massive production is certainly up on screen. "Halo" may very well evolve into something more than a math equation ("Game of Thrones" + "The Mandalorian" = "Halo"). What's unclear is whether Paramount+ actually wants it to, or if these obvious comparisons are precisely the point."
You can check out IndieWire's full review right here.prevnext
Paste - Kevin Fox, Jr.
"As a casual fan of the games, I'll accept any changes that end in making a good story. I'm apprehensive by nature, but I'm enamored by the cast and generally impressed by the composition of the design. A lot of expensive projects end up looking cheap these days, but when I say it feels more like a high-end SyFy show than a low-end HBO show, I don't mean the production values are bad; but rather, that this collaboration between Showtime and Amblin Entertainment does feel, in its bones, like it's made for people that want to visit the world of the Halo franchise."
You can check out Paste's full review right here.prevnext
The Hollywood Reporter - Daniel Fienberg
"And maybe Halo does play as more exciting and specific if you have an internal checklist of game elements — weapon types, helpful acquisitions, character or planetary allusions — you're looking to have acknowledged. For those of us who don't necessarily crave or appreciate those things, Halo has a generic story, limitedly engaging characters and a clearly high special-effects budget that yields respectable but unremarkable results. In the absence of prior attachment, that's insufficient for ongoing interest."
You can check out THR's full review right here.prevnext
Variety - Caroline Framke
"Whether or not those who've loved the "Halo" game might enjoy watching something that makes all the choices for them, and takes pains to balance its violent wars with headier dialogue, will ultimately be up to them. In order to make a successful TV show, however, Killen and Kane (who will not be showrunning Season 2) simply had no choice but to devote more time to character and worldbuilding. Seeing the world through a vacant perspective might work for a game in which the audience has its own agency, but not for a show that requires its own point of view. In its first two episodes, "Halo" doesn't quite have that yet. But as another entrant in the ever expanding "Halo" universe, it at least has enough ambition to make it worth a closer look."
You can check out Variety's full review right here.prevnext
Decider - Kayla Cobb
"This is all to say that there are good parts to Halo, and scenes and characters that should interest to new and old fans. But at least in its first two episodes, there is also room to grow. Halo has the potential to be the big-budget, hugely-watched space epic it wants to be. It just needs to take a breath and focus on its story — instead of its backstory — to do that."
You can check out Decider's full review right here.prevnext
Ars Technica - Sam Machkovech
"As far as the generally low bar of live-action game translations goes, Halo clears it handily. But the script and production values are too inconsistent so far, and that means I do not urge anyone with less Halo faith than me or other long-time fans to feel anywhere near as optimistic about the remaining seven episodes."
You can check out Ars Technica's full review right here.prevnext
Entertainment Weekly - Darren Franich
"Necessary to point out that I played three Halo games to story completion, and spent a few hundred hours of the mid-2000s in multiplayer matches. This relatively moderate level of awareness probably makes me the show's absolute worst demographic. The story variously tilts toward canonical completionists and confounded newbies, with dialogue variously impenetrable and explanatory. I want to stress that these two episodes basically comprise a prologue to multiple intrigues. The nine-episode first season could either speed up from here, or slow to a crawl."0comments
You can check out the rest of EW's review right here.