The Halo television series is now available to stream on Paramount Plus and, while Master Chief, Cortana, and their fellow UNSC crewmates have repeatedly reached the stars in the video game source material, the live-action series hasn’t quite managed to hit a similar high on Rotten Tomatoes.
Early reaction to the series ahead of its debut was mixed. We reported as such earlier this month, giving the piece three stars in our review, and a similar consensus has emerged among critics on the aggregation site. Halo has a 59 percent rotten score based on its first two episodes and some outlets, including TheWrap, believe there’s some potential for the reception to improve, stating:
“The first episodes are caught between long-time Halo fans’ expectations and sci-fi fans new to the franchise. In an attempt to appeal to both parties, we end up with two completely different episodes. If video game fans can keep an open mind and the series can garner enough attention from sci-fi fans less familiar, Halo has potential to be Paramount Plus’s flagship series.”
Other critics said it was too early to give a full picture of the series, and how something is perceived can change as more is unveiled. YouTube’s Austin Burke noted he liked the piece in his video filed Tuesday, said some of the effects were not the best he had seen, and a deep enthusiasm for the project was just not there yet.
“Am I buckled down and saying I need episode 3 right now? Not entirely but I am definitely intrigued. I’ve seen a lot of people after watching these first two episodes saying ‘it’s a tragedy’ or ‘it’s the best show I’ve ever seen.’ Things can change so drastically through the rest of the season. My score is right now, a 70 percent. We’ll have to see how it continues.”
On the negative minority side — there are 13 negative to 19 positive reviews as of this story being filed — UPI’s Fred Topel blasted what he got to see of the project. While admitting he is a Halo novice, he said the idea of Master Chief not working with the military does not seem to sell the magic of the game series or make other elements stand out.
“CG monsters shooting at people are a dime a dozen now on television and film. In a game, you get to control the warrior, but just watching it unfold removes that unique element … Decades-long players may feel like this is beginner-level stuff.”
Pablo Schreiber told Collider earlier this month that he will film more Halo this summer. So, there is definitely a fast turnaround time to refine what people have said and will continue to say about the first season.
The first two episodes of Halo are now available on Paramount Plus.