I love Halo. It was and still is my best first-person shooter. I am currently shy of Onyx in Infinite by a few games, but I have zero desire to play the game recently. (That’s a topic for another, but seriously 343, give us more content.) So with the release of the show, here is a Halo episode 1 review, there is a spike of Halo in pop culture. And there is no such thing as too much Halo. So how does the first episode stack up, and does it live up to the hype?
Halo Episode 1 Review
I won’t lie. There have been some major red flags leading up to episode one’s premiere this past Thursday. However, I don’t think it’s a good look for the show’s creator to proudly say that they didn’t even look at the game. It just sort of rubs me the wrong way. It’s like someone saying they are making a Great Gatsby show but never reading the book and only watching the movie.
I understand the direction the show is going but showing Master Chief’s face in episode one felt like a slap in the face for hardcore fans. I understand why they did it. You can get away not showing your main character’s face in a video game or book, but it doesn’t translate well in live-action. But I feel like the reveal was too rushed. The Mandalorian didn’t show his face until Season 1, Episode 8. I have no issue with the show revealing Master Chief’s face. I just wasn’t a fan of how they did it.
Good and Evil
The UNSC feels eviler than in the games. Not that the UNSC was some benevolent force all the time, but the show’s UNSC feels much darker. The ending of this episode showcases it. (SPOILERS) The UNSC orders Master Chief to kill a girl. No wonder he starts questioning orders off rip in the show. Master Chief is the pinnacle of human engineering and is a walking weapon of mass destruction, but we still see pieces of his humanity even in the games. So I am excited to see how his character develops in the show without Cortana in his helmet.
We had a glimpse at a Cortana program. (I’m assuming it’s a clone of some sort, but I have no idea.) Cortana is such an iconic piece of Halo lore that not seeing her was a bummer. I love the give and take she has with Master Chief. Then again, she is the only person Chief talks to in the games as he is usually on some random alien planet alone.
People are up in arms about Blue Team’s rebranding into Silver Team. I don’t mind. This show isn’t canon to the books or the game. Not that I would ever want it to be canon to them. It’s like how Teen Titans takes a world with characters we love and makes itself its own thing while not being canon to the comics.
First thing first, I love and hate the Elites in this show. Most of the time, we play as Master Chief and slaughter waves of Elites in the games, so to watch the Elites massacre a small outpost of insurgents was eye-opening. To see regular people stand no chance against the Covenant helps put into perspective how amazing the Spartans are. However, the actual design of the Elites felt off. The show makes them seem brutish and thick instead of the agile and more lean killers they are.
And the fighting in this show is so clunky. The HUD point of view from inside the helmet felt cheesy. For someone who didn’t take anything from the video game, it feels like it’s straight from the video game and not in a good way. The moments of superhuman feats the Spartans performed against the Elites felt weird and clunky.
3 out of 5 Ninjas (IYKYK)
My Closing Thoughts
I know it feels like all I’m doing is bashing the show, which I am, but it’s because I expected more from an episode that cost $10 million. A human with the Covenant feels wildly out of character for the Halo universe. It makes zero sense, but I am curious to see where they take it. With most of my negative thoughts on the show out of the way, I loved it. Is it traditional Halo? Absolutely not, but it’s still a version of the Halo universe in live-action. It’s another sci-fi universe I love that I now get to experience week to week. I no longer have to wait ten years for a new game to play a new campaign.
Also, you didn’t ask for it, but here is my review of the new Batman movie. ( I wasn’t as mean as I was writing the Halo review.)