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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to make the game great yourself!!!!!
Halo 2 on Xbox live, ofcourse its gonna be quality. If thats your main selling angle for this game then you're in for a real treat. I'm going to hopefully give a fresh angle on single/cooperative mode.
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)...
Published on 31 Mar 2005 by Mr. K. T. Johnsey

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great game
I came to Halo 2 first on PC, running clunkily on my laptop, but recently picked this up to run on my 360. I didn't regret it - it is smooth and looks great on 360.

Picking up where the Master Chief left off in Halo, coming back to earth after destroying the first ring, the saga continues with a fleet suddenly invading earth. Halo's initial annoyances are gone...
Published on 6 Jun 2009 by Michael Sutherland


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to make the game great yourself!!!!!, 31 Mar 2005
By 
Mr. K. T. Johnsey "kris69" (Newport) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Halo 2 (Video Game)
Halo 2 on Xbox live, ofcourse its gonna be quality. If thats your main selling angle for this game then you're in for a real treat. I'm going to hopefully give a fresh angle on single/cooperative mode.
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? At the end of the day, yeah multiplayer is good fun, but there is no better fun than playing co-op with a mate on the single player game, on LEGENDARY setting, and within 20 minutes you're screaming at each other until you get to the next checkpoint where the relief is as much as completing the whole game on easy level. Its the only way to play halo 2 and get the proper experience. It'll take forever to complete, it'll boil your blood and you wont even notice or care that the levels are slightly shorter in size to the first game, coz they've thrown in a lot more bad guys and this game is a lot tougher than the first, which doesn't make up for it, it makes it a better game. If you're playing halo 2 completely by yourself, do the same thing, stick it on legendary and within half hour you'll be throwing your gamepad on the floor, walking away from it red-faced, then coming back for more within 5 minutes coz you've had time to think about your tactics. Isn't that the sort of emotion a great game is supposed to bring out? Dont play it on easy, whats the point. You'll probably think the games too short and be disappointed. Stick it on legendary, get a mate round and play halo 2 the way it's suppposed to be played.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best and most importanty most FUN multiplayer ever, 26 Feb 2005
By 
Simon J. Whight "fourfourfun" (Manchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Halo 2 (Video Game)
If there is one thing I can't stand its a hype machine. I tried my best to stay away from the original Halo, for one it was on a MICROSOFT machine and two, the magazine lead hype machine was sickening. So a fair while after its release I found myself in my house, my housemates away for the weekend and an Xbox with Halo sitting there tempting me. So I booted the thing up to give it a blast. Now I'd not found an FPS that was so immediately fun since Goldeneye, it was supreme... plus it was backed up with an intense story driving the action on. Fully immersive gaming. I was grabbed.
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. Scenes with many Warthogs buzzing around fighting with Ghosts and Wraiths are more frequent and a nice diversion to the foot based action.
When it comes to the mechanics of the game, its pretty much the same. The dual wield option for weapons is a nice new touch and something that adds yet another tactical play to the 'you can only hold two weapons at one time' approach. Pick up two handheld guns and you can start loosing off some serious damage, you do this at the expense of being able to chuck grenades around.
The health meter has been abandoned, your Master Chief has only his shield to protect him. If it goes down and you start taking flack, you're going to cack it so you have to take advantage of the terrain and hide. New weapons have been added to the game with grenade launchers, Covenant sniper rifles (which are LETHAL if you're on the recieving end of them) and fuel rod cannons giving a bit more depth to both sides methods of attack. Also you encounter a new breed of Covenant, the Brutes. Big viscious ape like creatures which are NOT fun to encounter when they bezerk.
The difficulty is nicely pitched, the levels again granting you a wider array of bad guys, weapons and scenarios to test you as the game progresses. Normal mode only provided a few stumpers and is pretty much on a par with the originals Normal mode, Heroic took me about 2 weeks to get through. Tactics have to be modified for this difficulty level, you just can't go wading into the action with any weapon and guns blazing. Legendary is a bit TOO nails for me right now! But there is something to challenge all out there.
