Review by Connor42
"Not only is this game a good game, this game is the best first person shooter since the original Halo."
So, what is Halo? Halo is a FPS set in the far future. You start off in a ship getting a feel for the controls. Speaking of the controls, you won't find better FPS controls than the Halo series. After that, the game picks up when you fight the Covenant,(The aliens you'll be fighting.). You'll have an intense feeling when the Covenant are coming all around the place. Some times, I can't stand people who bash this game, because this game is so good.
Why can't all games be like this, because this game has very little fault, excellent, excellent multiplayer, and some of the best graphics for this console. You play as this cybernetic guy called The Master Chief. You don't get to learn much about him. People may think that this is dumb and is a waste of time creating this character, but I can name a few other characters who are rather mysterious or don't talk. The Master Chief is very strong, and has recharging shields, and you might find this weird, but it works better, is that there isn't a health bar. But how can you tell if you are going to die? If you are continuing to take damage than that means you are going to die. The one thing you do worry about is your shields. If you take damage your shield will fall, so you have to take cover and wait for your shields to recharge. There are lots of check points and this can make the campaign a little on the short and easy side.
Even though this game is a little bit on the easy side, the AI is outstanding. The enemies you'll be fighting against are not relatively smart, they are smart. You'll also be fighting these Covenant Elites who also have rechargeable shield. Plus, there are a lot of Covenant Elites and one of you, this makes intense battles. You'll very rarely see a game with as good as AI as this.
Once you beat the game, you'll probably want to beat it on legendary. The AI is really good, and this difficulty will keep you busy for a long time too. The enemies will be harder, and you must be more careful and make good use of your cover.
There are no loading times in this game, except when you select a level, after that there aren't any loading times.
There are new additions like dual wielding weapons, this is balanced. You can't throw grenades, melee attack without dropping the other weapon, and if you're surrounded by enemies, you may not want to use it. Speaking of grenades, they are useful, and are a lot of fun to use. It's cool to see an enemy fly across the room. The other addition is that your AI team mates can drive vehicles now, but they kind of suck at driving, and they always drive near enemies so you can kill him, but if you were driving you would've driven right past him. The best addition is to hi-jack vehicles, but you have to be careful or else they'll run you over. You'll find very little fault in Halo 2. The only problem is with the campaign is that, it's short, and you don't get to defend earth for very long. You'll be focusing on this one Covenant Elite and get to play as him too. The game picks back up at the last level which is the coolest level with the Elite. For a game that feels kind of rehashed, its new improvements are keeping it from being the same ole game. After defending earth from the Covenant the game slows down and most of the levels are forgettable. Like this one repetitive (Did I say that, because in the last game remember the library) and long, painful level, that goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and it seems like its not going to end until you find light at the end of the tunnel for a brief moment, and then the level goes on, and I can talk about it all day if I wanted to.
There are new vehicles and weapons. The first weapon is the SMG (Sub Machine Gun) This is a dual-wield-able weapon and is a powerful weapon if dual wielded. The Battle Rifle bursts 3 shots and can zoom in also. The Assault Rifle is no where to be found for some reason. The M1 Carbine is a Covenant version of the Battle Rifle. The Beam Rifle is a Covenant version of the sniper and can easily over heat. The Energy Sword can also be used. Its worth noting that the Energy Sword has energy and can run out in the Single Player campaign but it doesn't run out in Multiplayer for some reason. The Brute Shot fires out grenades and is a powerful weapon. There is a Brute Plasma Pistol which has more ammo but over heats faster.
There are a couple of new enemies, the Brutes are devastating monkey-bear like creatures, if you get too close to them, they'll drop their weapon and start charging at you. Drones fly around and shoot at you and can kill you if you're not careful. All the other enemies of the Covenant are back. The good ole Warthog is back and can now execute power slides, by holding down the L trigger. The ghost can boost by holding down the L trigger and can ream down enemies. The Banshee can boost to, by holding down the L trigger. The Wraith (The vehicle you couldn't drive in the original Halo) is now drivable. That has a boost too, by holding down the L trigger.
Now, the best part of Halo 2 is its multiplayer and I've played it 9 hours straight in one day. You'll get the most with Xbox Live, rather than system link Internet, because you can create a party and find a match maker where it will have 8 or 16 players with the same skill level as you when the match starts. The action itself is the name of multiplayer, and now that there are download-able maps, it doubles the replay value of this game. There is a lot of variety with the multiplayer matches like, swords only matches and all players are invisible. If there's one complaint about its multiplayer, it's that you won't find a match that you want to do. I've always wanted to play Single CTF on Containment, but a match won't start off like that. With all that said its multiplayer is very addictive and you won't find any fault with it. Experiencing this game with the headset is very cool. You'll communicate tactics, warn other people, etc. The one complaint with the head set is the smack talk going around, but every game I've played had that. You can't steer clear getting Xbox Live because its so addictive. Heck, why not get the 360 so you can play Halo 3 when it comes out. Its pretty hard getting a Xbox Live card for the original Xbox so you its worth getting the 360 instead (definitely worth it). The multiplayer can seem a little unbalanced though because instead of relying on skill, you'll be relying on what type of weapon you have, but if you're not relying on that, congratulations you took the realistic way. My favorite mode is Single CTF because it feels like a real objective.
Still, the multiplayer is really good. You can join parties, create clan matches, or even just do a quick match. It's really good and the multiplayer will keep you playing until the next game will come out. There are tons of multiplayer options, and you can edit the modes too.
There's also a 2-player coop that will make you go back through the campaign again. Teamwork is needed here, as you and your partner will watch each others backs. This is really fun if you're playing on the second hardest difficulty, but the hardest difficulty can be way to frustrating, because if one of you dies, you both respawn at the checkpoint. Still, the game has an excellent coop. The only disappointment is that you can only play in split screen.
The graphics are stunningly good, it looks (In my opinion) like a 360 game graphics, though the graphics take about a second for a scene to load. When a scene starts the graphics look bad to superb, but the graphics are really, really, really good. The explosions are cool looking and the vehicles, character models, weapon design, environments, and cut scenes are outstanding. The audio is really good and the sound affects are better. The music seems to be a little out of touch though, but most of the music has some of the best sound tracks in a video game and the voice acting is really good. The Master Chief doesn't sound like a clone trooper at all (Which I kind of expected), Instead he sounds like an old guy who has been fighting his whole life. The audio is real good.
This isn't a good game in its own rights, its good game for any genre. Before I recommend this game, be warned that with out Xbox live, you really can't get anything at all out of this. Buy it no matter what though, because this is an excellent FPS
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 12/11/06, Updated 05/01/07
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