How 'Halo' Paramount TV Show Compares to Other Video Game Adaptations

Adapting a video game to the small or the big screen rarely ends well, but perhaps Halo will be the franchise to buck 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 Master Chief during the war between humanity and the alien threat known as the Covenant.

Pablo Schrieber takes the lead role, while the supporting cast features the likes of Natascha McElhone, Charlie Murphy and Bokeem Woodbine.

Halo has been met with average to positive reviews from TV critics so far, which is excellent when compared to other video game adaptations. Let's take a look at what the critics have said about previous video game franchises brought to the screen.

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

Halo (2022)—62% Rotten Tomatoes

Season 1 of Halo has received a lukewarm reaction from critics so far. The likes of The Daily Beast, Decider and Collider awarded it positive, but not great, review scores, while Slant, Entertainment Weekly and were more scathing with their opinions.

Publications across the board commented on its poor narrative, while Entertainment Weekly called the dialogue "variously impenetrable and explanatory." The CGI and action scenes were praised though, for making it an impressive TV spectacle.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)—63% Rotten Tomatoes

A big 63 percent is almost as high as a score gets for a video game movie adaptation. Jim Carrey's performance as Dr. Robotnik was a standout while the visuals, after an almost internet-breaking debut, were also praised.

It was so successful that a sequel is due 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 starred as his nemesis Dr. Robotnik. Paramount Pictures

Uncharted (2022)—41% Rotten Tomatoes

The audience reaction and the critics' reviews wildly differed in their reactions to the Tom Holland-led adaptation of the PlayStation series Uncharted. Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Banderas also starred in this movie, which was stuck in development hell for years before finally coming out in 2022.

Ryan Syrek at The Reader savagely wrote "It's not poorly written for a video game-based movie, it's poorly written for a ransom note." The positive reviews on the other hand call it for what it is: a "silly, fun action movie from the 90s," said Eric Goldman of FANDOM.

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.

Based loosely on the Pokemon spin-off game Detective Pikachu, the movie was a hit, accruing $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." Warner Bros. Pictures

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

Angelina Jolie proved in 2001 that bad critic reviews won't stand in the way of a movie getting a sequel. She brought the 90s platformer icon to life with this movie, and again in 2003 with the follow-up Lara Croft: Tomb RaiderThe Cradle of Life.

The series received a reboot in 2018 with Alicia Vikander's Tomb Raider, with that iteration receiving an improved Rotten Tomatoes score of 52 percent.

Video game movie posters
"Need for Speed," "Uncharted" and "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" were all commercial successes, but received negative critic reviews. Walt Disney Studios / Sony Pictures Releasing / Paramount Pictures

Warcraft (2016)—28% Rotten Tomatoes

The most financially successful video game movie is still nowhere near one of the best. The critics panned the live-action fantasy movie based on the popular franchise, but it still managed to take in $439 million at the global box office.

Need for Speed (2014)—23% Rotten Tomatoes

Riding high off of his Breaking Bad success, Aaron Paul, future Oscar-winner Rami Malek and Michael Keaton all took the steering wheel in this star-studded adaptation of the popular racing game franchise.

The movie was applauded for not using any CGI for its various stunts, but the storyline needed more fuel.

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

Still referenced in popular culture, the critical and commercial failure of this live-action Mario movie still lives long in the memory, almost 0 years after its release. The late Bob Hoskins played the lead in a movie which, in 2007, he called "a nightmare" and "the worst thing I ever did."

Nintendo will be hoping the upcoming computer-animated Mario movie featuring the likes of Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy and Jack Black can erase the memory of the disastrous Super Mario Bros. movie.

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