Review by RokDhotnez

Reviewed: 12/02/04

Excuse me please, where's the game I thought I bought ?

I pre-ordered this game, drooled as it was placed ever so carefully into the Xbox . Played it , had some fun blowing the crap out of aliens and then I began to notice things . Like, the BLOODY ASSAULT RIFLE IS GONE !!! I loved that gun, now its gone and I feel neglected, alone in the dark, I WANT IT BACK ! And why is my Warthog destructible ? I had so much fun with that truck, blowing it sky high, and all that . The story is ok, but awful at the same time, I hate the ending, practically ripped my hair out when the credits began to roll and I realized that cut-scene I just watched was the end of the game . I have to now share my Master Chief time, with a stupid alien ?

Gameplay : 9.0

What can I say, you shoot aliens . Its great, the weapons are awesome . The Needler makes its re-appearance and appears to be almost totally re-made . Your needles are much faster and more powerful and its just so much fun to see some one explode and think " I did that ." But your pistol, it was not too powerful in some places in HALO 1, it was the best weapon, but now, it quite literally sucks . The vehicles are back and better than ever, though they are all now destructible, even your tank . The Scorpion tank has been toned down in means of speed, but weapons are better . Dual weileding is now part of the HALO universe, with a whole aresenal of weapons that you can carry around .Warthog, oh Bungie, it was golden the way it was, now, its like tarnished brass . Energy sword, need I say more ?The Assault rifle is gone, replaced by a " Battle rifle ." Instead of your nearly-unstoppable flood of bullets, you have a three shot burst that consumes ammo quite quickly . The newest, weirdest and oddest thing is, you can play as a Covenant Elite . Weird ? I haven't even got to the odd stuff yet . This is the Elite that commanded the Covenant troops in the first Halo . Now, he is branded a heretic for his failure and stripped of his rank . A couple of conniving Phrophets offer him a deal, do this job, die with honor instead of shame . So you become the Arbiter . I'm not sure I really like this, I bought the game to kick alien tail as a bad-ass Spartan, not as a pansy alien . But, I can't diss the game too muchI love its game-play so I give it a 9 out of 10 .

Control : 10

Yes, the original Halo control scheme is back . I love it . The same grenades ready to fire with but a flick of a finger, no matter what weapon is equipped, the swap weapons, its all good here . Every function has a button, some people might be confused by this, but well, they just put down their Sega controllers, give 'em a break . Your controls are flawless, fluid, easy to learn, just so many things I can say, but the sum of it all is, they ROCK ! There aare other control schemes available if you are left handed or feel like being idiotic, but I would not suggest changing it . Sensitivity can be turned way up or down if you are a perfectionist, but the original setting is good for beginners .
All in all, I give control 10 out of 10 .

Sound : 10

Oh yes the sound, awesome . The music to this game is majestic, frightening, perfect . I would buy the soundtrack to this game if I hadn't spent all available cash on the game itself . The sound of battle is superb, bullets glancing off walls, plasma weapons melting through your shields, the roars of your enemies going berserk and running ape at you , yep its good . The Marines no longer shout out their comic lines as often but they are in there . The Elites talk now, gutteral voices shouting out commands and taunts as they bash your head in or fight at your side . Guns have a realistic staccato firing sound that works great for the game . Explsoions sound so real, so right next to you, that at times you can't keep from jumping up and down, biting your fist to keep from screaming in exultation .Yeah, I'll give it a 10 .

Graphics : 9.0

Oh baby, the graphics are amazing . In ways not as good as HALO 1, and in other ways, way better . I can see the teeth in an alien's mouth, I can count his bloody teeth ! Weapon models are good, Covenant tech still smooth and polished, human still black, realistic . I have never seen the frame rate buckle once, even with ten marines blowing the crap out of thirty aliens, all firing away at a phenomanal rate . Vehicles move the way they should, a realistic glow coming from beneath the ghost and Banshee . The lighting is good, muzzle flash will light up a dark hall for a second, while an explosion will leave smoke and shrapnel around . Walls are pretty good, textured, stone looks like stone, metal like metal , though at times I want the old textures back from HALO 1 .

In all, I give it 9 put of 10 .

Story : 4

The beginning is good, with Master Chief on board a orbital defense station over Earth . He's rewarded medals and then the aliens show up . He kicks their shiny butts, and then after ridding the station of a little surprise bomb that the Covenant were nice enough to bring, he fights on the surface . A Covenant carrier carrying a prophet makes a hyper jump inside a city on the surface and Master Chief's ship is caught up with it . ( edited for spoilers ) so no more on that . You now play as a Elite, shamed for the destruction of Halo . He is offered one chance to right his wrong and becomes the Arbiter . Ridding the Covenant of heretics anf then later ( edited for spoilers ) . No more on that, but all in all, the stoy is dissapointing, a terrible ending that made me want to return the game and then beat my head against a brick wall three or four hundred times .

I give it 4 out of 10

Multi-player : 10

Oh bad, look at this, its the Banshee, and I blew it out of the sky with a rocket launcher, too bad about my best friend being inside it . The multi player RULES . In HALO it was good, in HALO 2, its perfect . Running through a map, dual-weilding a Needler and a SMG, using one to bring down sheilds, the other wo waste your opponents, it just doesn't get much better than this . Then there is the Swords Only mode . Sixteen people frantically running about, hewing each other into shish-kebobs with energy swords, is awesome . The Banshee makes its appearance in multi-player, with two on most of the levels . While a pain that only two are availeable at a time, I'm just glad their available . But now, I wish a dew of the small maps from HALO 1 were available, every map in HALO 2 is huge, good for long term assaults and huge death matches but not if you and a buddy wanna play rockets . XBOX live is now on HALO 2 for those rich people, I don't have it, but hear its awesome .

All in all : 8

It took me about eight hours tops to beat this game .
The game is good and you should definetly buy it, if not for the pathetically short campaign, then for the multi-player . The game is great, just a few flaws that keep it from de-throning the original HALO . I bought this game, am I sorry , no . I love the game as I loved HALO, but I would not say that its perfect, or even that it lived up to the hype . Buy or Rent ? Rent to check it out, beat the single player campaign, but Buy for the infinite re-playability of the multi-player .

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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