Halo season 2's harrowing, action-heavy final trailer might pull me back in to finish the fight

Master Chief carries a wounded Spartan in a destroyed Reach city in Halo season 2
Halo season 2 suits up for a February 8 release on Paramount Plus (Image credit: 343 Industries/Showtime/Amblin Television)

Halo season 2's final epic trailer has been released – and it might have convinced me to give the subpar Paramount Plus show a second chance.

The live-action adaptation of the hugely popular Xbox game franchise was, to put it bluntly, not great when it debuted on one of the world's best streaming services in March 2022. However, and despite my clear dislike for Halo's TV show – I said Paramount's Halo series had an identity problem that made for a painful watch – season 2's action-packed and harrowing official trailer may have done enough to persuade me to give it another try.

Curious to see why that's the case? Check out Halo season 2's apocalyptic final trailer below:

Here's a story synopsis for season 2, for those interested: "Master Chief John-117 (Pablo Schreiber) leads his team of elite Spartans against the alien threat known as the Covenant.

"In the wake of a shocking event on a desolate planet, John cannot shake the feeling that his war is about to change and risks everything to prove what no one else will believe – that the Covenant is preparing to attack humanity’s greatest stronghold. With the galaxy on the brink, John embarks on a journey to find the key to humankind’s salvation or its extinction: the Halo."

David Weiner has assumed Halo show-running duties from Steven Kane, who helmed season 1. Schreiber is joined by returning faces including Natascha McElhone as Doctor Halsey, Jen Taylor as Cortana, Bokeem Woodbine as Soren-066, Shabana Azmi as Admiral Margaret Parangosky, Yerin Ha as Kwan Ha, Charlie Murphy as Makee, and Olive Gray as Commander Miranda Keyes, among others.

Joining the season 2 roster are Joseph Morgan as James Ackerson, Cristina Rodlo as Talia Perez, and Christina Bennington as a character yet to be confirmed.

Living to fight another day

Master Chief as seen in Paramount Plus' Halo TV series

Halo season 1 was a hot mess, so why am I ready to jump back for season 2? (Image credit: Paramount Plus/Amblin Television)

So, what's swayed me into thinking the Halo TV show might be worth another chance? For one thing, the Paramount Plus series is going to depict one of the most heart-breaking and action-filled events in the franchise's history – the Fall of Reach. Humanity's greatest stronghold in the Halo universe, Reach is catastrophically leveled by the Covenant in the year 2552, with the multi-alien alliance killing millions and glassing (Halo's term for plasma-based aerial bombardment) entire cities as it wages war against the human race. 

The Fall of Reach's events have been covered extensively in the Halo franchise, with a critically-acclaimed 2001 novel and award-winning 2010 first-person-shooter Xbox 360 game portraying this key battle in the Human-Covenant War in powerful and tragic detail. If Halo season 2 – which, to be clear, takes creative liberties with the games' source material like its forebear did – paints an equally gloomy, last-stand-esque picture as its literary and video-game cousins, we could be in for a real treat.

A poster for Halo season 2 showing Master Chief carrying a wounded soldier in a destroyed city

Here's the first official poster for Halo season 2 (Image credit: 343 Industries/Amblin Television/Showtime)

Even more gratifying, though, is the fact that Halo season 2 will finally see John/-117/Master Chief – the franchise's legendary protagonist – embark on a quest to find one of the titular Halo arrays. These colossal, ancient ring-shaped structures are a major part of the first three Halo games' overarching plot. Also known as Installations, they're superweapons that both humanity and the Covenant believe can turn the tide of the war in their favor. But, as diehard Halo fans know, they serve an even more important purpose than that.

Again, should Halo season 2 set up that key narrative strand – I won't spoil it here for anyone who hasn't played the games – it might give long-time fans (myself included) a big reason to re-engage with the TV adaptation. After all, it was baffling that Halo season 1 didn't even give us a hint about the rings, let alone fail to include them as part of its story. 

That wasn't the only issue fanatics (again, me included) had with Halo's first outing. Fans weren't happy with Cortana's new look upon the release of season 1's trailer, while Schreiber told TechRadar "it's the only choice" to reveal Master Chief's face – a creative decision that, given that the hero's face has never been fully shown before, sparked backlash in the Halo community.

Here's hoping season 2 get things back on track, builds some much-needed positive momentum for the Halo TV series – which sits on the so-called (and complicated) Silver Timeline – and potentially earns it a spot on our best Paramount Plus shows list.

Halo season 2 will debut on Paramount Plus with a two-episode premiere worldwide on February 8.

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Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.