Review by SpiralSage
"A great game with few flaws."
Please note: This review contains a few spoilers from Halo. If you haven't played Halo, but you want to play Halo 2, I suggest you pick up the first one since they're connected.
Halo 2 has two different perspectives throughout the game. In one hand, you're Master Chief; the battle weapon that fought against the Covenant on a religious ring called Halo. Master Chief and some Marines find a new Halo that could mean the destruction of the universe if you don't stop the Covenant from finding the Icon that will release the destruction.
And in the other hand, you're an Elite that failed to stop the "Demon"(Master Chief) on the first Halo. Your rank has been taken away for failing and you've been striped of everything that you had before. Now, the leaders of the Covenant, the Prophets give you a mission: become an Arbiter, a sacred warrior and kill who they assign you to kill.
As you probably know, Halo 2 refines what Halo had to offer. Weapons have changed, Master Chief has changed, etc. To be blunt, everything has changed...and usually for the better. Take Master Chief for example; He no longer gets hurt when he jumps from high distances. Also both allies and foes can wield two weapons at once (Not anything like Rocket Launchers, just one handed things like the Plasma Rifle or the Pistol). The stupid thing about this is that if you're holding two weapons and you want to switch between your other weapon or if you want to enter a vehicle, you drop one of them. I really think Bungie shouldn't have allowed that, it gets annoying searching through massive amounts bodies looking for that extra weapon. While Master Chief keeps his Flashlight, the Elite has a certain entertaining item of his own. The Elite you control can cloak himself. This can be quite helpful when you have a Covenant Energy Sword, you can sneak up on enemies and beat the hell out of them for a few seconds. Of course, the cloak does run out after a while and you'll have to wait for it to recharge. Master Chief's Shield has also changed: it's smaller and you don't have any Health Energy. The Shield comes back faster once enemies break it with their weapons, but since there isn't any Health Meter you die after a few hits once the shield is gone.
Vehicles have also changed for the better; All vehicles can be destroyed. Even the Warthog. Also, you can get enemies off of certain vehicles by either punching them off, or by throwing a grenade into the hull. Of course, enemies are smart enough to do this to you, also. But, I think the coolest thing in the Vehicle additions is the fact that computer players can actually drive for you. You may remember the frustrating time you had in the first Halo, driving your marines around while they had all the fun shooting up enemies while you were stuck to the wheel. This is not so in Halo 2, you can be a gunner or a passenger if you so desire.
The Weapons have gone through a bit of a spin. The Rocket Launcher can now lock onto vehicles. This may be considered cheap, but when you're facing a few Covenant Carriers you'll be changing your mind. The stupidest thing I found was that you'll be usually confined to a few weapons while playing through the game, and most of these weapons are Covenant. This seriously was disappointing since there weren't that many times that I'd be able to use the new Marine weapons( Such as the new pistol or the new Rifle).
The enemies seem to be a little slow and they barely will give you any trouble unless you've ran out of ammo. Unlike Halo, Elites rarely run around, shooting you while you try to chase them. In fact, they've become pretty dumbed down unless they're really out to get you. The new enemies, such as the Drones and the Brutes liven things up a bit. The Drones are little flying enemies and you'll face these things in large swarms. They're a bit stupid, but since there are so many of them, they can take you down pretty quickly unless you're a good aim. I remember seeing the Brutes in action during a demo level Bungie released on a DVD, and they're almost exactly the same as they were when I first saw them: Evil Bastards. Their AI is so advanced, it's a bit creepy. Sometimes they'll just drop their weapons and beat you to death with their melee attacks. The variety of enemies in Halo 2 is absolutely astounding.
Halo 2's levels aren't as copied as they were in Halo. Remember running through hallways that look exactly the same? Well, luckily...Bungie fixed this until the last levels were it is basically running through hallways that look exactly the same.
The audio is horrible. When people are talking to you through intercom, it's barely understandable. It sucks that Bungie didn't add a subtitle during the Cutscenes, it would have helped a lot when you're trying to understand what people are telling you to do or what the hell is going on.
Halo 2 is a pretty fun game with very few flaws, whether you just like FPS's or if you just like massive multiplayer games, this game is for you.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/11/04
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