“…worthy of the attention of Halo fans.”
Halo: The Fall of Reach is a one-hour animated feature which for the first time ever reveals the clear-cut origin story of Halo’s infamous protagonist; The Master Chief. It is a story which has been eluded to throughout the video game franchise and its various offshoots, but never before has it been approached directly. This puts immense pressure on the feature which will surely aim to capture the attention and praise of Halo’s massive fan base. As one such fan, here is my honest review.
The feature is designed with a video game-style animation for its visual, which gives it a very Xbox 360 cut scene appearance. It is an unusual choice and certainly not the most powerful imagery which could have been selected, but it serves its purpose relatively well. It is also a nice alternative to the live action option which previous Halo spin-offs have opted for, some of which looked unconvincing as a result. Alongside its game-style look, the design also incorporates concept art-style slides as well, which gives it a genuine story telling appearance. The greater focus on telling a story than mind-blowing graphics serves the feature well in the end. The main problems however come from the voice acting.
It is ok in a game for voice acting to not directly line up with a character’s motion or actions. Whilst it is still a gripe, there is usually plenty of other distractions around to draw your attention away from it. In a feature like this however, it become highly distracting. Much of the voice acting also comes across as emotionless, or at least unfitting for the given situation at that time.
As previously mentioned, The Fall of Reach shows its key strength in its storytelling. Offering the origin story of John 117 from scientifically selected child to super soldier extraordinaire is an attractive choice to go for and one which will draw great interest. Telling that story well will only serve to enhance the feature’s popularity, and it does this rather well. It also tells the story of the formation of Blue Team, who feature heavily in the new Halo 5 Guardians video game. The only downside to the story is that it is over too soon. The feature could, albeit should, have been made longer into a full-length movie, which would have allowed it to elaborate further on the plotline.
In terms of its place in the wider Halo universe, The Fall of Reach is well worth the attention of fans. It only takes an hour of your time to view, yet it gives insight into the hero we have all followed for years. It isn’t the most incredibly spectacle to have come out of the franchise by some stretch, but it does the job that it set out to do; to tell the story of the Master Chief. There is little to fault it on other than its lack of real depth due to its constrained length. My only other complaint is that this was made into a visual feature rather than a game. Given the events of the feature and the number of missions it gives mention to, it could have been an exciting prequel game to play for the series.
As a whole, I enjoyed The Fall of Reach. At first I questioned its quality due to its appearance and awkward voice acting, but the story saved it and carried me through to the end. Whilst it is not as in-depth as would be desirable, it still holds up by offering a much desired insight for fans of the series. The main disappointment is not with the feature itself, but that it was not made into a game itself instead. Nevertheless, it was easy to spend an hour watching and that time did not feel wasted at the end. Well worth spending a quiet evening with, The Fall of Reach is worthy of the attention of Halo fans.
- An interesting insight into the hero at the forefront of the Halo series.
- A well told story keeps the feature interesting and engaging throughout.
The visual design, particularly the concept art-style elements, enhance the overall storytelling experience.
- The feature certainly has a valid place within the wider Halo universe.
- The Fall of Reach will certainly be of interest to Halo fans and is worth spending an hour watching.
- Some of the visuals appear to have very Xbox 360 era graphics.
- Voice acting is sketchy at times and does not always line up with the action.
- The story is over too soon with the feature only being an hour in length.
- There is a strong basis for an exciting prequel game in the feature’s content, making it seem like a wasted opportunity within a video games franchise.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.