Widely regarded as the best first-person shoot-'em-up ever made for a home console, Halo 2 follows in its forebear's footsteps with a perfect blend of single and multiplayer action. The former offers far more variety than the first game as the battle is brought to Earth and the incredible advances in the game's AI, as well as just its graphics, become immediately obvious. There are now a lot more friendly troops to help you out and the evil Covenant invaders have become even more organised and intelligent.
In the all-important multiplayer mode, the most significant change is that you can now play the game online on Xbox Live against anyone in the world. This is the feature fans have been clamouring for and it's supplemented by new gameplay features such as the ability to steal vehicles, man fixed gun emplacements and play as the bad guys. If you don't yet own an Xbox, Halo 2 is all the reason you need to change that.--David Jenkins
Halo 2 surpasses its predecessor both in graphical beauty and combat intensity. The Master Chief and his marine allies return to battle the full complement of Covenant forces, as well as new enemies who have not yet revealed themselves. Halo 2 also expands the Master Chief's already-substantial arsenal with powerful new weapons, many pried from the twitching claws of defeated enemies, as well as more than twice as many drivable vehicles for exploring vast landscapes or speeding into battle. In addition to its epic single-player campaign, Halo 2 will be playable online through Xbox Live.
The WOW factor of the first Halo is always going to be hard to reproduce. The graphics are slightly improved (apart from some dodgy pop-up in the early cut scenes) and there's a lot more going on in the background. I found myself staring out the window watching the space battle for a couple of minutes extra entertainment, but the game still ultimately looks and feels like halo.
The levels are still big and bad, but the biggest seem to be rolling vehicle battles, another element which has been focussed on and vastly improved, therefore you tend to get through them quicker (anyone remember back tracking quite a lot in the first halo?). ALL the vehicles can now be destroyed, there are more of them, and there are more to drive. There are more bad guys to kill, more insight into the covenant side of the story and you get to be the covenant. There are a lot more weapons, including grenade launchers and covenant sniper rifles, but the best part is dual wielding, where you can hold 2 weapons at once, the down side being that you can no longer throw grenades, an extra tactical element.
My annoyance with some of the reviews are that they're saying that the game is too short, then adding "granted I only played it on easy/ normal". Why would you want to just breeze through a game you just spent hardcore money on? put it on a hardcore difficulty level. The beauty of halo 2 is that there are checkpoints after every mini-battle, and once you get to a checkpoint progress is saved, so why not make that mini-battle hard as nails?Read more ›
The weapons and viechles!!! Amazing from road to air - in my opinion one of the best parts of the game.
And the multiplayer doesnt loose its touch either, so many maps, and with the map expansion you won't get bored for hours
Its a good while later and Halo 2 has surfaced AGAIN on a massive wave of hype. By this time I've added an Xbox to my GC and PS2 setup but decided to steer away from the hype machine again, frothing fanboys and whatnot. I waited a couple of months down the line and finally picked it up. So what does Halo 2 offer?
Well for one the storyline aspect of the game has been fully ramped up, all gloriously realised in one of the best graphics engines I've seen in a long time. I like a nice adventuresome one player game and Halo 2 does the business. Twists and turns are thrown in to the story line to great effect. Greater depth in exploring the motives and characteristics behind the Covenant and the Flood give the Halo universe an added dimention. While I played the game through I realised why it was a good decision NOT to investigate every morsel of information that there is out there for the game. The joy is in the experience, hence not dissecting the plot details here in this review. Some of the cut scenes such as the descent to Earth and the battles down on the planet are mindblowing.
The vehicles play a much greater part in proceedings.Read more ›