Review by Yoh_of_Izumo

"The Essence of Halo 2 Annihilated."

Now then, we all know of the grandeur of the Halo legacy on the Xbox, but what about when they decide to port it to the computer? Well, unfortunately, nothing comes good of these ports and they put a sad dimmer on the great expansion of Halo into the word. Now while Halo: CE and Halo 2 for Xbox will be enjoyed in the hearts of many gamers from young to old, novice to experienced, I can say the opposite will be the path for these two games released on the computer. In a few years time, people will laugh at you for even mentioning that the Halo series was released on the personal computer…it will be taboo.

Now I thought Windows and Microsoft and the game creators of Bungie would learn from their epic mistake in the port of Halo: CE from Xbox to computer. Yes, it is apparent that they changed the multiplayer configurations, but not from better, but to absolutely dismally pitiful. It was one thing that the multiplayer capabilities of Halo: CE were marred by poor coding, but now with Halo 2, they decide to make well on good coding, but then they restrict multiplayer access to a monthly subscription…WHAT? This is PC, I am not playing an MMORPG, and I already paid $50 for this game.

Now for the user who is in a hurry, there is no need to continue to read on, because I will put it here: do not ever lay hands on it, do not even borrow it; your life is worth dollars more than the time to put even a minute into it.

As for everyone else…on to the review.

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Gameplay: 4/10
You know, you would think that if you play on an first-person shooter on a PC, you would expect to play as a person would on the PC, with the classic keyboard and mouse. But no, Microsoft has something else in mind. They are pushing that people use an Xbox 360 controller to play this game…on a COMPUTER!!! If I wanted to play this game with a console controller, then I would have bought it for the Xbox, not for the computer. Nevertheless, users are continuously harassed by the fact that even though they are playing on a computer, they are plagued by the Xbox controller commands, “press A to jump.” I could take this in two directions: either Bungie decided to just directly port the game to the computer, and not even spend the time to change the controls to a QWERTY FPS setup, or they want to push the use of a console controller on a PC, how illogical. This is where the score dropped. Overall, the gameplay is as smooth on the PC as it is on the Xbox through campaign and multiplayer, but the fact that Microsoft dare mix FPS PC with the controller of console, is a death jibe in this game. FPS PC users wish nothing to do with console FPSs and that is why they play on the PC and console FPSs play on the console – they do not want to fraternize or see any hint of their enemy, and I agree. Another factor is the overly long loading times and low settings that must be used on a game that should not demand this much, and it just tears into the gameplay, which is sad. The greed that Microsoft wishes to invoke on gamers is plain lunacy. The fact that this game could easily run on Windows XP attests to the fact that the launch title of Halo 2 for Windows Vista was more for exploitation than for the advancement of the gaming industry. Not only do the controllers have an unfair advantage do to the automatic detection of them in the game, and thus an added sticky aim to assist in aiming, but sooner or later, this game will get massively hack, and then this game will truly bite the dust. As said before, it should have never been transferred from Xbox to PC.

Story: 5/10
As in the Xbox version's, the PC version of Halo 2's story is the exact same, and as much disappointing as it was almost three years ago when Halo 2 debuted on the Xbox in November of 2004 (11/09/2004 to be exact). It is true, the story was a flop. The only things that saved it were the twists in the plot, and the decent cut-scenes. Basically, it appeared that the story had been slapped together quickly, without much thought. The game ended as quickly as it started, in which most decent players could easily defeat legendary in under 8 hours, heroic and below in under 5 hours. The story continued off from Halo 2, though there were many loop holes in the plot that had you not read the books that Bungie made as a profit source, you would not understand the plot. Basically, a person would get more enjoyment from the plot in the books than from the game. The game was just pure tasteless with loophole after loophole, and another horrible ending. It gave the player a not wanting for Halo 3, but a question mark over their head asking, “That's it?” “What, Halo 2 is not the end?” Many people found it very damaging that Bungie would prefer money over a classic, and though it is sad to say, Halo 2, in my opinion, will never make it into classical gaming. Once the corruption for money game into being, the story was ruined. Instead of making the game the thriller, Bungie made the books, and since there are so many Sci-Fi thrillers out there, Halo 2 will never be able to compete with such classics of Sci-Fi literature as Stranger in a Strange Land, etc…Though the story left disdain in many hardcore Halo fans with its many pitfalls and inability to evoke people's desire for more, the spirit of these fans was rekindled with the multiplayer in the Xbox, but guess what? That ounce of hope is totally flattened when we introduce the multiplayer aspect of this game for the PC.

