Will The “Halo” TV Series Actually Do Justice to the Games?

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Microsoft)

Well, it’s finally happening. After years and years and years of speculation, the popular video game franchise “Halo” is getting the live-action treatment.

Yet instead of the Peter Jackson-helmed big budget Hollywood movie we were promised, we’re going to get a much smaller, more intimate affair.

Showtime has commissioned a ten episode miniseries that will bring “Halo” to television. The show will start shooting next year, and will apparently be created in conjunction with Amblin Entertainment (Steven Spielberg’s production studio) and 343 Industries (the developers who make modern “Halo” games).

I’m not yet sure if I think this is a good idea.

Halo Gameplay
Source: Microsoft

Personally, I’m not entirely sold on video game adaptations in the first place. The whole point of a video game is that the player gets to interact with the world and become part of the story. A movie or TV show based on a game is always going to feel inferior to the fun of simply playing the game.

I’d have tolerated a movie, though. I can’t imagine it’d be very good, but it could certainly have created a big spectacle.

As much as 00s frat boys may feel like “Halo” is an emotional rollercoaster of a game with a moving, powerful story, these games aren’t exactly about plot.

Go to the place, shoot the thing. Stay at the place and shoot the thing. Shoot the thing then move to the place.

What flimsy plot exists to tie these events together is meant to serve the greater goal of giving players the freedom for multiplayer fun. Perhaps if early “Halo” games had been more compelling as solo experiences than online multiplayer shootouts, gaming would be in a healthier place right now.

So, building a lengthy 10 episodes of content around this world seems like a stretch. I imagine it’s possible to tell a good story so long as the show can go off-script, but this can’t just be an adaptation of any existing story.

Then, there’s the issue of the special effects.

Lofty Ambitions

The Covenant are not going to be easy to bring to life on a TV budget. Even cumbersome prosthetics are going to be too costly if the show is actually to look good.

Halo Covenant
Source: Microsoft

We’re likely going to get a very watered down, washed out version of the “Halo” universe. There’s no way the TV show will look better than the video game.

So, we’ll be getting a TV show that looks dull, which attempts to find a plot in a universe that’s built around senseless violence for the most shallow of excuses.

I can’t say I’m optimistic.

Whatever Showtime manages to throw together, it’s never going to be better than anything from Rooster Teeth anyway!