Early reactions to the “Halo” show have been positive, hailing it as fun yet typical science-fiction series. The vast media brand handled by 343 Industries began with a video game produced by Bungie for Xbox and has since expanded to include best-selling novels, comic books, and other mediums. The latest installment in the highly anticipated live-action “Halo” series, which will air on Paramount+ later this month and has already been renewed for a second season.
The plot of the planned “Halo“ series revolves around a 26th-century conflict between the United Nations Space Command and the Covenant, a powerful extraterrestrial race. Master Chief, John-117, and Spartan-117 are names given to the renowned super soldier played by Pablo Schreiber. Jen Taylor returns as the voice of his AI assistant, Cortana, as she did in the video game series. Dr. Halsey is played by Natascha McElhone, Kwan Ha Boo is played by Yerin Ha, Makee is played by Charlie Murphy, Admiral Parangosky is played by Shabana Azmi, Soren-066 is played by Bokeem Woodbine, Miranda Keyes is played by Olive Gray, and Captain Jacob Keyes is played by Danny Sapani.
Critics have begun to weigh in on the “Halo” franchise ahead of its launch on Paramount+. On Rotten Tomatoes, the show is now rated in the high 50s to low 60s percentile, which is right on the edge between rotten and fresh by the aggregator’s standards. As a result, while critics find lots of reasons to like the sci-fi series, they also have some reservations. Check out some of their reactions, as well as our own Rob Keyes’, below:
Watched the first episodes of #HaloTheSeries. It’s different than the games but pulls a LOT from the lore and pays respect to the details (vehicles, creatures, locations, weapons, sounds, etc.).
Totally bought in on what follows the intro. Pablo Schreiber is great Master Chief. pic.twitter.com/dyMtVNOnya
— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) March 16, 2022
Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly
This drama comes on strong with ambient techno-babble and bureaucratic realism. It’s as thrilling as a meeting.
Ben Travers, indieWire
It’s exactly what you expect. While Halo features a few minor pivots in these early hours, there’s very little to spoil and even less to spark curiosity that’s not already present.
William Hughes, AV Club
Schreiber is, indeed, the most interesting thing about Halo — which isn’t necessarily saying all that much.
Dan Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter
Boasting no technological innovation to speak of, few performances to offer meaningful grounding, and only limited action thrills, Halo is aggressively forgettable, which is at least several steps up from “bad.”
Caroline Framke, Variety
The series boasts an impressive budget used wisely, with distinct production design distinguishing one planetary location for another and spaceships zipping through endless stars. That alone lets Halo keep apace with its contemporaries.
Jeremy Mathai, Slashfilm
The Halo TV series leaves a lot to be desired, but there are signs of better things to come.
Jesse Schedeen, IGN
As much as the premiere focuses on capturing the iconic weapons and technology from the games, it also shows a willingness to move its story in dramatically different directions.
Critics appear to agree on one thing based on these early reviews: “Halo” is an engaging sci-fi series on the surface, thanks to its opulent production design, spectacular visuals, and thrilling action. Given its massive $200 million budget for its 10-episode debut season, a lot was anticipated of Paramount+’s “Halo” drama. This almost ensured “Halo’s” production value would be great, but based on these critical comments, the series doesn’t seem to do much more than that and leaves a lot to be desired.
It’s worth noting that critics only watched two episodes before writing their assessments, which is usually enough to get a feel of a show’s overall quality. However, once much of the world-building is done, the show may find its form in the middle or second half of season one. The series’ loyal video game fandom will almost certainly criticize the modifications to the “Halo” timeline. In any case, when the “Halo” series begins on March 24, fans will be able to assess it for themselves.