The best addition to this game may even take this FPS past Golden eye in the legendary stakes. Not only can you gather around a TV with your mates to play, but you can take advantage of the Live online play. Ace. I love this because it gives me a chance to take on my mates who are scattered around various towns in the UK. Plus nothing beats taking on real people rather than a computer AI.
Now try your best and avoid all hype and opinion about this game. I've scanned through the reviews on this site to see some UTTER pish being spouted about the game ... if this can win over someone who HATES the hype engine then there has to be something to it. The game IS just as long, the one player mode IS just as good if not better for the added cinematic style, it IS just as challenging and it IS more rewarding. Some of the arguments against the game are about as superficial as you can get. If you're going to lay anything against this game it is the occasional pop up that happens in the cut scenes and the VERY occasinonal slowdown when everything gets a bit too hectic. This is all far and few between and such a little gripe to take away from what is essentially a simple yet rewarding experience.
Grab it, be astounded and don't let anyone tell you any different... you will be hooked.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extreemly Dissapointed......, 12 Nov 2004
This review is from: Halo 2 (Video Game)
....that there will probably not be another game of this calibre for quite a while, nor probably on this generation of consoles. :-)
The intros between sections have a strong cinematic feel which that big film production feel. After only getting to the 3rd level up to now the sudden twist that occurs here supprised me. I won't put it here as it would be too much of a spoiler on an excellent level.
Graphically this game is simply stunning, DOT3 mapping with, from the looks of it view dependent mapping is fantastic. The only down point is that it is Level of Detail based (i.e. further away less detail) and some objects suffer from sudden increase in details. I can live with that though.
Sound is phenominal. From the brrdddppp of the SMGs, to the voice work of the Elites who have been to the James Earl Jones school of voice coaching.
The most important bit, game play. Well what can I say, smooth, think smootheness of Project Gotham Racing in an FPS. The weapons pull as you fire meaning you can't just aim and hold the trigger. The sword is excellent fun. Thankfully the jumping isn't OTT so the game isn't going to be an UT heavily armed pogo-ing ninja shooter.
And on top of that the live play is fantastic. After two hours of on line play I was suppised to find I really liked it (Ghost Recon and RS3 are more my on line game). The nice bit of hearing the opponents voices when near by is sweet. Creeping up behind someone they shouting boo before sticking them with a sword is groovey. Its fast,lag free with some very clever maps and some very good game modes. Up to now I've been playing slayer and capture the flag, I am looking forward to playing odd ball with swords on line.
The only down bit is a lack of co-op online and I would drop a star, but then you can't give a game 6 stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!!!!!, 3 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Halo 2 (Video Game)
This game is unbelievably AWESOME.Greatest xbox game of all time!! When the first Halo game was released for Xbox only it was a whole new experience. It had a great plot, it was gruesome and had incredible graphics , It was just a great game.... until Halo 2 was released. The Halo 2 plot is even better than the first one. Covenant forces attack Earth in order to get revenge for the first halo being destroyed. Human forces on Earth are outnumbered- this is where MasterChief comes in! He is a genically modified super human- armed and dangerous!! You play the game from beginning to end as MasterChief whether you fight along side with other humans or alone. This game is definitely worth getting even if you don't like first person shooters!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great game, 6 Jun 2009
By 
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo 2 (Video Game)
I came to Halo 2 first on PC, running clunkily on my laptop, but recently picked this up to run on my 360. I didn't regret it - it is smooth and looks great on 360.

Picking up where the Master Chief left off in Halo, coming back to earth after destroying the first ring, the saga continues with a fleet suddenly invading earth. Halo's initial annoyances are gone - a full clip from the assault rifle will now kill an Elite; the game is not as repetitive as the first could be.

The levels have definitely had some work put into them - they are well-thought out and varied. From riding a ghost down a motorway tunnel to a banshee battle, to riding huge trams across a vast lake, they look and play great. You can also dual-wield the guns, which is a great touch - although you don't have the reloading flexibility you do in Halo 3, it's still very handy and appreciated.

