Find out what happened before, after, and in-between the games – Halo Video Collection Review
Though I was definitely disappointed with Halo 5. I am still a huge fan of the franchise. Halo 2 is my favorite multiplayer experience for FPS games, and Halo: Reach was one of the best campaigns I ever played. Outside of the games, Halo released numerous videos/webisodes to accompany the games and build the lore of the series. Now you can have it all in one collection with the Halo Video Collection (Halo The Complete Video Collection).
Released by Shout! Factory, The Halo Video Collection is a Blu-Ray Box Set featuring four Halo Films (Halo Legends, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Halo: Nightfall, Halo: The Fall of Reach) as well as two bonus discs with extra hours of bonus content. Before I go more into what you get, let’s talk about what you don’t.
The Halo Video Collection does not come with DVD editions or Digital Copy. DVD editions mean nothing to me personally, but the lack of digital copy is a bit disappointing. Personally, it seems a little weird to me when current releases of things do not come with a digital copy.
Now, let’s talk about what you do get. Here are quick synopsis and opinion of the 4 films you get:
- Halo Legends
Is a compilation of 7 short anime films set in the Halo Universe. The animation used in Legends is easily my favorite of all the films. It’s Anime-CGI-Gameplay like does an amazing job blending the feel of the game into the film medium. Aside from some acrobatic maneuvers, it feels like you’d be able to recreate the action in the films in the game.
- Halo: The Fall of Reach
I actually did a full review of this one you can check out. In short: I did not enjoy Fall of Reach, the visuals were all over the place, the progression was poorly paced, and it just feels like a huge drop in quality in compared to what I believe is the best game and story of the franchise.
- Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
Forward Unto Dawn was a 5 episode web series about a cadet, Thomas Lasky, is inspired by Master Cheif and save as many people as he can as the academy he is at is attacked by the Covenant. This is a fun film that toes the line between film and web series. It feels to be produced above web-series quality, but under that of television and film. I thought it was a unique take on characters outside of the Spartan program and shows that the war is much more than just Master Chief. It reminded me a lot of Halo: ODST.
- Halo Nightfall
Easily the most polished of the films, in terms of production value, Nightfall was far more interesting than Halo 5. Starring Mike Colter, Nightfall was to fill the gap between Halo 4 and Halo 5. It focuses on Colter’s character, Jameson Locke, and his team as they wind up in a grueling fight-to-survive situation. It showed the depth of the characters and the team, that would eventually be an annoyance throughout Halo 5. It kind of shows how Locke is a comparable Spartan to the likes of Master Chief while confusing as to why he has been absent and not heard of in the previous installments. I think the story here is much better than the game’s, but in conjunction, it kind of heightens the disappointment of Halo 5.
The Bonus Discs are full of videos that are sure to entertain fans of the franchise.
Bonus Disc 1:
- Halo Nightfall: Launch Party Live Show: A long webisode of all the Halo Xbox One Stuff. It’s a pretty entertaining piece, but it’s all old news at this point. The lack of new information greatly outweighs the entertainment value of the piece. Mainly, it talks about what’s to come, and chances are you already know and played what they’re talking about. So it feels mundane to go through the information again.
- Halo Nightfall Photo Gallery: Images from the making of the show, kind of annoying to browse on your TV.
- Remaking the Legend: Halo 2 Anniversary: A detailed documentary-style video of the remastering the classic Xbox game for the current gen consoles. It takes fans behind the scenes through all the details that go into remaking the game, as well as the deep care and love the developers, actors, and everyone involved, have for the franchise. It shows that it’s more than a cash grab to remake the game, it’s a homage and rebirth for old fans and new. Easily the best of the bonus features.
- Halo 4: A Hero Awakens: A deep look into the character of Master Chief, as well as the technical aspects of bringing him to life in the game.
- Halo 5: A Hero Reborn Vidoc: A look into how they meant well for Halo 5.
- Halo 4: Forerunner Vidoc: It’s all about the Prometheans. This makes you wonder why they aren’t more important in Halo 5.
- Halo Forward Unto Dawn: Bloopers Reel: Who doesn’t love a good blooper reel?
- Halo Waypoint: Heroes Never Die: This is kind of a recap video of what’s happened in the franchise so far. Also kind of explains what makes Master Chief so special.
Bonus Disc 2: The commentary of the 4 Films
- Halo Legends Commentary: With Frank O’Connor, Kevin Grace, and Bonnie Ross.
- Halo Nightfall Commentary: With Kiki Wolfkill, Corrinne Robinson, and Jeremy Patenaude.
- Halo: The Fall of Reach Commentary: With Kiki Wolfkill, Frank O’Connor, and Corrine Robinson.
- Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Commentary: With Frank O’Connor, Corrinne Robinson, and Kevin Grace.
Halo: The Complete Collection is a great set for Halo fans. 3 of the 4 films are good for general audiences, and kind of great for fans of the series. The bonus content, however, is not something I think is worthy of a Collector Set. While there is a lot of interesting content, only one feature really feels like it compliments the franchise. The rest feel more like video clips you watch online during pre-release. If you love the Halo franchise, I think it’s a must own for you. But if you like the games or a pretty casual about it, you’re not really missing out if you don’t pick up the Halo Video Collection. The better films are easily found on YouTube for free, as well as most of the bonus content. Granted you have to watch it their episodic releases, but it’s not any more inconvenient than having to grab the Blu-Rays from your shelf and popping them in the player. If it had come with a Digital Copy, I think I would rate it much higher. However, because of the lackluster bonus content and availability of the content in their original online releases, my Halo Video Collection review gets 2.5/5