Halo — From Xbox To The Silver Screen

The Halo TV series has surely made some people subscribe to Paramount plus. It’s made me login into my parent’s account at the very least. My Halo credentials go back to the first game and up to the third and Reach. I spent many an hour playing the first game on a four-player split-screen with friends and family. I enjoyed playing the series, and I even read a few of the novels while deployed. 

All that said, I don’t consider myself a megafan of the games or the world. It’s a cool world, but it was never my vibe. I wasn’t jumping up and down with excitement at a Halo TV show, but I knew I’d check it out eventually. Today we’ll be talking about the very first episode. We’ll talk about it as a Halo property, as a SciFi TV show, and obviously, we gotta talk about the guns

Halo TV series, minigun
The minigun doesn’t do a whole lot for the insurgents.

Jumping Into the Halo TV Series

If you don’t want spoilers and just want the bottom line up front, I’ll give it to you. Halo, at the least first episode, is fun, mature, bloody, and okay as a sci-fi series. It hasn’t blown me away, but I enjoyed watching it. If you have Paramount Plus, check it out, but I wouldn’t subscribe just to watch Halo. It’s a solid 6/10 show. 

This is where your spoiler-free review ends. After this, you’ll get my gripes, praises, and a little about the guns.   

I’ve heard many Halo fans make plenty of complaints regarding the series. If you’ve followed the years of lore, short films, games, and more, you’ll likely be disappointed. I have a cursory understanding of the backstory outside of the games from the novels. I know the game’s storylines well and the Spartan lore. 

With that being said, I can see why fans are disappointed. The show swings wide and somewhat away from the Halo story we know. I’m not condemning that as a bad thing, but yeah, there are massive differences between the show and the games. 

Halo TV Series, Chief
Chief isn’t the only Spartan this go around.

That being said, the show explores different themes that are sprinkled throughout the books, like the UNSC being seen as a bad guy by insurgent forces. Reach touches on Spartans fighting insurgents and anti-UNSC forces. The first episode starts in an insurgent camp and revolves around the war between the two. 

Master Chief isn’t the only Spartan in this series. Spartans aren’t universally seen as heroes, and the UNSC acts monstrously. We see the Spartans, their guns, and their ships replicated well. The same goes for the Covenant. 

heads up display
Notice the heads-up display, The show takes you into the FPS mode.

Heck, the noise of the Spartan’s shield recharging and the occasional first-person shooting bits made the first episode of Halo worth the watch. A number of little things are tackled just right. 

…but the Helmet

What’s not tackled right is the armor. It looks good, but the characters move in a clunky way. Also, Chief takes his helmet off, and well, I like the actor, but seeing his face isn’t earned. In The Mandalorian, it took time and built suspense, and the helmet was removed for a reason. In Halo, he just pops it off, and we get a big reveal that feels silly and unearned. 

Halo TV series, armor
I appreciate the different Armor types.

I’d have kept the helmet on and the face concealed, at least for a bit. They should make us earn the reveal—make us know the character first before we see his handsome face. 

As a Scifi Shoot ‘Em Up 

Let’s say Halo never existed previously, and this was our first introduction to the world. As a sci-fi show without a past, it’s pretty solid. The violence and action are entertaining. Seeing teenagers reduced to bags of blood in the first five minutes was an eye-opener. It’s certainly no Star Wars in terms of PG-13 action. 

Plasma rifle
The classic Plasma rifle makes an appearance.

It’s bloody, violent, and R-rated. The Covenant is without mercy and slaughters humans when they are discovered. When the Spartans arrive and kick-ass, it’s a ton of fun. However, it dips in dullness after that first firefight. I don’t need constant action, but after the action, the dialogue becomes stilted, and some of the scenes are just dull. They don’t capture you. 

Halo TV Series
The team gears up to fight an unlikely foe. 

What About the Guns? 

Okay, we gotta talk guns. First off, we get plenty of favorites from the game series from both the human forces and the Covenant. We see the plasma rifle and pistol and the Covenant energy sword. They look great and turn humans into exploding water balloons. 

Several of the classic Halo guns make an appearance.
Several of the classic Halo guns make an appearance.

The Spartans wield some of the game’s famed guns. We see a Spartan blasting away with dual M6D pistols and the other Spartans carrying them as sidearms. It’s that huge 12.7mm pistol we’ve always wanted. It seems appropriate for fighting Covenant. 

Halo TV Series, MA5B rifle
The armor makes it tough to shoulder the rifle.

Master Chief prefers the classic full auto MA5B and blasts away with it as the fight devolves into a standard Halo jumpy fighting melee. We see the DMR in the hands of another Spartan, and Chief gets his hands on it in short order. 

Chief's gun has a weapon mounted light in the Halo TV series.
Notice the WML on Chief’s gun. He should get an OWL.

Finally, the Spartan Sniper wields the anti-material rifle that was my bane in Halo 2 online. These sci-fi weapons are faithfully replicated and fun to see in action. Later on, we see a Battle Rifle, but it doesn’t get a lot of action. 

Are there any real guns in the Halo TV series? 

The first episode of the Halo TV series opens up at an insurgent base, and they don’t have the fancy Halo guns but normal human weapons. Most are dressed-up variants of real guns. We see lots of AKs, maybe some Galils, and what appears to be an MP5 that’s been stripped of its handguard. 

AK rifles seen in the Halo TV series.
99 AKs on the wall, take one down…

We see a few shotguns, and they look like Baikal pump guns, which makes sense since the show is filmed in Bosnia. There appears to be a US Palm Banana mag in one of the AK series rifles if you look close. Several weapons don’t have sights, but hey, you don’t need sights in the future. 

Halo TV Series scene with US Palm Banana magazine
Is that a US Palm Mag I see?

We also see a minigun, although it’s just a mocked-up model. It’s fun to see that the AK will never die in the hands of insurgents, even space insurgents! 

MP5 in Halo TV series
Is that an MP5 I see?

“I Need a Weapon.” 

The Halo TV series has potential. It can be a fun sci-fi romp, but I doubt it will be something the fans love. It’s a separate canon from the television show, which will rub some people the wrong way. What do you think? 

character aiming a gun in Halo TV series
The rail system is great, but homeboy needs some sights.

Does the Halo TV Series tickle your fancy? Let us know below. 

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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