The first ‘Halo’ reviews are pretty mixed

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Image via Paramount / Halo

There’s a week left before the live-action Master Chief rallies against humanity’s biggest threat in Paramount’s Halo series. But be forewarned: this adaptation won’t soar to the same heights as its video game franchise.

At least that’s according to what the earliest reviews are telling us. It seems that despite producers Kyle Killen and Steven Kane’s best efforts, not to mention a slew of other creatives who’ve worked on this project since its conception back in the early 2010s, Halo hasn’t managed to impress critics all that much.

The Hollywood Reporter called out similarities between Halo and The Mandalorian‘s setting and story, saying Halo‘s series “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,” THR concluded.

Variety also had mixed feelings, saying Paramount’s Halo comes in an age where “a plethora of TV and streaming options that look and feel similar” mitigate the influence of its wow factors to a large degree.

IGN gave the premiere episode a 7 out of 10. “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,” IGN wrote.

Forbes was much more positive hot take on the series, saying Halo “so far has something for franchise fans and broader audiences alike.”

“The combat was enjoyable to watch, and the SFX were sufficiently impressive in that and the space battles that the series will be one to enjoy beyond game aficionados,” Forbes wrote.

As of writing this, the show — slated for a March 24 release on Paramount Plus — exhibits a dreaded 54% rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes with 13 ratings, but the rest of the reviews might still prove more forgiving of this expensive live-action adaptation of the popular military sci-fi franchise.