Review by Poopleson

"It turns out that Bungie destroyed Halo, not the Master Chief."

WHAT HAPPENED? I've been waiting three years, have been putting up with all the delays, and stood out in the cold waiting for the video game store to open, to get sequel to everyone's, and most importantly, my favorite game, Halo. When I finally got it, MAN was I excited. But when I finally played it, MAN was I disappointed.

GAME-PLAY 6/10: I was sort of expecting an improvement. But what I got was a deprovement. To think, I waited three years for the game to get worse. First of all, I have to say that the dual-wielding hurt this game a lot rather than helped it. I mean, who cares? Most first person shooters have dual-wielding. It's nothing new. I bet Bungie purposefully didn't put dual-wielding in the first Halo just so they could make it look like Halo 2 was improved. The dual weapons make this game a lot harder on you. I can understand why you can't throw grenades, but you can't do ANYTHING. Anything you do makes you drop your second gun, like switching weapons getting in to a vehicle, and melee attacking. Oh, and speaking of melee attacking....Why don't the attacks look at all like they would hurt somebody at all? In real life, if these exact attacks were performed, they probably would only make somebody say "Ow," not make them bleed. And why did they get rid of some of the guns from the first game? They got rid of my beloved 60 round, fully automatic, Assault rifle, and put in the new 36 round, three shot burst, Battle Rifle. And it's horrible by the way. And why did they get rid of the scope on the pistol? Now it's just an ordinary magnum. It doesn't even look, in anyway, threatening. They made it so tiny, and it barely does any damage. Why would anybody go into a war equipped with something like that? Although, there were some new weapons that were put in without replacing anything. I am at least thankful for this.

There are some levels in this game where you play as an alien. A Covenant Elite called the Arbiter to be precise. You switch off between him and the Master Chief every two levels or so. But, I somehow get the feeling that when the two characters have switched, that they didn't. They play the exact same way. The move the same way, jump to same way, and melee attack the same way. The only difference is that the Elite has cloak instead of a flashlight, but that doesn't really matter because it only lasts for about five seconds. One other thing is, after you are done with the group of missions that one character does, you switch to the other character and he pretty much has to do the same thing. Why couldn't they just let you play as the Master Chief the whole time like they did in the first game. There is one final thing I have to say about the game-play. I felt, that it was exactly the same. You go into a room or a field, and face a wave of characters either alone or with a bunch of defenseless marines. Sure there are different characters you face, but the tactics are exactly the same. When you want an improvement, that means you want changes too.

STORY 5/10: Oh God! How terrible was this? The basic plot is exactly the same along with the tactics. First of all, you find another Halo.....ANOTHER HALO!!! Why? That's so stupid. I guess the Master Chief went through all that trouble on the first Halo for nothing. And guess what? You get to experience all the things you do on the first Halo again. That means all of the events in the basic plot happen again and in the same exact order. First, you find Halo, then you explore a little, then you look for the index, and then you have to stop it from being activated. You even use the same method to destroy Halo, which is blow up a ship and cause a chain reaction. Some of these things are done when you are the alien, but it doesn't matter. They play the exact same way. When you are making a series, make each part of it "DIFFERENT". You don't see the same basic plot happen over and over again in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, do you? And you don't see the same basic plot happen over and over again in the Star Wars Saga, do you? Maybe Bungie, just maybe, if you had put some thought into this story, maybe it would have been liked a lot more. Aside from the basic plot, there was a large amount of sub plots going on. (which don't make a difference because all that really matters is the basic plot) A little too many if you ask me. I couldn't follow all of it. By the fifth level I was lost. You know, with the prophets' plot, the brutes' plot, the giant talking flood's plot, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I couldn't keep track of. What REALLY got on my nerves was the ending of this game. Oh wait....THERE WASN'T ONE!! None of the 100 sub plots, or the main one ended in any way what so ever. All there was was a cliffhanger. At the end of the last level, the Master Chief says "I'm finishing this fight" and then the credits roll. Couldn't Bungie have given this game just a tiny bit of an ending? Or did they just want to give people a reason to buy the next Halo, if there is one.

GRAPHICS 9/10: I may have not liked this game in general, but I sure liked the graphics. Bungie has done it again. I would say they did it even better. Everything just looks so real and smooth. Like I said in my Halo review, It feels like you are actually in the game when you're playing it. The blood and gore is still very nice. You still get that fountain of blood when you shoot somebody. (oh yay) And the visual effects are still astounding. (The gun shots, the explosions, etc.) I'm only referring to the graphics when you're playing the game. During the cut-scenes they look even better. They look like they're from a computer animated movie. That's how good they are. Everything is extremely smooth, and everything just looks amazing. Also, very importantly, people move their mouths in the correct way instead of just moving up and down like they were puppets. Although, there is one little flaw that I can not help but be annoyed by. How come you fall through water? When you fall in to water, you don't even see a splash, and you keep on falling as if you were still in air.

MUSIC 8/10: I do have to say, the soundtrack from the last game was a whole lot better. They did use some songs from the old Halo, but they altered them. Some of the new songs they put in there are okay, but they aren't anything special. Don't get me wrong, the music in this game isn't terrible, it's just not as good as it was. And some music didn't go good with the scene(s) that they were being played in.

DIFFICULTY 5/10: WRONG!!! How come Easy mode didn't give me any challenge what so ever? And how come Legendary mode didn't give me a chance to walk one step without dying? Easy mode is way too easy. I mean, yeah, it's supposed to be for beginners, but you have to at least put a little bit of a challenge in there. I mean really, the only way to die in Easy mode is to actually try to die. Now, moving on to Legendary mode...... How come, I couldn't last for five seconds without being killed? They made this literally impossible. I tried this difficulty after I beat Heroic and I had never gotten so aggravated in my entire life. After dying about 70 times trying to get past a certain part, I decided I had to put the controller down before I got aggravated to the point where I beat somebody up. If I kept on playing, and didn't stop, I'm pretty sure that's what would have happened.

MULTI-PLAYER 9/10: This was very good. This is what keeps this game from completely disappointing me. (key word: "completely") First of all, this game gives you move options when you're customizing your character. You get to make him an elite or a spartan, and give him two colors instead of one. You even get to make him a symbol. Well, once you've done all that, now you can go experience Halo 2's Live multi-player action. At least now, you get to play online with over four players without having to go through the trouble of hooking a bunch of Xboxes up together. And for when you have friends over, the split-screen multi-player is still good too. The multi-player action (for both split-screen and live) is pretty much the same type of thing as it was in the first Halo, but in this case, that's a good thing.

OVERALL 6/10: I'm sorry Bungie. Not good enough for me. This is not was I was expecting out of the sequel to the world's greatest game. Especially after all that hype. That's the only reason everyone bought this game. If you don't have this game and you want to buy this game, don't. I would say rent it first. There is a little bit chance that you might like if you're a die hard Halo fan who couldn't possibly think anything "Halo" is bad. But if you have good taste and know a good game from a bad one, then you'll be wise not to buy this game after playing it. I am disgusted by how disappointing this is. Bungie, you have failed me.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 01/28/05

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