Review by Zerox12

"All the hype and so much more"

Ah, Halo 2, quite possibly the single most hyped game in the past 5 or so years. Does it live up to that hype? You bet your ass it does. Now before I go any further, let me just say that I'm not a raging Halo fanboy. Honestly I didn't think Halo was any better than above average, but Halo 2 is a whole 'nother story.

Graphics: 10/10 (HDTV Graphics 20/10, it's just that good in HD)

What can I say, they're simply amazing. Playing this on my wide screen HDTV this is easily the best looking game I've ever seen. Beautiful textures, nice backgrounds, and nice looking explosions. The cut scenes are amazing, and in general the game is amazing. On a normal TV the graphics are still great, but they aren't mind blowing. Seriously, if you have an HDTV and have yet to buy HDTV connection wires, DO SO! Halo 2 + HDTV = The best looking console game to date.

Sound: 10/10

The sound in this game is very nice. Very nice background music that fits the scene you're in at all times, add in very good voice acting, and finally chuck in some great sound effects, and you've got yourself fantastic sound in general. The background music in this game is very similar to it's predecessor, and even has some of it's music. But it's not just that which makes it good, it has fantastic execution of it, and some of the best voice acting in a game.

Gameplay: 10/10

Very clean, nice frame rate, and overall fantastic. The gameplay hasn't really changed all that much from the original, but it has added the ability to dual-wield. A very nice addition. Halo 2 also has some new weapons. The first one you'll notice is the SMG. A very nice replacement for the poor excuse for an assault rifle. This one is easily my favorite to dual-wield as it has nice fire rate with good power. Then of course we have the covenant weapons. Beam sword, beam rifle, covenant carbine, and a few more. All of them are great, especially the Beam sword, it's really fun sneaking behind covenant scum and slashing them before they know what hit ‘em. The most major addition to gameplay though is the ability to play as a covenant. In this you'll get to take control of the Arbiter and take out heretic covenant. This is a rather interesting addition to the game as you'll get to see what it's like with the covenant.

Controls: 10/10

Very smooth, easy to get used to, and overall very nice. There's really not that much to say here though. If you've played Halo, you'll have no problem with it's sequel because the controls are almost identical.

Multiplayer: 10/10

Fantastic, simply fantastic. You've got all the fun of system link, co-op campaigns, and most noteworthy, the ability to play on X-Box live. Live is great for Halo 2 because with the game you get a two month trial of Live. So I can guarantee you there will be tons of people playing constantly, keeping the fun going around the clock.

Rent or Buy?

Buy it, and buy it now. It's a fantastic game, and you get a free two month subscription to Live. What more could you possibly want?

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/10/04

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