on 31 March 2005
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.
on 17 November 2004
Why is everyone moaning and groaning about how 'Halo 2' is such a disappointment? I'm not going to go into the explicit criticisms that many have made, as everyone is entitled to their own subjective opinions. I just feel a little angry that their views are spoiling it for the rest of us. Much like the majority, I absolutely marvelled at the brilliance of 'Halo'. Not just because of the gameplay and look but, for its relative storyline, atmosphere and, some may argue, shear originality. It was how all these elements were put together that made it so great, and that is why I believe that 'Halo 2' to be just as great.
Okay, I can admit that it is different to 'Halo' in many ways. The most obvious being the raised level of graphics, sound and, in my opinion, gameplay. Isn't that good thing? There is more weapons and vehicles to use, and most importantly ALL vehicles can slowly get damaged, and blow up (and that includes warthogs and tanks). Besides from the usual set of vehicles, there are new additions, particularly on the Covenant's side, which I wont mention, hence spoil it for you.
The most profound difference between the first 'Halo' and 'Halo 2' is the storyline. In 'Halo' it was more mystery, discovery and exploration which had added to its greatness. However, with 'Halo 2' it goes deeper into what the Covenant is all about. It takes you through a journey to the very heart of the Covenant, and how it is structured, organised, and ruled. The battleground is no longer restrictive and small, but vast, mirroring how big the 'Covenant-Earth War' really is. There are also a good few surprises when it comes to mission, which, again I won't spoil for you.
'Halo' and 'Halo 2' are not separate games but one. You cannot compare and contrast what they are. 'Halo 2' is a success, worthy of recognition as a success. Please don't let the minority destroy the magic that is 'Halo'. Write down your opinions for all to see. To prove that there are people out there who do have vision and understanding, and not corrupted by narrow-mindedness.
on 18 April 2006
Whoever on this earth doesn't have HALO 2 don't know what there missing. It is the best video game EVER made. The fast pace shooting action is thrilling and exciting. The storyline is dark and complex, with many twists and turns. The characters are diverse with the Master Chief, clad in green SPARTAN MARK V armour, the coolest and most awesome video game character. The Arbiter a troubled, duty filled ELITE who can turn invisible and silently exstinguish his enemies with his deadly energy sword. The enemies are tough and smart especially on difficulter level settings. With the alien races of Grunts, Jackals, Elites, Hunters, Brutes and Drones. Along with some forerunner sentinels and the divulged, sickly looking Flood. The weapons at your disposal are many from human rifles, rocket launchers and shotguns to alien sniper rifles, plasma guns and sticky grenades. Commandear vehicles like Warthogs, Ghosts, Wraiths, Scorpions, Banshees and Spectres, each with its own unique firepower and manuverabiliy. There are many levels to finish with hardcore FPS action. And if not all thats enough the multiplayer is SO AWESOME. Battling out against friends on FFA matches or working together in Team Games. You can split screen, system link or even test your skills to their fullest on Xbox live the best internet gaming thing ever. So if your reading this and you don't already have Halo 2 or 1 then get out there and buy it. Believe me if First Person Shooters are your favourite video game types then Halo will seem like a gift from god hence the title 'Halo'which is a ring weapon. So please don't waste time, please buy it
on 18 November 2004
The original Halo game was a groundbreaking installment in videogame history, casting a shadow over all other first person shooters to date. The much-hyped sequel is no exception.
Halo 2 is basically a tarted up version of its predecessor - no more no less. The graphics are smoother and the sound is more atmospheric, yet in both cases they are near identical copies of the original character designs and soundtrack. You can play as a covenant elite in single and multiplayer, but there is no real difference to playing as the master chief. Its the same old first person gameplay at the end of the day. Oh, except you can turn invisible for 5 seconds instead of having a flashlight. Id say 85% of the game has been seen and done before in the orignal.
