What is perhaps the most hyped game ever? Why Halo 2 of course. And in this legendary shooter there are many reasons
to slap your money on the counter of your local game store and say proudly I want Halo 2 please.
Bungie surprisingly made a decent story out in a genre where stories usually consist of kill everything. Even the small
things help make it so engaging and believable. The leaders who lost sight of what their ancestors really were trying to do,
the ominous force that manipulates two raging forces for its own good. Although the only weak part of the story is perhaps
the essential part of most stories, the fact that one person or thing is the only chance for mankind. They really had to put
this in after Halo, but they could have tried something new from the very beginning like you are one of many in an army and
you cant do it alone. They hint at this with better AI for your allies but they still will get murdered without your help.
The graphic is this masterpiece is just that, a masterpiece. The textures of the Spartans armor can be awe-inspiring.
And everything is superbly textured and doesnt slow down the gameplay one bit. Along with the fact that the lighting effects
will amaze almost anyone and can rival such games as The Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, or Doom 3. An example
of this is when you go up to a hanging lamp you can see the light reflect off the Spartans armor creating an amazing sight.
Even on the guns you can see that Bungie really took the time to flesh it out. Again its all those small details that really
come together to form an awesome experience. From the glow of when you whip out an energy sword to the look of a camouflaged
Spartan with an Overshield will shock even the most jaded gamer or biggest Xbox hater.
I hate to sound repetitive but, again its all those small things that combine to please so many gamers. In single player
for example, the orchestral sounds please the gamer relaxing on the couch, its interrupted by the realistic rounds of a Battle
Rifle from behind because your allies saw an enemy. They also manage to put in the right music at just the right time, like
in the case where you hear these great beats, but there interrupted by a heavy rock piece by Breaking Benjamin as you get
ambushed from all sides while that rock music gets you all pumped while you scream at your TV, Bring it on you Covenant scum!
Ahh, what made this sell so many copies, the gameplay. The gameplay is what addicts you and makes you keep thinking,
I need to get to my Xbox, I need to get to my Xbox. Even in the single player your heart will thump so hard it feels like
it is going to blow up when you steal that ghost from the a dirty Covenant Elite. Or when you see a flood parasite eat a covenant
leader. The difficulty settings on Halo 2 are pretty standard, Easy, Normal, Heroic, and Legendary. This isnt to say the difficulty
levels wont challenge you and make sure that you keep coming back. Although Halo 2 wouldnt be Halo 2 without online. Online
play is what will make sure you dont have any type of social life from now on. Almost every single thing in the online component
works perfectly. Lag can be an issue every once in awhile, but for a game that has so much action, a little lag is to be expected.
Again its all those little things that make the online service worth all the money. The ranking system is very well put together
and not just you win you go up, you lose you go down. The lower or raise your rank depending on how many medals or kills or
flags scores you get mainly. Whether you win or lose still loosely contributes to your rank but overall the ranking system
really works most of the time except for every once in a while where someone has a high rank but isnt very good put this is
usually rare. If you dont like to play ranked games and just want to goof off you can always play custom games. Custom games
can be fun because players can edit them to a certain degree. Now there isnt a full on map editor like I wanted them to have,
but you can still edit lighter features. Of course there is the glitch community, where people find little wholes for fun,
and no I dont mean hacking. There can be times where you will be times you can stop but yelling out, Holy mother of crap!
Clans can be formed to face off against others and form intense rivalries making you keep playing to get better so you can
finally beat that one person. Not to mention arranging games is simple and easy.
This game can be replayed until the Earth is blown up. Just exploring all the levels finding every little detail Bungie
put in can soak up hours of your life. Not to mention trying to beat all single player modes will take up a very, very long
time. Not only that but user created modes are being used more often and noticed. Although not to say there arent plenty of
people to match up with in Matchmaking,
which has a system that works very well.
-James Croan (BabyKillsALot)