When you hear about Halo, you think of a top notch shooter. Halo 1 was a great game, and I still play it. When Halo 2 was announced though I got pretty excited. I saw screenshots, watched demo’s, and even played some of Halo 2, but I didn’t realize what Bungie had in store for us gamers. People expected to see a true sequel to Halo 1, and this was not. As a matter of fact (not to spoil anything), this game could set the stage for a surprise… Halo 2 is not a terrible game, it just didn’t set the standards for the true sequel that we all would of liked to see. It does have some nice points though.
The graphics for Halo 2 are probably it’s strongest point. It has three times the graphics power of Halo 1, which makes it very pretty to watch. You can literally see the glare off of Master Chief’s helment! Normally when I play a game, I don’t look for graphics all that much, but with this game you kind of need the graphics, as the gameplay is similar to that of Halo 1. During the first hour of play you will enjoy these new superior graphics, but after a time period of about an hour you will find yourself playing Halo, and that’s it. Sure the textures and the improved frames per second’s engine is awesome, but you certainly need more than graphics to have a good time.
Now we move on to the gameplay which was sort of a disappointment. When you play Halo 2, you feel like you’re playing Halo 1… After you get used to the graphics of course. The only new system is the duel – wielding gun system, which makes it different from other shooters. Besides that though everything is exactly the same. While this is not a bad thing, when you make a sequel or another game, players like to see change. Change can be good too! The AI (Artificial Intelligence) in this game is also very nice. Bungie spent some extra time on this, and it pays off. You don’t have NPC’s accidently shooting other people, while they are helping you, so that is a good thing. Overall the gameplay is similar to Halo 1, but with some new features and a graphics engine so powerful you are sure to have a blast.
Can the sound get any better? The crisp effects of bullets flying over your head in a battle field? What can be better then that? I think the sound might be the second best feature in this game. Some people think the sound effects are the same as Halo 1, but in fact if you listen to them closely, you will find that they are much better. Whether it be the sound of the vehicles reving up, or the sound of an Enemy shooting you, the effects are very crisp and nice. Of course when you have sound potential that can blow the roof off of your house in the XBox, it is not all that hard to dominate in this field. I think most, if not all of you will like the sound effects in Halo 2, as they are definitely mind blowing.
This game couldn’t be complete without a multiplayer function, so let’s talk about it. Most shooter multiplayer features are all good, but when you have the graphics of Halo 2 backing you up, and the gameplay of it as well, you can’t get much better. Again though when you play the multiplayer you will be reliving Halo 1 in an advanced environment. With the exception of a few new weapons and some new maps, you are basically playing the first one. The problem with this game was the market was so high, and they spent so much time on the first one, that it really is hard to improve on something that great. Now if this was to be a true sequel to the last one, then maybe you could think likewise, but this was not. Getting back to the multiplayer function… XBox Live returns for this title, so gamers can go online and shoot it out with thousands of other players while sitting back and sipping a can of sprite. Overall the multiplayer is still great, and enjoyable for anyone interested in blowing the brains out of other people.
This is an easy one, as the Replay Value of almost all shooters are high, the Replay Value of Halo 2 is very high. Shoot em ups have the tendency to get very addicting, so when you beat them, you can just replay them over and over again. What especially makes the Replay Value high in Halo 2 is the multiplayer feature. XBox Live allows players to play over the internet against other people around the world, which adds about 75 & to the Replay Value. Add On’s, and personlized music on the hard drive, should be plenty to have a good time years after you have completed this game.
The overall factor of this game was… Don’t get me wrong very good, but if you were looking for a true sequel to Halo 1, you will not find it here. I went through this entire review trying not to spoil anything for gamers who haven’t played this title yet, so be thankful of that. The only thing I had to state though was that this wasn’t going to be a true sequel, and Bungie would have a surprise up there sleeve. I won’t discuss what that surprise is, but I have a feeling I know what it is, and for you gamers who have played Halo 2, you would know as well. Again.. When you have a foundation so high on Halo 1, it is really hard to improve on it, so making a sequel wouldn’t be such a bad idea, and the expectations would be even higher if Bungie let it’s gamers know. My overall rating for Halo 2 would have to be an 8. It had some newer features, but it still was Halo in a newer environment.