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Why The Halo Paramount+ Series' Sound Design Is More Important Than You Think

The "Halo" TV series is bringing the legendary video game franchise into live-action with the big-budget approach that fans have been waiting for. The adaptation stars Pablo Schreiber as the legendary Master Chief John-117 as he goes up against a savage race of aliens, the Covenant. The hero is one of the Spartans, a band of super-soldiers created by the United Nations Space Command. But when "Halo" kicks off, the series establishes that the Spartans have been used to kill rebels who want to free the colonies from UNSC control.

Unfortunately, the Covenant forces don't really care about the domestic civil war. They're just out to wipe the entire human race from the face of the universe. Thankfully, Master Chief is pretty adept at slaughtering the alien invaders, along with the rest of his Spartan team. They've been engineered by Doctor Catherine Halsey (Natasha McElhone) to be the most advanced soldiers in history, although they're also conditioned to follow strict commands from Halsey and the UNSC. It seems like the series will challenge Master Chief to look closer at his life as a soldier through the lens of humanity's war with the Covenant.

There's plenty of action in the first episode, as Master Chief and the other Spartans face off with Covenant forces on the planet Madrigal. And when it comes to making the "Halo" universe feel authentic to the games, the series' sound design is more important than you think.

The show takes sounds straight from the games

Sure, the "Halo" TV series takes place in a completely separate timeline from the one established by the original games — but it still feels incredibly authentic to the IP. Paramount+ has ensured that all the details match the source material — from the Spartans' enhanced Mjolnir armor, to the UNSC officers' uniform. But the sound design also plays a big part in making audiences really feel like they're in the "Halo" universe. Thankfully, Paramount+ and Showtime have taken sounds directly from the games to stay as faithful as possible.

During the action-packed opening to Episode 1, "Contact," Master Chief and his squad face off against a horde of Covenant Elites on the planet Madrigal. The hero gets hit with some of the enemy's energy weapons during the firefight, which knocks out the shield on his suits. Fans will recognize that it sounds exactly the same as when that happens during the games, especially when it recharges back to full capacity.

The weapons themselves also sound like a perfect recreation of the energy weapons used by the Covenant. Hopefully Master Chief gets to wield a Needler at some point in the series; their unique sound would be a verified Easter egg.