But to be fair, if you had never played Halo 1 before (problem: who hasn't...), then Halo 2 would leave you speechless for a month after five minutes of the rich scenery and classic gameplay. The scale of some of the battlefields in the sequel is something yet to be seen in any other video game. Think of the epic battle scenes in the first game and multiply. The detail and sheer size of some of the environments truly exhibits the XBOX's claim to the title King of the Consoles. Aint no way a PS2 could cope with some of the stuff witnessed here.
There are also nearly twice as many weapons and some imaginative new enemies with which to tango. As a result, even if you have played Halo before, there are a few new tricks and tactics you will need to develop to get through. As a veteran of the first game, having completed it on the most difficult setting, I started Halo 2 not on normal but one grade higher (heroic), but still managed to finish it within a week. Probably about 25-30hrs gamplay all in all.
The one and only fault with Halo 2 is that it is too much like its Pops. The four star rating above is an average of two marks. Five stars (and beyond) if you have not played Halo 1, three stars if you have. Either way, however, you will not be disappointed, and there is also a whole world of multiplayer to discover and extend the lifespan of this very accomplished and technologically advanced game.
on 28 November 2004
Despite owning an XBox since there release I've only recently bought Halo. I have to admit I was impressed. The game play was so fluid that I didn't even notice that a large portion of the games greatness was a result of mind blowingly good AI. What I did notice were levels that overused repetition and forced you replay levels with fewer weapons against more foes. I'm also not entirely sure why reviewers are waxing lyrical about the amazing plot. where Halo excelled was in player-centric design. Automatic saving, automatic respawning after death and foes worthy of rebattling when the check-point was that little bit too long-ago.
Halo 2 takes all of this and improves on it. Better graphics, better AI, better battles and a more engaging plot. Bungie have also introduced more weapons and added an extra level of complexity to your stratergies: dual weapons for ultimate firepower, or single weapon and grenades for... ultimate fire power!
I've read reviews saying that the game is too short. Those people weren't playing the game on its true setting: legendary. Remember, Halo 2 is all about battles, struggles and being outsmarted by your XBox.
Once you've finished the game there is Live. Halo 2 made X-Box Live a must have technology adding an unlimited ammount of playabilty.
on 3 January 2006
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!
Halo 2 delivers in big style. We get bigger worlds, more weapons, more impressive foes, and better vehicles to fly and drive. In this respect Halo 2 is a marvel, to the extent that we can only wonder how Bungie throttled so much performance out of the Xbox.
I enjoyed Halo 2 very much, so much so that I have hardly looked at its predecessor, Halo. However, for all its fabulous gameplay, endless excitement and awesome visuals, I have to question its storyline.
As I progressed through each level (chapter), I found the story tying itself in knots as it involved me in a political bust-up within The Covenant. It all seemed like a side-track, when what I really wanted to continue saving planet Earth. This Covenant bust-up storyline allows Bungie to present us with new Covenant vs Covenant levels, while preventing us from playing Covenant vs Humans, in which our success would mean defeat for the Humans!
The trade-off between convoluted story and gameplay opportunities detracts from the game a little. Apart from the plot issue, there is also the matter of accepting that there are good aliens and bad aliens, when minutes beforehand we were gunning them down regardless, and minutes later will be gunning them down again. Moralising in a shooter is shaky ground, and I suggest Bungie avoids it in future. Humans vs Aliens shooter scenarios always work better when we are certain where our sympathies lie.
Apart from the plot, where the hell is the ending? I was gutted to discover that the showdown I had been building up to throughout the game was actually the cliff-hanger for Halo 3! It's like Star Wars without the Death Star, a war without victory.
Despite the plot groaning under the strain of delivering everything that it does, and the lack of showdown, Halo 2 is tremendous value for money and non-stop entertainment, and for that alone it gets 5 stars.
on 15 October 2005
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
on 12 November 2004
....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.
on 27 January 2015
Great game, but without the multiplayer it isn't really worth it. And the servers for this version went down years ago. I only bought it so me and my friends could play system link at lan parties. But if you want this game you would be better off buying the newer version with the Masterchief collection.