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I’ll own up. I’ve made no secret of my seething hatred for most of the misguided Halo commercials Bungie and Microsoft have put out in the past. While the Believe diorama and moody Shock Trooper training ads were undeniably well made, with sky high productions values, they hinted at a tone and scale neither Halo 3 or ODST could match. Plus, they were kinda up their own asses.
Now, Halo: Reach’s epic Deliver Hope advert might be a bit in love with itself, but it’s also shamelessly rousing. And, more importantly, it actually portrays a picture of Halo which the games can now finally achieve. Below, we’ll compare some of the highlights of the commercial, to sections of Reach’s campaign that actually match the spectacular CG action blow for blow.
Warning: Those of a spoiler-shy disposition beware: thar be spoilers ahead. Just in case you missed that…
Don’t get me wrong, I loved, LOVED most of 2007’s Believe advert. The sweeping camera pans over the incredibly detailed diorama models. The haunting score. The now iconic image of the Chief’s glistening visor at the end. T’was all stirring stuff. And you know what? It was a shitting lie. Hinting at battles on a huge scale Halo 3 could never hope to match, when you eventually fired up the game and found yourself fighting with just a few soldiers at your side, it was a bitter pill to swallow after the scope shown in the advert.
Deliver Hope, by comparison, is so grand, it makes Master Chief’s effort looked like it was filmed by a couple of multimedia students with some spare plasticine and a dodgy camera. The most important thing, though, is that it represents something Reach actually replicates. The fierce aerial dogfights, the spectacle of a city burning to ashes, fierce chaotic battles filling the streets; these moments are found throughout the campaign. Look to the sky in many levels and you’ll often see some clever technical trickery that makes it looks like dozens of Banshee and Pelicans are fighting above you.
And that’s before we even talk about the awesome dogfights in space in the sixth mission. Or how much more overwhelming the average battle with Covenant hordes feels, thanks to the vastly increased number of on-screen enemies. Add it all together and the result is a game which finally matches the vision promised in its adverts.
Well, obviously Reach is going to have sections in first person seeing as it’s… eh, an FPS. But we’re talking specifically about portions of some cut-scenes, which are viewed from within Noble Six’s stoic visor. The sections of the commercial viewed from Kat’s perspective nicely match these atmospheric campaign moments, further cementing the visual bond between trailer and game. Geez, that last sentence was a bit wanky, eh? A heaving help of apologies for said wankery.
That’s right, unlike Halo 3’s Believe commercial, which hints at a certain chap called John biting the big one, both Reach and Deliver Hope actually have the balls to kill off characters. Are you listening, Chief? You big tease. In both trailer and game, death occurs in equally brutal, unsentimental fashion. Kat gets horribly injured in the ad, while the Spartan Noble Six replaces, dies taking a Covenant craft down to Kaboom town. Noble 2, your Terminator arm might have creeped us out as bit… alright, loads. But it was an honour serving with you. Sleep well, semi sexy Spartan.
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