Multiplayer: 1/10
Now when it is time to judge the multiplayer aspect of a game, the two most important foundation structures are its ease of use and accessibility, and unfortunately, this port of Halo 2 for the PC fails at both. If it were not for my epic experiences with multiplayer on the Xbox, I might have even given this game a 0 in the category. Now then, it is totally time to belittle the multiplayer aspect of this game. First, the advantage of a controller usage in the PC realm is enough to sicken any FPS user who uses the PC as his or her base, and not to forget, a disgrace to the console area. Next, all the problems that were native to the game on the Xbox have never even been fixed!!! Not even tweaked! Do you know what I mean? I am talking about standbying, modding, glitching, bridging, and what drives me even more insane than all of those…battle rifle exploits. Not only is it easier to program on the keyboard to pull of the stunts, but soon everyone will be using them, and it would be who has the better aim, but rather, whose macro is the most efficient. Now then Xbox Live is a great thing for the Xbox, but when they bring it onto the PC…Live for PC…that totally paradoxes the meaning of multiplayer for PC. No longer are the channels open to wonderful free land of multiplayer, but setup as they are on the Xbox, where a database chooses who you plays, totally disgusting and sad. And for all this garbage, you have TO PAY, that's right, pay for multiplayer FPS gaming that has always been free. And you know what I say to that, that's enough. It would have been better to wipe your butt with the $50 bill that you used to buy this game than to play this game and experience the oxymoronic perplexes in this game. And you know what's sad? This game, this game for Vista, that requires you to pay to play multiplayer, could not even live up to one second of the original Half-Life that probably uses only 10% of the power this thing uses. How befuddling. I am here to defend Halo 2, and when I see it utterly destroyed on the PC, how it had so much potential, but then the game creators are blinded by their greed that they impose such restrictions, I strike this game down. It is worth nobody's pain or suffering. Sure they may have so much content to choose from, but what is the point if you cannot even access it? I give up. You think they would be capable of logic, from learning from history which strategies work, and which do not, but no, they do the complete opposite.

Graphics: 3/10
Remember that story that Bungie kept feed us that this Halo 2 transfer from Xbox to PC was going to be better than ever and that the graphics would be stunning. Well, actually they failed on their word, and when people lie and there is a let down, well, expect no mercy in my scoring. The fact this graphics are the exact same as those on the PC coupled by the fact that a much weaker system would be able to run them had it been ported onto the XP and not the Vista, totally knocks the stuffing out of the graphics. They are ok, but when I see that a game claims that it need 1GB of RAM to run and the components of Windows Vista mixed with a decent video card, I expect a foundation that is grounds for a next-generation PC gaming. Well, we got none here, just the typical boring graphics of the previous generation of software. When software depends the technology, but doesn't even use the technology provided to even 50% of its capability, it is a lost cause. There is nothing noteworthy that was noteworthy of the graphics of Xbox, because on PC, these types of graphics are mundane and the past, there is nothing impressive here.

Sound: 10/10
Well, at least there is one thing that did not get screwed over in the transfer from Xbox to PC. The music is well composed and decent. It basically follows several variations from a main theme throughout the game and continually comes back to a fugue to give the sense of a circle, just as the halos of the games are circular. It was well thought through, the orchestration is superior, and the sound quality is superb. And to add this classical sense of music to it, they throw in some nice hard rock guitarist solos to the heat of the moment. Such adds remarkably to the heat of the moment.

Replayability: 3/10 (6/10 in Campaign, 0/10 in Multiplayer)
Now why does the multiplayer aspect get no credit? Because you can only play a month of it before you are required to play a multiplayer FPS on a PC…how ridiculous. Therefore do to this crazy restriction, the game garners my first zero in any field of a game, because when action does not meet logic, I let it be known, and it is being known now. The campaign though does have some nice attributes, because it is capable of exploring the Halo 2 realm due to the fact that the game is so short. And with this, there exist many Easter Eggs waiting for the non-expecting user to encounter such as the Scarab Gun, and with the advent of the transfer to PC, modding the maps for continual playing can be fun, but eventually, it will get old. The campaign had some nice potential, but when a person is hit with such a dissatisfying ending, it is hard to try to take back something that has forsaken you. Nonetheless though, I hope none of you have to ever experience whether this is replayable, because you should not even have this game, case settled.

FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS
Using my rating system for a Campaign Game:
20% Gameplay, 40% Story, 20% Graphics, 5% Sound, 15% Replayability

This game in Campaign: 4.8

Using my rating system for a Multiplayer Game:
10% Gameplay, 50% Multiplayer, 20% Graphics, 5% Sound, 15% Replayability

This game in Multiplayer: 2.0

For overall game rating, 50% Campaign, 50% Multiplayer…

OVERALL RATING: 3/10
Suggested Action: Do not buy, borrow, or try. Waste of money and time.


Final Comments: The rating speaks for itself and for myself. It is not a game worth of anything. Heck, if you wanted to be cruel, it would be crueler to buy a person this for a birthday present then to not buy anything for him at all. If you want, just look skim the box and look it all the flashy writing on the box…“Oooh…a game for Vista”…but ya. Heed my warnings and avoid disaster, because this is the lowest rating I've ever given a game, and I am truly disappointed by it.

Fin


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 07/10/07


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