The weapons are excellent - the SMG is very satisfying, the battle rifle is a nice compromise between the sniper rifle and the assault rifle. The needlers, almost useless in Halo, are now surprisingly useful - used against the unshielded brutes, they're incredibly effective. The development team seem to have refined and found a niche for all of the guns, which is an excellent development.

That said, the crosshairs are still a bit annoying and unprecise, and the levels are occasionally annoyingly dark, making it hard to see enemies and where you're supposed to be going! I also found the ducking system irritating - you have to click-hold the right stick, which also moves you around, so you rarely stay ducked for long. It would have made more sense to use a duck-lock system like Bioshock does - but again, it's a minor quibble.

The music is nicely atmospheric and the story ties together well, explaining why the Covenant are invading, and it progresses nicely. You also play a lot of the game as an Elite, and get to try more Covenant weapons and the cloaking shield.

The game is very long and varied, and I'd recommend it. The multi-player is great, and co-op over a local splitscreen is a nice option, and you play against some stunning backdrops.

Overall, if you missed out on it and now have a 360 (with a hard drive) it's well worth getting!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Verdict, 4 Dec 2004
By 
D. Moss "systemj" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Halo 2 (Video Game)
I bought Halo 2 the day it came out, almost a month ago. It's taken me until now to reach an opinion of it that deserves reading. Here goes.
Halo was a tough act to follow. It splits gamers down the middle- some love its free-form action template, massive levels and small but innovative tweaks on the tried and tested FPS formula. Others find it repetitive, frustrating and lacking in plot and substance. With Halo 2, Bungie had to right those wrongs while keeping the winning ingrediants that made the original such a benchmark. And... they managed to pull it off.
The first, and most obvious improvement on the original are the graphics. They are absolutely gorgeous. The original Halo was shiny enough, even after three years, but Halo 2 is eye-candy of an unprecedented level, with the detail and polish of PC titles like Doom 3 and Far Cry and the massive, sublime levels that only Halo has done so far. From the gigantic temple in the middle of a volcanic crater to the water effects, Halo 2 drops your jaw over and over again. The sound is even better, improving on the original endlessly, and the music is arguably the best ever scored for a game. These improvements do more than just look nice, they increase the immersive aspect and the fantasy of the environments endlessly.
In correcting the original's errors, Bungie have done more than just improve the graphics. The physics engine is enhanced to increase the freedom of the player while making object interactions look very real indeed. The AI of both your allies (always dodgy in Halo) and your enemies is significantly smarter, especially on the harder settings. They hide from fire, use grenades well, sneak up behind you and run for help. Halo's cut 'n paste level design is all but absent, with every level being different to the last, and within levels the environments vary much more.
Where Halo 2 really excels is in removing the repetition of the constant gunning, through the use of vehicle sections and set-pieces. These awesome moments (such as jumping onto the Scarab or riding the gondolas) are what Halo's formula was lacking, and stick permanently in your mind. Halo 2 blends these unprecedented set-pieces with free-form combat in just the right amounts, so the player has freedom and option some of the time, and others is riding the rollercoaster of sheer spectacle. When it comes to making your own way through combat, Halo 2 gives loads of options. There are more guns, and the much anticipated dual wielding is a welcome touch, giving you more firepower at the expense of grenades or melee attacks. Vehicles are all destructible, and you can hijack any enemy vehicle, or merely plant a grenade in it and jump back off.
Apart from the single player, Halo 2's multi-player is truly in a class of its own. There are so many options, weapons and maps you can cater for anyone's taste, and there is massive variety and replayability. Playing it system-link is brilliant fun, and Live lets you fight people anytime all over the world. However, it's always better if the other players are in the same room, and even 1 v 1 multi-player is an absolute blast.
Gripes? A couple. The health/shield system has been altered, which makes the single-player extremely hard in places. Add to this the difficulty of Heroic and Legendary and you have some very frustrating moments. You still have to replay some sections many times to get through it. The opening level is also very mediocre, and a poor intro to the game. However, Halo 2 is an absolute masterpiece, with unbelievable levels of production, addictive gameplay and sound design. 95%, in the running for Game of the Year, on any format.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutelty brilliant... and yet not!, 20 Nov 2004
