Review by kiriyama2

"Best Xbox game of the year"

Oh Halo 2 your finally out. After months and months of waiting and delays your finally available to Xbox owners everywhere. The wait was definitely worth it. Even though your campaign mode isn't all that long you do have multiplayer. There was some competition for you this year, with games like Killzone being released before you. But this is just some small competition and you absolutely blow them away with ease.

Story: (10)
Halo 2 takes place almost right after the events of the first Halo. Halo has long since been destroyed. Master Chief is a war hero and has received a medal. So has Seargant Johnson, both of them have been given medals and are considered heroes for destorying the covenant armada on Halo. For the commander in charge of the fleet on Halo he isn't given such a warm reception. The Prophets had him branded as a sinner for allowing such a holy artifact to be destroyed. After Master Chief and Seargant Johnson had been awarded medals, the daughter of Captain Keyes was given a medal for his father for leading the Covenant armada away from Earth. After the ceremonies the Covenant fleet begins to deploy ships into Earth's atmosphere. And once again it's up to the Master Chief and the other marines to fight them off. There are numerous surprises in Halo 2 that I won't ruin in my review. The story is a really good sci-fi tale and fans of Halo won't be dissapointed.

Graphics: (10)
The graphics in Halo 2 are superb. Everything looks vibrant and beautiful. Even the Covenant, they look really good in this game. The weapons look exceptional, and the marines themselves look remarkable. The master chief also looks really good. The cinematics in the game are not some super well made sort of graphics they use the in-game graphics in the movie modes.

Sound: (10)
The sound is another high point in this game. Everything sounds so good, the weapons sound really really great. Nice and loud, but not too loud, but good enought to get the point that their weapons. The voice acting is also really good. The marines, and the Covenant alike. Bungie got some fairly popular celebrity's to do the VO on this game. Actors like David Cross, Ron Perlman, and Michelle Rodriguez. The voice actor for Seargant Johnson returns for this game, and does another superb job as Seargant Johnson. Bungie also got the voice actor for Cortana back in this game. She also does another great job. The master Chief has more dialogue this time around, and the actor is really good. They even have the same people that played the grunts from Halo 1 back in this one. The covenant prophets sound really good too. As does the Arbiter.

Gameplay: (10)
The best part of the entire game. Halo 2 takes all the things that Halo 1 did right and fixed most if not all of the problems in this game. The gun fights are still exciting and gets you excited for them. The vehicles from Halo 1 are back and are as great as ever. Plus a few new ones. And your no longer forced to drive the marines around this time around, they can drive themselves and let you be gunner this time. Even though the marines can drive they can't drive well. They tend to get stuck around small obstacles. Also this time you can steal the vehicles from the unsuspecting Covenant driver. It is one of the best aspects of this game. One other thing that is really great about this game is now you can duel wield weapons. Sub-machine guns, plasma rifles, plasma pistols, the magnums, and the needlers, that in my opinion were pretty much worthless in the last game are actually worth picking up on this one. The handgun is back from Halo 1 with one major exception, it doesn't have a scope this time around, which is sort of dissapointing, but it's no major loss. it's still a blast to use. One of my favorite weapons from Halo is gone, the Assault Rifle. One of the better weapons in this game, is gone in Halo 2, and replaced with the Battle Rifle. While the battle rifle is pretty good, it's not as much fun as using the assault rifle. But aside from that one minor complaint all of the other weapons are still there, and are as good to use as ever. Especially the shotgun, it appears to be more useful now than in the original Halo.

If you have an Xbox I definitely think you should pick up Halo 2. It is without a doubt the best Xbox game out this year. Even after you beat the campaign mode you'll still be playing this game. The multiplayer is really spectacular.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/11/04

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