Review by Chronic_Apathy

"Bungie does it again!"

Halo 2, the sequel to the incredibly popular and best-selling Halo: Combat Evolved, is what many people think is the best game out for the original Xbox, and possibly, the best game period. It features some of the best graphics, audio, gameplay, controls, and multiplayer of any game out today for any system. However, no game is without its defects, and Halo 2 is chock full of them. Many are easily ignored, but there are a few that can really ruin the game. However, when it comes down to it, it's still a fantastic game...here's why:

The gameplay in this game is some of the best to be seen in any Xbox game. The majority of enemy fire is blocked by an energy shield surrounding you. However, take to much damage, and the energy shield will start to deplete, measured by a bar on your HUD. When the bar is empty, it only takes a few hits to kill you. Another interesting feature is the large amount of weapons in the game. Most FPS don't have more than 7-10 weapons total, but Halo 2 comes in with an astonishing 14 weapons (that I can remember), as well as an assortment of vehicles and powerups!

There's also a large assortment of enemies in the game, and each one requires a different strategy to defeat. Don't worry, although it may take some time getting used to, once you learn how to use a weapon, vehicle, or you learn how to defeat an enemy, you won't forget it easily. A great multiplayer is the icing on the cake in this game, featuring an extremely large amount of maps, each a different size, and each totally different from any other map in the game. Halo: CE fans will be glad to know that several of their favorites are back, and re-done for extra fun!

The graphics in this game are easily some of the best for the original Xbox. The graphics upgrade Halo 2 gets when played on the Xbox 360 makes it better looking than most 360 games that came out within 6 months of the console. The various marines and Covenant warriors are extremely detailed and life-like, and stunning waterfalls, rivers, lakes, valleys, and everything else in the game looks incredible. The only complaint is sometimes the characters look shiny for no reason, and frankly, I hate shiny.

The audio in this game is, without a doubt, the best I have ever seen in any video game ever. Marty O'Donnel, the composer for all the Halo music, did an unbelievably brilliant job with the music, causing myself, and many other fans (fanboys) to go out and buy the soundtrack. The combination of the dialogue and voice acting is great, really making the story come alive. The sound of plasma whizzing over your head and a plasma grenade detonates 10 feet from you're standing really let's you feel like you're in the game. The sound coupled with graphics allows the game to fully come alive, which is a reason in itself for buying the game.

The controls in this game are extremely easy to get used to. Like most FPS, the "RT" is fire, "X" is reload, "Y" is switch weapons, and "B" is melee. Unlike many however, the "LT" doesn't aim, rather, it allows you to throw a grenade. "X" also allows you to pick up weapons, interact with certain pieces of machinery, and get out/get into vehicles. "A" is jump, and clicking the Left Thumbstick allows you to crouch. Clicking the Right Thumbstick allows you to zoom in (unlike Halo: CE, you can zoom in with binocluars, though many weapons won't let you fire while you're zoomed in).

This game has an unbelievable amount of replayibility. Although there is no online co-op, you can still play the campaign with a friend. The Xbox Live versus mode is one of the best it's ever been my privilege to play. More than 400,000 people sign on to Halo 2 Xbox Live daily, meaning you can get into a match in an unbelievably small amount of time. There are a large amount of game modes, each with their own custom settings, along with the large amount of maps, means there are literally millions of ways Halo 2's versus mode can be played. The big problem is the modders and glitchers that plague the game, other than those however, the multiplayer stands tall.

Overall, this is a game that suffers from a few defects here and there, though the main one is the modders in the multiplayer. It still features great sound, graphics, and gameplay, which are the only things required to make a great game. Excellent replayibility was a great bonus, and all in all, this game is something you cannot possibly pass up.

Gameplay - 8/10
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 10/10
Controls - 8/10
Replayibility - 9/10
Overall - 9/10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/04/07

Game Release: Halo 2 (Limited Edition) (US, 11/09/04)


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