Review by Sonic4
"A Lot of Hype makes Halo 2 become an upgraded Halo rather than a whole new game"
Despite the Tagline. Halo 2 is a very good game. But perhaps the overall feeling that I had when i was purchasing the game was that Halo 2 would accell beyond all belief in all aspects of the gameplay. This was not the case. I'll flat out say it now, if you don't own Xbox Live, your enjoyment of Halo won't be as much as the other kid that has XBL. But onto some of the criteria.
If you play the campaign on normal and have previous halo experience (to the extent where you can own it up on Heroric) the game will take 8-10 hours to get through. The fact is that the campaign goes by very quickly, depsite there being more levels than the first one. However the game flows much better than the first one, there is little framerate drop in big fights. Master Cheif actually seems like he can be running at times through it as well. Also don't get so comfy in your Warthog or Scorpion as the actual vehicles can now be destroyed. Bungie did a fantastic job this time covering up the fact that most of the game is just run in a place and kill the Covenant/Flood. In comparison to Halo, especially in the Library the monotmy of the level brought out the boring parts of Halo. You'll also be happy to hear that there is no more backtracking through levels. Also perhaps I haven't noticed it, but the "auto-aim feature" is non-existant for those who hated how halo would correct your aim.
A somewhat controversial topic, but in the end the story gets two thumbs up. While not spoiling any of the story, I will say that the ending will either have you smiling or frowning in dismay. Something to note is that the game doesn't so much revolve around the saving of Earth from the Covenant, but rather focuses on Master Cheif's mission and the life of an Elite within the Covenant Ranks. (The connection between the Elite and the Master Cheif is that this Elite was in charge of Halo, and was blamed for its destruction.) To sum up the nature of the story it is a story of how one soldier who has his back up against the wall has nothing left to do than give it its all in hopes of defying the odds.
While some places the game doesn't look pretty all the time. It looks more realstic than Halo did of a war scene. Think of the transformation of Super Mario 64 to Mario Sunshine, only done correctly. The nice happy bright simplistic enviornement of halo with a rock there and a tree there, is turned into dirty ground with rocks randomly placed all over the ground. Everything looks spectacular.
Sound: I don't have a good sound system so i can't say, although it sounds great on mine
Multiplayer: This is the true bread and butter of Halo 2 with everything from Halo upgraded into Halo 2, it is just a dream come true with XBL where you can have clans and just enter in matches and get ranked. Tons of fun
Summary: Halo 2 is a solid shooter, but is it the revolutionary game of the FPS genre. I'd have to say not. For the most part Halo 2 is upgrades on Halo, it is what the designers left out of the original. But that's not to say that one shouldn't get Halo 2, it got a 9 by my scale. But rather with a short campaign. It feels like Halo 2 was ment for the multitude and not the solo shot, unlike other games in the genre. A must buy.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/10/04
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