This review is from: Halo 2 (Video Game)
I love Halo games, and from the previews I read in magazines I was assured it was going to be even better than the virtually flawless original. But sadly Halo 2 is not quite on a par with the original, in terms of the campaign mode. It is slightly reminiscent of Metal gear solid 2 in some ways. Firstly in preview versions we were shown Levels set on earth showcasing amazing urban warfare, a brilliant contrast to the original's lush organic settings. Instead we spend two levels on the eath and are then whisked away to some pretty pathetic levels set somewhere else in the galaxy (Just like the Mgs 2 demo that gave the impression it was going to be set in new york city, and then ending up in a neon oil plant). Secondly the introduction of a lame second playable character who takes focus away from the main character(Raiden from MGS anyone?). The combat is still fairly tactical and most of the vehicles are satisfying, but the locations just aren't as good as the wide open spaces of Halo 1, feeling mostly like funneled corridors. So why four stars then? Well because like the original the Multiplayer is probably the best I've ever played (Bar mario kart). The levels are brilliant and once you work out how to make the best of your surroundings you find that there are ways to to tackle even the biggest advantages, Such as the new ways of disposing tanks and Hijacking peoples vehicles, jumping on the front of someones tank so they can't shoot you and then ramming a grenade into the drivers seat is especially fun, as is jumping into the gunners seat whilst your opponent drives, and then gunning down there teammates is an experience to be treasured. Anyway lastly on the subject of the fairly dissapointing campaign, finishing it on legendary reveals the words mysterious date february 8th after the credits , Don't quote me on this but I would not be suprised if Bungie released the second half of the game as an expansion pack or download, as the advertisements showed the master chief on earth underneath a scorched sky, when on earth on halo 2 the sky is blue, this to me could be a sign of the things to come... but if not this is still worth buying (like mario kart) not for the functional but occasionaly inspired campaign, But if you want one of the best multiplayer's ever made then get this in!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Halo 2 better or worse?, 15 Oct 2005
This review is from: Halo 2 (Video Game)
I'd say a definatley better game than the original. Yeh the levels may be the same in some peoples view but it offers a vast range of new capabilities.
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
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the original, 15 Nov 2004
This review is from: Halo 2 (Video Game)
I was really looking forward to Halo 2 coming out. It arrived on November 11th, and I'd completed it within hours (spread over a couple of days). The game just isn't long enough. It's far too easy to fly through areas without having to fight anyone - simply run. I've heard that the online play is outstanding, but as I don't have access to XBOX live, I don't know. All in all, it's not as good as the original - yes you can drive more vehicles, play half of the game as one of the aliens, but it's just far too short. And as for the ending...there's never been such an anti climax in the history of gaming. Oh, and by the looks of it, there'll be a Halo 3 coming soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Halo 2wice as good, 12 Oct 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo 2 (Video Game)
i loved halo 2. i used to have it on xbox original but sold it years ago. now with a 360, i have bought it again due to its "funness." i got it brand new in game for 34.99, and i didnt regret it at all. the campaign was immense, much better missions than halo CE and halo 3 and halo ODST. the multiplayer helped pick up xbox live off the ground completely, inspiring halo 3s success. none of my friends like this game, and i cant understand why. at the time (2004) the graphics were amazing and so was the gameplay. the gameplay stands, and the graphics are only diminished due to the fact that in that 5 years 3 eother halo games have come out. yes, it didnt have custom games or forge, but they were new inventions for halo 3, so halo 2 cannot be marked down for it. i remember how good most of the multiplayer maps were, and some of halo 3s are good. i never bought maps for halo 2, but for halo 3 i spent 1400 MS POINTS that my friends had completely suggested; AND THE MAPS ARE RUBBISH. while my point stands, halo 2 is still fun and good, DONT BUY THE HALO 3 MYTHIC AND LEGENDARY MAPS. DONT BUY THEM OR LET THEM COME WITH ODST. :) just thought i should tell u that.
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Halo 2
Halo 2 by Microsoft (Xbox)
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