The sculpt is a really mixed bag, but then again Cortana is a somewhat unique character to replicate in plastic. She's a hologram, so for the most part McFarlane has made her body perfectly smooth with no texture. She still has a very feminine look to her, and that's captured well via her various curves. Her fingers and toes are captured well. The head sculpt isn't bad, either. It definitely is recognizable as Cortana in her Halo 4 incarnation, although I think the face should be rounder. Cortana's one of those characters whose look has evolved over time and who, like Dana Scully, just kept getting hotter. Too bad her head seems to be in a permanent downward look, which seems a little odd. Maybe this was done so that she could look at a regular sized character while she's standing on the base? Other than that, my only problem with the sculpt is the way that the joints impede the graceful beauty of the character.
Cortana seems to be mostly molded in a cloudy blue translucent plastic, which really goes a long way towards helping to replicate her holographic look. There are a few different shades of blue that help add some dimension to the figure (she's not entirely translucent), and some detailed tampographic prints all over her front and back that give the impression of the "digital" nature of the character. I would have preferred a bit more translucency, but that's just a personal choice. The face is done well, and the hair is a cool purplish blue.
I really wanted to like this figure, and looked forward to adding it to my collection. Unfortunately, the awkward and ugly articulation, weird downward head pose, and breaking wrist joint definitely decreased my satisfaction with this figure. I try to judge every figure based on what it is and what it probably should have been. For example, I'm not going to knock this toy for not having multiple ball joints or a plethora of weapons. I will say, however, that I think this figure would have been so much stronger as a more solid figure with less articulation. The sculpt should have been the focus here. And when toys break right out of the package, I'm never happy. I'm ultimately confirming Cortana as an Eh figure. If you really need a Cortana for your display and are willing to leave her as is or do a little fix, she's not a complete failure. But she only avoids being one by the skin of her digital teeth.
Barbecue17's five favorite blue women in no particular order: Aayla Secura, Mystique, Cortana, Illumina, and that singing alien from The Fifth Element.