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Controversial new Halo character design gives gamers the blues

Video game adaptations get a bad rep, and not without reason. Rarely does the magic of the game translate to live action – just look at the various Resident Evil films, or any of the Tomb Raiders for that matter. Surprisingly, based on the new trailer, Paramount+'s live-action Halo adaption looks promising. But fans are feeling blue about the design of one character in particular.

Released yesterday, the trailer (below) reveals that, visually at least, 2022's 'HALO' is looking pretty faithful to its source material. But judging by the reaction online, gamers aren't happy that Cortana, Master Chief’s AI companion, isn't blue. Indeed, Cortana's character design is far more human-looking here than the in-game version.

While still played by Jen Taylor, who has assumed the role in the games for years, the AI character looks a lot less, well, AI. And fans are already wondering aloud whether the studio can be forced to 'Sonic' the design – indeed, who can forget Paramount's complete U-turn on the movie design of everyone's favourite blue hedgehog?

Halo Cortana character design

Cortana in 2015's Halo 5 (left) vs Cortana in the Halo TV series (right)  (Image credit: 343 industries/Paramount/Future owns)

"The design is really off, and not Cortana. I'm glad they got Jen, but not having the blue / transparency is an odd choice," one user tweets (opens in new tab), while another adds, "I think it was def the right call to just have Jen Taylor be Cortana, but she needs to be like, more fully blue and hologram-y?'

And as you might expect, a few extra-dedicated Cortana fans have even tried tweaking the design. It only takes a bit of digital trickery to achieve that 'AI' effect, with a blue glow and the addition of purple eyes. "Literally looks better already," one user comments on the fan-made 'fix' below. "There we go. Still not perfect, but much better already," another comments. 

i_fixed_cortana from r/halo

It'll be interesting to see whether Paramount does indeed decide to bow to fan pressure once again. That said, Halo gamers have already proven themselves to be a picky bunch – just last week, they were fuming about a helmet being a few pixels off-centre.

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Daniel Piper
Daniel Piper

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).