I’ve been a Halo fan since day one, despite only playing a few of the entries in the franchise. While Halo: Fall of Reach has been around for awhile in book form, it was nice to be able to view it in this animated treat for fans. Mixing CG with motion-comic animation, it may come across as cheaply made for some, but it’s the story that drives this well-done VOD release.
Award-winning Vancouver studio SEQUENCE and director Ian Kirby helm this project that was originally released as a three-part series on the Xbox One “Halo Channel” app for those who purchased the Collector’s Edition of Halo 5: Guardians. Halo: Fall of Reach gives viewers an inside look into the origins of Spartan 117, aka the Master Chief (voiced by Steve Downes), from his recruitment as a young boy named John at age 6, to his augmentation at 14, and to becoming the leader of Blue Team and leading his squad on their first missions with and without their armor are showcased here. Along the way, we’re shown this journey through the eyes of others as well, mainly Dr. Catherine Halsey (voiced by Jen Taylor) who created the Spartan project, as well as some of John’s team members. After coming together and growing closer through their struggles, Blue Team learns there’s a new, deadly threat against humanity known as The Covenant that only they have the power to stop.
Despite being a little on the short side (it runs at just a little over an hour), I enjoyed watching how Fall of Reach turned out. I was glad to see how John became the awesome character that most gamers know and love from the Halo series, and to learn of the painful sacrifices he had to endure. Also seeing these things unfold from the different perspectives of the other characters is a plus, as they also deal with their own personal demons. The artwork is pretty good, but a bit simplistic as is the animation. As I stated earlier though, it’s the story that will pull viewers in and drive them to see this through.
Halo: Fall of Reach is a nice animated treat for fans of the franchise and those wanting to learn more about the Master Chief and his origins. It’s not going to win any awards based on its looks and length, but anyone who loves the game series will want to suit up, hop in their Warthog and give this VOD release a go.