Review by italianman15
"Worth the Wait... times 50... million... zillion"
People have been waiting for Halo 2 since they finished playing Halo 1. The glorious glorious glorious goodness of the first Halo that allowed Xbox to stay on board as a top system was doubled with Halo 2. With Xbox Live, Halo 2 is in definition, the perfect game. And when I say perfect game, I mean perfect game. It's just so good that I want to play it right now, I always do. Read this review and find out why.
The graphics are simply amazing! For the overall size of the levels, I am absolutely amazed at the detail that they could put into the levels. All of the characters in Halo 1 that reappeared in Halo 2 have a more polished, detailed look and the covanent looks even better. The levels, the people, the guns, everything in this game just looks really really good.
All of the covanent have such a crisp detail that... well I'm surprised. In Halo 1 they were kind of dull and a bit blurry, especially the jackals and elites. In Halo 2, the flood looks better too. They are a bit more scary and zombie-like. This makes me both hate them more and love them less. It also makes me hate them less and love them more.
No complaints! The soundtrack for this game is awesome. They put a bit of a spin on the Halo theme and all of the other music bits that pop up throughout campaign compliment the mood of the game perfectly. The sounds of the weapons being fired is very crisp and on time, also. Voicing is great and all of the character voices from the first one are back (including one or two you might not have expected to return). Overall, there can be no complaints towards the Halo 2 sound department.
That's right! 11/10. They gave even more gameplay changes than I could have thought of. Seeing that my expectations for this field were ridiculously high and they still gave me more, they truly deserve an 11 for gameplay. For you Halo 2 creators who are reading my review, I love you from the bottom of my heart.
Gameplay is where the game really shines (even though every other aspect does too). For everyting you do in the first Halo, you use the same controls but all of the new things you can do fit into the controls perfectly. "What new things?" you might ask... DUAL WIELDING for one. The way they set up dual wielding is awsome. When you find guns on the ground, you can pick up another to dual wield by pressing Y (you can dual wield plasma rifles, brute plasma rifles, alien pistols, nettlers, human pistols, battle rifles, and machine guns, all in different combonations). If you're looking for a gun you cannot dual wield with, (such as a sniper rifle, rocket launcher, shotgun, brute grenade launcher, or battle rifle) you just hit the X button. This works great when there are alot of guns on the ground.
Master Chief can jump higher, which is very very helpful. Overall, the controls are crisp and concise and I cannot think of a better way they could have pulled controls off. There are many new enemies you discover throughout the game and some really neat new vehicles. There are also additions on the old vehicles such as boost on ghosts and banshees, and stabilized Warthog turning (don't worry though, you can change to the old control of the Warthog with the simple press of the L trigger). Overall, Halo 2 goes back to kickin' alien butt.
One last thing that is cool about game play is that you get to play as the Arbiter, a covenent elite who, in the covanents' eyes, was responsible for the downfall of Halo in Halo 1. At first I was skeptical about playing as him but he is really really cool. Instead of a flashlight, he can turn invisible for about 10 seconds which is a lot of fun.
The reason that I give the story a 9/10 is that is that the story didn't as much progress as it gave more insight into the first one. This would have been fine, if I had been informed of this before the game was released. The Halo 2 guys never let me know that I wouldn't be getting a story progression. It's not that I didn't enjoy the story, it was really good. And I didn't feel disappointed or anything. I just left the game wishing that they would have given me a bit more story progression. In escence, the story mainly incorporates the Covanents' view of the war with the humans.
Without giving any main story stuff away, I just want to say that you will defiantly be impressed with the story, you just might not want to play the game over again for it, but for the game play instead.
Multiplayer (really Xbox Live) 10/10
Xbox Live, Xbox Live, I love Xbox Live. I can honestly say that this is the first platform game that gave something special towards online game play. And believe, me I've played a lot of them. Games like SOCOM and Rainbow Six 3 were fun online, no doubt, but when looked at with a mindful eye or, even better, compared to Halo 2's online, they did not have much. Halo 2 is plain awesome online. The multiplayer levels they have are all really good (except for midship, a small level where no skill is required). They brought back Blood Gulch and Battle Creek but got some other really good ones. All of the levels reflect on different areas of the Campaign game. Zanzibar, for instance, has a beach area similar to the one on Earth. All of the levels play only certain game types online, only the ones that they can play well. Zanzibar plays an awesome offence, defence capture the flag and no kill other people games. Other levels go visa versa.
The game modes are super fun. There's Juggernaut, Slayer, Capture the Flag, Assualt, and some others, all with sub categories underneath them. You can play training which doesn't count towards your level. That's right, level. Your level goes up when you kill people and die less. Also winning matches. You only really fight people 1 or 2 levels away from you either direction so you fight people you can beat until you finally get to people as good as you. It works out really well.
The greatest part in my mind is the clan stuff. You can play clan matches with your clan. Either 3-4 people clan matches or 6-8 player clan matches. It's alot of fun and is great to have people you know on your team. Your clan has a level that can be compared to others on Bungie.com. You also have friend lists. Oh, and one more thing. You can assign different clan positions to people in your clan. There's peon, you can only play matches with peons. Member, where the person can talk to other people, organize matches, and play. Staff, where you can upgrade members and peons to staff and fire people and finally Overlord where you can upgrade people to overlord and cannot be kicked out of the clan. There's just so much goodness in the Xbox Live. In fact, I'm gonna play when I finish this.
It's such a great game. If I did not have an Xbox I would honestly buy one for this game. It's that good. If you do not have it, go get it because it's one of those games that everyone's going to be playing until Halo 3 comes out.
Rent or Buy:
Go ahead and rent it first... IF YOU'RE MENTAL! Buy it though, you wont be disappointed and will probably get the most mileage out it if you get Xbox Live. Even though it's 50 bucks a month, its worth it because it is, in essence, an entirely new experience and an entirely new game. Now close the window, get in your car, drive to your nearest Gamestop, and pick up your new purpose of living for a measly price of 49.99 plus tax... unless you live in Oregon.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/02/04
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