Review by Lord Alchemy

"Amazing... mostly"

Wow, this game sends alot of mixed feelings. First thing you feel when loading this up is pure joy while jumping back into the helmet of the Master Chief. Just be warned, if you didnt love the first Halo, you wont like this. Its pretty much the same thing with a little touch ups and a nice shiny coat of paint.

Graphics: 10/10
Just amazing. Everything just looks better and it runs better then the original Halo aswell!! There are a ton of little details in the vehicles like pimped out ground effects and vehicle damage. Vehicle damage isnt just exploding and turning into rubble, pieces of the vehicle fall off as you continue driving/flying and that effects handling. Pretty amazing stuff here.

Sound: 8/10
All the weapons sound awesome, just like the first Halo. The music though I can't say is anywhere as mood setting as the first. Most of the songs just seem like redone versions of the first games music with various instruments. Can't say that is a good thing. There are some good musical scores in there though, so don't over look the music department completely.

Controls: 9/10
Everything controls like a dream, once you get used to it. The dual wielding controls are somewhat akward at first since you really dont think to pull both triggers to fire both weapons but it takes hardly anytime to get used to it. Overall, as good as any FPS can get on a console without mouse and keyboard controls.

Game play tweaks:
Dual wielding rocks plain and simple. Though its annoying as hell not being able to melee or switch to your alternate weapon without dropping whats in your off hand, getting twin needlers and unloading on anything that walks into your path just feels good. Mix it up for some good strategy (like using a plasma pistols charge up to take out shields and an SMG to finish them off). Good stuff here.

There are a few weapons that got tweaked over from the original Halo, namely the god like pistol isnt very good anymore. It isn't terrible, but with no zoom it's just limited now. Also the rocket launcher gets an upgrade/downgrade. The target tracking is niffty, but annoying as hell when trying to aim a straight shot. I was an ace with the original rocket launcher, but now when I fire off a rocket it seems to curve a bit like semi-auto tracking. Annoying as hell. The only other upgrade from old weapons was the needler, it doesnt suck anymore! w00t! Pointy Power!

The jump is a little higher and floatier, not a huge game play change but notable. There are a slew of new vehicles and you can now use the lovely covenant tank! Blue explosion where never so beautiful! Also beware the lack of a health bar! I very much prefer the old method with shield+health (now when your shield goes poof you will too soon after) but its not that terrible. Life goes on.

Single player: 7/10
Ugh. Not even close to the quality of the original. Still fun overall, but there is a Metal Gear Sold 2 esque twist that just annoyed me. I'll avoid ruining it, just be warned.

Overall: 9/10
No reason to not get this game. Even with the single player mode lacking in polish and the story being out of whack, multiplayer more then makes up for it. Do yourself a favor and run out and pick this up assuming it isn't sold out by now!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/09/04

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