Ever since gaming made its home on the screens of our TVs, trailers have been the standard tool of the trade in order to build excitement for new releases. Regardless of the game's genre or platform, well-made trailers have the ability to get countless people interested in a game.
Halo has been a major commercial success for Microsoft and Xbox, and that is largely due to the fact that the franchise has a long history of excellent trailers. Here's my list of the top 10 best Halo trailers.
10. Halo 2 theatrical trailer
The Halo 2 theatrical trailer is the definition of short and sweet. Depicting an overwhelming invasion of Earth by the Covenant, this trailer did a tremendous job setting the stage for the first act of Halo 2's story, as well as giving us brief looks at the game's mechanics.
You can play Halo 2 (and its remastered edition) via The Master Chief Collection.
9. Halo: Combat Evolved 2000 E3 trailer
At the dawn of the century, developer Bungie unveiled this trailer on the E3 stage. The sight of expansive, open areas, dynamic AI enemies and allies, and a mystical alien setting took the gaming industry by storm, and for good reason. These qualities were never seen before in a shooter.
On top of that, this trailer also gave the world its first taste of Marty O' Donnell's Halo music, which would end up being critically acclaimed.
8. Halo: Combat Evolved 2002 E3 trailer (PC release)
After the massive success of Combat Evolved on the Xbox, PC users were itching for their chance to get a hold of the legendary title and bring the fight to the Covenant. This trailer, shown at E3 2002, showcases Sergeant Johnson (a popular character from the franchise) humorously breaking the fourth wall in order to "order" potential buyers to play the game.
This trailer makes up for in creativity what it lacks in impressive imagery. To this day, it remains one of the only video game trailers ever to use breaking the fourth wall as a marketing strategy.
Note: Halo: Combat Evolved for PC is no longer available brand new, but you can find used copies of it pretty easily.
7. Halo 4 E3 2012 official trailer
This trailer emphasizes the significance of the UNSC Infinity, a prominent vessel in Halo 4 and a symbol for human recovery and expansion following the end of the Human-Covenant War. By highlighting the fact that the Infinity is the strongest and most versatile UNSC ship ever built, only to show it being damaged heavily by an unknown entity, this trailer also manages to effectively convey just how dangerous of a foe the Master Chief is facing in the game.
6. Halo Wars 'Five Long Years' trailer
This short film was, along with the ones created for Halo 3: ODST, the first time that a grounded approach was taken for a Halo trailer. Blur Studios collaborated with Microsoft to create an authentic and believable depiction of the war for the planet of Harvest, which is where much of Halo Wars was set in.
5. Halo 3 'Starry Night' trailer
The Starry Night trailer was, simply, badass. Nothing looks cooler than the Master Chief himself sprinting straight into a force of over a dozen Brutes and armored vehicles, and the thought of facing odds like these in Halo 3 only served to excite fans.
On top of this, the trailer also gave us a first look at the bubble shield, a piece of equipment usable in the finished version of Halo 3. And, because that wasn't enough, we even got to see a cool, brief memory of the Chief's from when he was just a boy, pondering with a friend about aliens lying beyond the stars. If only that little boy knew ...
4. Halo 3 'Believe' diorama
This trailer tells the story of humanity's final conflicts with the Covenant through visuals of a monument designed to honor the memory of the Master Chief. Though the monument exists in the fictional universe itself, it was actually carved by hand in real life. The amount of artistry, passion and skill that was poured into this project is monumental, and it shows.
Halo fans of the day were abuzz with hype after seeing the Master Chief arm his plasma grenade. In general, the uniqueness and creativity of this trailer has earned it universal praise from Halo fans everywhere.
3. Halo: Reach 'Deliver Hope' trailer
The Deliver Hope trailer, in many ways, foreshadowed the story of Halo: Reach itself, a story of grit, will, and sacrifice. As Noble Team attempts to deliver a bomb onto a Covenant ship, they are forced to sacrifice one of their own in order to accomplish the objective. It also serves as a prelude to Halo: Reach, explaining where the empty position that Noble Six fills came from.
Like the Believe ad, Deliver Hope takes great care to be authentic. Almost everything, from the Elites on the battlefield to the UNSC marines charging at them, was recorded in live-action. Suits and armor for all the soldiers on both sides were made to fit the exact design seen in the game, and each character on screen was a real person performing stunts.
2. Halo Wars 2 E3 2016 trailer
This phenomenal piece depicts the Banished leader Atriox and Captain Cutter of the UNSC meeting face to face on the field as their massive armies meet in combat. It's all tied together so perfectly thanks to the haunting score and the brutality of the warfare between the two sides.
The amazing atmosphere this trailer created set the stage for the war for The Ark that takes place in Halo Wars 2. While the game itself didn't have the same tone, the trailer nevertheless accomplishes what it set out to do nearly flawlessly.
1. Halo 3: ODST 'We Are ODST' trailer
This trailer does everything that the Deliver Hope trailer does, except better.
There has never been a more honest depiction of war in the Halo universe than this. Instead of seeing superhuman Spartans engage the Covenant, we instead get a firsthand look at what warfare is like for the common grunt. There's no heroic music or epic stunts being performed in the combat sequence. Instead, we see nothing but regular troops and hear nothing but the rattle of armor and the sounds of breathing.
To me, this short film is the coolest Halo trailer because of this. It's so interesting to see Halo from a gritty, grounded perspective, which this trailer captures better than any other trailer on this list.
Were there any Halo trailer you love that didn't make our list? What's your favorite Halo trailer? Give your opinion in the comments.
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