It can be difficult to see a couple caught in an abusive relationship, but sometimes there’s nothing you can do but sit back, watch it unravel, and hope that something can be salvaged by the end of it. But if history has taught us anything, it’s that Hollywood and videogames just don’t work together. But still the pair continues to jump back into bed. The latest casualty to this ongoing toxicity? The Halo franchise and Ridley Scott’s already-tarnished reputation.
Pitched as a prelude to the anticipated Halo 5: Guardians, this was supposed to be Microsoft’s opportunity to prove there is more to Halo than bodacious action. But here’s the truth of it all: the series hasn’t persisted over a decade on the strength of its narrative. Clearly, somebody forget to send this memo to The Pillars Of The Earth director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan and executive producer Ridley Scott. In fact, Halo: Nightfall bares all the components of a typical Syfy original – 98 minutes of stilted acting, cheesy effects, bad fight sequences and exposition-heavy dialogue.
Halo: Nightfall fails to offer any glimpses into Halo 5, whilst failing to deliver any live action thrills as legendary manhunter Jameson Locke (Mike Colter) investigates a terrorist threat on a distant alien world. But then again, producing an action-heavy TV series is expensive, so what were we really expecting? Take the bombast out of Halo, and you are left with a story with the emotional depth of The Phantom Menace and action scenes that make Prometheus seem Academy Award-worthy by comparison.
While we were hoping Halo: Nightfall would offer a glimpse into what we can expect from Colter as Luke Cage in Marvel’s AKA Jessica Jones, he has very little to work with. In fact, the entire cast is flat amid a deflating flurry of sci-fi tropes and bad writing. Halo has real potential to translate to Hollywood, but Microsoft has missed an easy opportunity to introduce a wider audience to its premier game series.