Review by Gotenks1215
"This is the best FPS that you'll ever see on this generation of consoles."
I'm going to make this quick, and tell you my Pro's and Con's for this game.
SOME SPOILERS AHEAD, NO DIRECT, SPECIFIC ONES ABOUT THE STORY THOUGH
1. Variety - Not only in weapons, but in the environments too. There are a few area's I've encountered so far that have some similar rooms, but they do have differences. The repeating level design from Halo CE is all but gone, and many new and very cool levels are here for you to beat.
2. Graphics - It will take getting used to, I couldn't play it too well on my 27' TV, but after moving to my other 32' Flat Screen, it was just superb. I really don't know all of why that is, but I think that the darker shading and richer graphics may be some of the cause. But that is just my own problem. Basically, these graphics are beautiful. No FPS is going to beat them on THIS gen of consoles.
3. Sound - Everything, from the sounds of the guns to the enemies to the music, all of it is virtually perfect. The music kicks in at the exact right time and is always superb. The sounds of the guns firing and reloading is sharp and powerful and sends and shiver down your spine. Marty > all.
4. Story - I won't spoil it, but it's great. Gamespot took many points off for it, but I think it's not only inventive, but it's just fun. It gives you a different side of things and it works great. I never once thought during the game that I wanted to just 'get this over with'. Well, maybe once, but that was only cause I wanted to beat SP before going into MP. The direction, while excellent to many, may disappoint some. It does take an awkward direction from early on, and it leaves you wondering if we even have a planet left to come to after it all.
Con's (Remember, these are the problems I, repeat, I, had with the game. Some of them may not bother you, or they may even be better to you for some reason.)
1. Grenades - I'm hate to say it, but nades suck in Halo 2. They were a core element in many peoples strategies on Legendary in Halo CE, but they won't be in Halo 2. You throw... well... like a girl. A wimpy one. The distance is more than halved from CE, and the new twist on the frag is just makes you swear every time you throw one and miss, cause you knew it was coming. Frags now count down to boom time AFTER they hit something, the count is about 2 seconds. They also bounce a whole lot more than the last game, which is a bad thing. Frags are nearly useless in Halo 2, so don't think they'll save you in Legendary. Plasma's are much more useful, but you will need to get used to the craptacular new throwing style before you can get good with them. They blow up about a second faster than in Halo CE, so thats good, but the new length of your throw still makes them sub-par.
2. Difficulty - For some reason, although I could beat many levels in Halo CE on Legendary, I died many many times on Normal in Halo 2. The new shield system will catch you off guard many times, and you'll die because of it at first. It doesn't seem to be a major problem, but it could get on your nerves when you die a lot in one area.
3. Some Weapon Changes - The Shotgun is no longer the ultimate flood killer. The slower time in between shots will get you killed more often then other guns, as you still get 'flooded' by flood in this game as well. It's still more useful than most guns even with that, but there are two other guns that rock the floods house now, both new. The other one is the Fuel Rod Gun. I'm up to level 12 right now, and I've only seen it in one level. The way it works now is not good at all. It's so useless in this game that I wonder why they even bothered. Really, you'll pick it up, use it, and drop it for anything else that fires. You don't get much ammo at all for it, so thats some of the problem, but it's just not even any good, even on Elites. It takes two direct hits to take one down, and since you only have 5-round clips, you find that what little ammo you get runs out freakishly fast (I had a total of 17 shots). I'd have just preferred they didn't even have it in the game to tell you the truth.
4. Very Little Max Ammo for Human Weapons - The two new guns, the SMG and Battle Rifle have so little max ammo, and use up so much ammo when firing, that you'll find yourself trading them off after maybe one fire-fight. If you do the math, the SMG only has 4 full clips at full. You use up most of your ammo for taking down an elite, and taking grunts and stuff uses a good bit too. If they pushed it up to 420 max, instead of 240, they would have made a much better gun. The Battle rifle isn't much better in the ammo department. It only has 144 total ammo, and the same problem as the SMG, quick ammo depletion. It's so useful, yet limited by it's own lack of ammo, that through most of the game, you'll find yourself with Covies weapons instead of humans.
5. Unfinished looking Melee system - This was really apparent to me during one of the flood levels, where I had the Plasma Sword, and I was doing B attacks and R lunge attacks. I often shot forward and went through them so fast that it seemed just... not right. Mainly though, they just go too fast! They just don't look smooth. Like they were rushed. After 3 years of work. It's very difficult to say this, but it really does seem like these type of melee animations belonged in Halo CE, and then Bungie would come along with Halo 2 and fix them to look like Halo CE's looked, because the old ones were perfect as far as animation went! It just looks like they went backwards with them.
6. Seemingly smaller screen - For some reason, everything on the screen looks smaller, or, it looks cluttered. It's like looking through goggles, unlike Halo CE, where you didn't feel like you were in a restricted helmet. You just feel like your restricted and have to look around a lot more than is really necessary. I have no clue why they decided to make the reticle so low on the HUD, but it works ok. It just makes you wonder why they did it. Most of the uns take up a lot of the screen, and that makes it a little hard to see sometimes, but thats the way it goes.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/10/04
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