Review by Zell98
"Perhaps the greatest game for understanding crucial "Improvement" mistakes."
Halo has been and is a great series, however Halo 2 despite being very entertaining and overall fun to play, has made many serious mistakes that thanks to the games massive popularity, We all have a chance to learn from.
The most important factor in Halo 2's success has been its game play, its near non-liner "levels" provided a sense of freedom to beat the level (more or less) your way. However I will focus on the much avoided topic, the Gameplay was "Too real", this was a problem simply because the bar was set extremely high from its predecessor. The developers went out of their way to create the game with as much realism as they could. To some gamers this didn't make sense, suddenly their "Highly advanced cyborg super soldier" was being over-powered by a pair of small sub-machine guns, said simply he was now an ordinary albeit highly trained man. The realism from our reality had no place in the halo universe, with that we can reflect and learn what it means to improve a game, because by all means the Developers did improve the game, their improvements simply did not fit with the games genre, story, or the massive bar left by its predecessor. The gameplay is still enjoyable, its responsive and quick, the few quirks there are acceptable and at worst slightly annoying, the enemy ai has been noticeably improved, which has created a fun challenge countering the enemy's new behavior.
The story is has added many new aspects as well completely new angles and characters while still staying within the universe its predecessor built. While not much can be said with avoiding spoilers, the story plays a major role, something not too common in FPS's.
The Graphics were superb, the highly detailed and large environments flowed across the screen seamlessly, the beauty was astounding, the game itself is nearly worth playing for the well rendered views alone, the only true lacking factor was the character loading, many times mostly during FMV sequences the characters would not be rendered entirely, before they were shown, sometimes they began loading after they came into view, this was somewhat comical and surprisingly, didn't degrade the story or gameplay much if at all. The music was almost over-engineered, it was acceptable however the level of hype the opening music gave should have been saved for the final game in the series and over all ended feeling somewhat premature, ingame music was very well composed and timed, this would have been seamless if only the hardware could keep up with it.
Expect to spend at least 5 hours playing this, of course if you stop to marvel at the ever captivating environment, and happen to enjoy exploring, prepare to spend many days playing. with that said there is a surprisingly low replay value, for the solo campaign. However it is a whole different story for just about everything else. Obviously the multi player aspect has (to say the least) alot of replay value in fact you may just be spending months, years perhaps, pummeling your friends.
Again lets take Halo 2 as a perfect example of Improvement mistakes to avoid. This for future games will be priceless.
Despite the mistakes this is a game much worth playing, it is beautifully made and is enjoyable even when playing alone, and If you really want to get the most out of Halo 2, Play it before you play Halo 1, and suddenly you'll notice almost everything (in game universe) has improved, technology has advanced as one would expect, and most important your even stronger than ever before.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 05/04/11
Game Release: Halo 2 (US, 11/09/04)
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