How the Paramount TV Show ‘Halo’ Compares to Other Video Game Adaptations

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Adapting a video game to the small or big screen rarely ends well, but maybe Halo will be the franchise to reverse the trend.

Halo the TV series is available to watch on Paramount+, with a second season already confirmed. The CGI-heavy action show, set in the 26th century, follows the soldier known as the Master Chief during the war between humanity and the alien threat known as the Covenant.

Pablo Schrieber stars as the lead, while the supporting cast includes Natascha McElhone, Charlie Murphy and Bokeem Woodbine.

Halo has received average to positive reviews from television critics so far, which is excellent compared to other video game adaptations. Let’s take a look at what critics have said about previous video game franchises brought to the screen.

Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief in Halo Season 1, Episode 1, streaming now on Paramount+
Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Halo (2022)—62% Rotten Tomatoes

Halo Season 1 has so far received a lukewarm reaction from critics. The likes of The Daily Beast, Decider, and Collider gave it positive, but not excellent, ratings, while Slant, Weekly entertainment and RogerEbert.com were more scathing with their opinions.

Publications at all levels commented on his bad story, while Weekly entertainment called the dialogue “variously inscrutable and explanatory”. The CGI and action scenes, however, were praised for making it an impressive TV spectacle.

sonic the hedgehog (2020)—63% Rotten Tomatoes

A hefty 63% is almost as high as a score for a video game movie adaptation. Jim Carrey’s performance as Dr. Robotnik was remarkable while the visuals, after an almost groundbreaking internet debut, were also praised.

It’s been so successful that a sequel is set to hit theaters in April 2022, with Idris Elba joining the cast as the voice of Knuckles.

Sonic the Hedgehog movie
Ben Schwartz voiced “Sonic the Hedgehog” while Jim Carrey played his nemesis, Dr. Robotnik.
Paramount Pictures

Unexplored (2022)—41% Rotten Tomatoes

Audience reaction and critics’ reviews differed wildly in their reactions to the Tom Holland-directed adaptation of the PlayStation series. Unexplored. Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Banderas also starred in this film, which was stuck in development hell for years before finally releasing in 2022.

Ryan Syrek of The Reader savagely wrote “It’s not badly written for a movie based on a video game, it’s badly written for a ransom note.” Positive reviews, on the other hand, call it what it is: a “silly, fun ’90s action flick,” said FANDOM’s Eric Goldman.

Detective Pikachu (2019)—68% Rotten Tomatoes

Ryan Reynolds was the surprise choice to voice the internationally recognizable Pikachu from the Pokemon series, but the move paid off.

Loosely based on the Pokemon spin-off game Detective Pikachuthe film was a hit, grossing $433.9 million at the international box office.

Detective Pikachu
“Detective Pikachu”, released in 2019, was based on the Pokemon Spin-off game called “Detective Pikachu”.
Pictures from Warner Bros.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider(2001)—20% Rotten Tomatoes

Angelina Jolie proved in 2001 that bad critical reviews won’t stop a movie from getting a sequel. She brought the 90s platformer icon to life with this film, and again in 2003 with the follow-up Lara Croft: Tomb RaiderThe cradle of life.

The series received a reboot in 2018 starring Alicia Vikander grave robber, with this iteration receiving an improved Rotten Tomatoes score of 52%.

video game movie posters
“Need for Speed”, “Uncharted”, and “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” were all commercial successes, but received negative reviews.
Walt Disney Studios/Sony Pictures/Paramount Pictures Release

Warcraft (2016)—28% Rotten Tomatoes

The most financially successful video game movie is still far from being one of the best. Critics slammed the live-action fantasy film based on the popular franchise, but it still managed to gross $439 million at the worldwide box office.

Need of speed (2014)—23% Rotten Tomatoes

Riding high on her breaking Bad success, Aaron Paul, future Oscar winner Rami Malek and Michael Keaton all got behind the wheel in this star-studded adaptation of the acclaimed racing game franchise.

The film was applauded for not using CGI for its various stunts, but the script needed more fuel.

Super Mario Bros. (1993)—24% Rotten Tomatoes

Always referenced in popular culture, the critical and commercial failure of this live-action Mario film remains etched in our memories for a long time, almost 0 years after its release. The late Bob Hoskins starred in a 2007 film he called “a nightmare” and “the worst thing I’ve ever done”.

Nintendo hopes the next computer-animated Mario movie starring Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy and Jack Black can erase the memory of the disastrous Super Mario Bros. movie.

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