The Paramount+ Halo Series has been divisive among fans, to say the least to the point that there’s a theory circulating around that the series was originally meant to adapt a different sci-fi gaming series: Mass Effect.
The Halo series has been criticized for its’ heavy diversions from the franchise lore including the silent, faceless Masterchief constantly taking his helmet off but could this all be because he was never meant to be a Chief, but rather a Shepard.
Tumblr user superectojazzmage made a post summarizing all the similarities between the Halo Series and the plot of Mass Effect and finding that they have a number of elements in common.
Common arguments for this theory are the characterization of Master Chief, not only showing his face but the greater emphasis on intimacy and sexuality, making the character feel far more reminiscent of Commander Shepard who’s far more well known for their alien bonking shenanigans. He even kind of looks like the default male Shepard.
There’s also a focus on internal intergalactic politics and the mystery of the covenant’s motives rather than the larger scale alien conflicts that Halo tends to be known for.
The Tumblr user is far from the only person to pick up on the connection between the Halo TV show and Mass Effect. Several Halo fans over social media have also found similarities between the two:
This is literally Mass Effect at this point with Halo architecture
— Justin (@Ruthless_Anubis) May 12, 2022
I am more convinced now more than ever that the Halo TV series is just a reworked draft script for the Mass Effect amazon series. It all fits.
— Based Full Frontal (Totally not Char!) (@BasedFrontal) May 13, 2022
The entire approach to this Halo show has been backwards. From what I’m seeing they’re writing Master Chief more like a male Commander Shepard from Mass Effect. Two very different universes.
— Volk (@Volkerstime) May 12, 2022
It should also be noted that the first episode of the Halo series has an easter egg where an operator can be heard over the radio saying “Commander Shepherd, you are requested at the Skillian Response Center.” This was confirmed to be an intentional easter egg with 343 Industries Kiki Wolfkill saying “Everybody loves Mass Effect”.
At this point, we must say that there is no actual evidence or confirmation from the staff that this theory is true and I think it is unlikely that it’s true. While it is possible that the series creators took some inspiration from Mass Effect I feel it’s a little too farfetched to say that they specifically wanted to make Mass Effect and had to rework it into Halo.
With that said, you can argue the fact that fans would rather believe that the show was originally meant to be another franchise, is a sign of the disconnect between the show and the original games.
In my opinion, a lot of the bigger problems fans have with the Halo Series come from the attempt to make it more “Hollywood friendly” for lack of a better term. Relationship drama with a more “relatable” main character are pretty much cornerstones of what is perceived to be popular television. That’s likely the reason they wanted to squeeze them into the show.
Halo is available for streaming on Paramount+.