Review by idiotman7

Reviewed: 12/26/05

Aliens trying to rip you to shreds have never looked so good.

By now, if you haven’t heard of Halo 2, then you must seriously just live in the woods or something. Halo could be called the game that brought FPS’s back. Sure with greats such as Goldeneye coming before it, but no other game has ever been given the kind of hype and publicity that Halo has. Could it be that the story is really that great that it hooks gamers from the start? Or is it the main protagonist of the game, Master Chief, who grabs people’s attention. Some would say it’s that memorable starting music, the monk type moaning that has stayed in gamers mind for years. Maybe it’s the massive multiplayer that has started a whole generation of gamers for its massive battles, constant action, and intense settings. It might just be all of these things that have brought Halo and its sequels to a higher platform that most developers and their games only dream of.

Many years were spent trying to perfect Halo 2. Almost three years, to be exact. How could Bungie take the Game of the Year, and make it better? What more could they do to make Halo 2 the greatest shooter of all time? Better graphics? Sure. A more deep and entangled plot that still has people asking questions? Why not. What about giving gamers, dual wield guns, more enemies, smarter AI, new vehicles, more weapons, and more massive multiplayer maps that will make the Live community cry tears of joy and shock. Alright.

What was Halo most famous for besides multiplayer? It’s game play of course. The chance to take a sniper rifle, and plant it into a bird like aliens skull from up on a hill. To be able to sneak up on a lone Grunt, and place your rifle butt in his back, making his lungs crush. Being alone, one man by himself, in the dark creepy underground base, tiny scratches and squeaks coming from all around you, and going into the large open area, and having your radar go nuts, blinking full of red tiny dots, and coming face to face with the Flood, the only creature in any game to make me scream out loud.

The sheer amount of firepower in Halo 2 is amazing. There are dozens of guns to choose, from, and over fifty different combinations to make with them. How about the quick fire power of the Assault rifle with a plasma pistol you pried from a Grunts dead fingers? Or the explosive power of a rocket launcher with a small but handy pistol on your side. There is every gun to meet your every need. And now with the addition of dual wielding, you can pack twice the punch. Equip two smg’s, and mow down the Jackals, or take a Plasma pistol and Brute plasma rifle, and get to work on that Elite tracking you down from behind. And you can also carry four of two different types of grenades, a fragmentation grenade and the Covenants plasma grenade.

Vehicles couldn’t be easier to work. Pack up a Warthog, and blow the hell out of a small Covenant troop. And now there is not just the simple machine gun Warthog, they added a brand new Gauss Warthog, which is kind of like a very fast explosive bolt thing. Very cool. Or you can fly around in a Banshee, speed through with a Ghost, load up a Spectre, take it slow with a Wrath, or just completely level everything in your path using a Scorpion Tank. And now, they added a new feature to Halo 2, where you can actually hijack the vehicle, while your enemy is driving it. Very handy in multiplayer, or if your playing single player on foot and a ghost is coming at you.

There are many new additions to Halo 2, but probably one of the first you will see, are the new enemy’s. The Brutes and the Drones. Brutes are huge ape like enemies, who can take a LOT of bullets, and are very powerful. Think of Hunters, but with more weak spots. The brutes come equip with either a brute shot, which is a large grenade launcher with a large dagger on the side of it, or a Brute Plasma Rifle, which is kind of like the standard blue plasma rifle, only this one is read, and overheats faster. But that’s not why they are so dangerous. They pretty much always stay in groups of two, and if you kill one, they will charge you; literally, they will drop their gun, and go berserk, and run you down. Drones, are more of just an annoyance to you, they are very small, very fast, and fly around everywhere in groups of like ten.

All of these new additions are great though, but they wouldn’t be the same if it didn’t have a great story to go with it. Well Halo 2 does not fail to bring it all in this department either. Gamers were instantly consumed by number ones quick action when you started playing it first in 2001. And number two is just as great. It starts off with Master Chief arriving on one of the many orbital defense stations above Earth. Everything is going good; you are taking pictures with Johnson, and getting your medal of duty for doing a fine job of destroying the Halo from number one. But, not as is well, for right in the middle of the award ceremony, the Covenant strike. How they even found Earth is beyond everyone, but they are here and attacking. Time to get started once again.

The story is shorter than I would have liked it to be, and it ends a little suddenly, I thought it was a wonderful ending, and sets up the next sequel, but a lot of people were mad with it and wanted more. This time around though, you not only play as Master Chief though, you play as The Arbiter, an Elite who was in charge of the first Halo or something along those lines, and it being punish because of his failure. But the Prophets, these really old alien dudes he never leave their floating chairs, spare his life, to make him become Arbiter, the one who is responsible for everyone of the Covenant troops and what happens beyond and inside their home world. It is full of twist, and never once lets up on the action, even though it’s a little short.

And yes everyone, Chief still hardly ever talks, but he does sound totally bad ass when he does. He’s grim tuff attitude really sets the mood of everything, and is kind of like a reassurance throughout the game. I was happy to see that while playing as the Arbiter, I could understand fully what the Covenant were saying, unlike while Chief, and that it was cool to hear all of what the alien races are like. Guns sound spectacular, and done to perfection. The first time you pick up your Assault rifle, and wait for the Covenant behind the door, and mow them down, you will feel so in control and as if you were right there, and just think if you had surround sound? I know, control yourself. Vehicles couldn’t sound more realistic. The warthog makes you shout Yee haw when you first jump in one and ride around, running over aliens and destroying their craniums. Explosions will happened frequently in the game, it will sound like they are right outside your window, I actually docked the first time I heard a frag grenade go off in game.

And of course, like you didn’t already know, Halo 2 is the best looking game of this generation of gaming. Far Cry and Half Life two may look stunning, and they certainly do, but nothing makes you just literally say, wow, like Halo 2 does. Ever wonder what it feels like, to go into a world, that is totally different than your, and actually feel like your there? Halo 2 is what you need then. The character models are, just plain phenomenal, and the environments will make you cry tears of appreciation like the girly man you are. Guns all look great, and so lifelike. Even the Covenant weapons look realistic. As id it were you behind that dark green helmet, and not someone who is light years cool than you.

Halo 2, is the best game, of a current gen consoles. No other game can compare graphically, game play wise, or sound and story wise. There are some minor glitches, like cut scenes appearing a little late, and the Marines getting stuck on walls or something, but nothing to life threatening. With so many upgrades and new additions, you will have no problem waiting for Halo 3. If you don’t have this game right now, you are just either an outcast from your village or are not human. I was just plain amazed the first time I played Halo 2, and you will be to. Are you ready to fight soldier? Because the world needs you, It’s time to finish this war.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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