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Halo 2 (Xbox)

Reviewed by: halobox Has Written 2 Reviews
Reviewed on: 28-Nov-2004


Where to start...?
One thing I didn't like about "Halo" was that it was a bit easy to hit your target, even though it was tough to kill in the legendary difficulty. The sequel adds a little realism to your firing action which makes it slightly more difficult. For example, when you fire a non-laser automatic rifle, your gun shakes a bit more and your aim gets off-centered when you just pull and hold on the trigger. This requires you to fire short bursts or re-adjust your aim as you shoot. It adds just the right amount of difficulty where it's still relatively easy to create a bloody mess by holding down your trigger and running through the enemy. WEAPONS WEAPONS WEAPONS!

Covenant Weapons: Plasma Pistol, Plasma Rifle, Needler, Covenant Carbine, Particle Beam, Brute Shot, Covenant Energy Sword, Fuel Rod Gun, Plasma Grenade.

Human Weapons: M6c Pistol, Br55 Rifle, M7/Caseless Sub-Machine Gun, S2 am Sniper Rifle, M19 SSM Rocket Launcher, M90 Shotgun, M9 HE-DP Fragmentation Grenade, M41 Laag, M68 Gauss Cannon.

Covenant Vehicles: Ghost, Banshee, Wraith, Spectre, Shadow
Human Ground Vehicles, M12 warthog lrv, M12g1 Warthog laav, M808b Scorpion mbt

Sound plays a huge part in the game, as well. The audio engineers at Bungie have really outdone themselves this time. If you don't have surround sound yet, now is the perfect time to run out and buy a system. You won't regret it, especially when you hear an Elite sneaking up on you from behind for the first time. The directional sound is extremely impressive, as is the musical score. Every piece of music in the game fits perfectly, from the quiet strings during the slow moments to the rocking guitar that kicks in when you enter a battle. I thought that the original game had one of the best scores ever, but this one simply blows it out of the water.

In addition to an epic single-player campaign, "Halo 2" has support for multiplayer action via split-screen, Xbox "System-Link" and online through Microsoft's Xbox Live service. I don't want to ruin the surprise, but imagine the essential "Halo" single-player experience: pitched battles between the humans and the Covenant, and massive vehicle and infantry engagements. Now imagine that every combatant is an actual person playing over Xbox Live! "Halo 2"'s online multiplayer features squad-oriented team-play, and real-time voice chat.
The other big feature is vehicle boarding. You can hijack any moving vehicle by a perfectly timed press of the X button. For bigger vehicles like the Scorpion tank, you can board it, but then must choose to melee the pilot to death or plant a grenade in the cockpit to oust the enemy. This is yet another gameplay element that Bungie implemented masterfully. The artificial intelligence has improved for the most part with the Covenant attacking in various patterns and taking cover. However, even in greater difficulty settings, there are many instances where I throw grenades at any enemy's feet and it will just stand there and die. Also, their interest in killing you is limited to zones. If you leave an area, they won't follow you. This is the same as Halo, but we've seen greater advancement since then (Far Cry, anyone?). On the flip-side, there are moments of brilliance. Sticking a plasma grenade to some Covenant will cause them to go kamikaze and rush you, taking you down with them. Also, your marines are great shots. When I was about to die, my marines took down an Elite and two grunts while I hid. This is a vast improvement over the first Halo.

A new graphics engine brings the Halo universe to life -- dynamic lighting and shadows, sprawling rendered environments and obsessive attention to detail make this game nothing short of spectacular.

In the end, Halo 2 is hands-down, the best Xbox game out to date. If you love to have fun, buy this game.

I would like to thank:
and all the folks at bungie