Artificial Continuum

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Unlike its predecessor, the next episode of Halo Legends follows the Elite culture and the creation of the Arbiter in the Covenant. This episode creates possibly my favorite story out of the Halo Legends anthology, but suffers form design flaws that hamper it from being the truly great piece of entertainment it could be.

Created by Production I.G (Ghost in the Shell,Blood: The Last Vampire) The Duel follows Fal an Arbiter who is accused of heresy by one of the leading prophets of the Covenant. Fal must then struggle to protect his honor and his family, and take out the leading members of the Covenant.

The story for The Duel is well done and actually quiet emotional. Touching on the best themes of the Covenant from the Halo games (especially Halo 2), Fal's story of religious heresy is accesible and engaging. My only true complaint is the ending which is on the corny side to say the least.

The design for the Duel could be called unique to say the least. Fal's struggle is depicted as a mix between CG animation, and almost water color like backgrounds. The resutl is a visually striking perspective which can be beautiful at best, and distracting at its worst. The beautiful backgrounds and stylized character designs tend to blur together in many of the action sequences and it is often difficult to comprehend.

One design decision that bothers me particularly is the design of the elites. The overtyl Japanese culture is to be expected but feels incredibly out of place. The elites have also changed in appearance. Lacking are the four hinged jaws that set them apart from generic aliens, the elites look more like velociraptors in kimonos. Its even more distracting when other elites have this feature. It makes the design feel haphazard and bizaare.

Overall, The Duel is an enjoyable episode of Halo Legends with an engaging story, and interesting visuals if you can get past its poor design choices.

Score: -A


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