The Halo series premiere has been released for free on YouTube.
No, this isn’t an April Fools’ Day joke – the first episode, titled “Contact”, is now on YouTube (opens in new tab) and doesn’t require a Paramount Plus account to access.
There are, however, a few caveats. First, the Halo premiere is only available for a week, expiring on April 7. It’s also region-locked, meaning that those that don’t yet have access to Paramount Plus – such as the UK – still have to wait it out for Master Chief’s arrival.
Curious to see what all the fuss is about? Halo revolves around the Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) a Spartan super-soldier who has been trained since childhood to be the sword and shield of the UNSC, the military branch of Earth in the 26th Century.
From there, the show spirals out into a story that will is excitingly unfamiliar to video game fans, instead remixing Halo’s familiar characters and conflicts to create an original story on Paramount Plus. The first two episodes are now available on the streamer, with new episodes releasing weekly every Wednesday.
While the show is warming up nicely – we called the treatment of Master Chief in Halo episode 2 “something deeper and more emotionally resonant than it had any right to be” – it’s not been without its early controversies.
Chief among them, pun intended, is Master Chief removing his helmet. 343 executive Kiki Wolfkill told us, “There was a lot of conversation. When we went into the process, it was: ‘Let’s see what this story needs’… We suspected the helmet would need to come off.”
If you’re still in a Master Chief mood after watching the premiere, here is our definitive ranking of the best Halo games.