Review by jimfish

"*Pithy comment here*"

Halo 2. Halo 2. Halo 2. I didn't need to say it three times, let alone once, as we all know it. It's big and it dominates XBox Live. From friendly games to bitter vengeance from rivaling clans...it's drawn in all manner of gamers; casual or hardcore. The Halo franchise has been regarded and renounced as "Game of the Year" or "Best FPS Ever" several times, but what of this title? Does this multiplayer budget title have what it takes to have the Halo name on the front? Let's find out.

Because of Halo being constantly praised because of its amazing and real-life graphics, the same was used for the sequel, as well as this. I should really mention at this point that this is an add-on for Halo 2, and using the same engine and ideals, have produced a selection of new multiplayer maps. The graphics *are* stunning and are nothing short of awe-inspiring, whether it be from the snow effects on the planes of Containment, or to the dirty backstreets of Turf...they all look the part, and certainly help increase the enjoyment gamers have. Draw-distances are massive; everything at all times. Perfect for spotting far-off enemies and going in for the sniper shot. I won't delve anymore into the graphics at the risk of being called a fanboy, but look at any screen of Halo 2 and expect the same quality here.

Bungie has made full use of sound technology in their game. By using state-of-the-art Dolby Digital techniques, all SFXs are true to life. Shotgun blasts rip through your ear sockets with shuddering consequences, sniper rounds pinning you behind cover boom with authority and force...They all make the experience real alone, but coupled with the awesome graphics, boom, you've got yourself a winner.

The gameplay is addicting. It's true. Ask but one of the countless millions who have had a game online if they went back for more, and yes, they did. Multiplayer is obviously the best-part to this game, otherwise we wouldn't be looking at a Multiplayer Map Pack, now would we? We'd probably get some new campaign level, instead. Anyway, these maps are packed with little secrets and neat touches. If you ever saw the E3 trailer showing Zanzibar off, you'll know what I'm talking about. Switches which unlock bridges and doors, secret weapons...all adding new heights to the whole game. Everything is balanced perfectly, with well positioned cover with equal amounts of vantage and weaknesses. For some reason, Halo's multiplayer is about both skill and luck. Anybody can score a kill, newbies against hardcore addicts and vice-versa. How? Weaponry, ease of play, as well as the cover-thing I mentioned, where everybody is able to be flanked. Excellent and tense gaming at its best.

£20...$20...it's cheap, it's fun and it's worth it. You should pick this title up and really see whether you really are the self-proclaimed gaming God of Halo...Do it now.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/02/05


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