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Halo 2 (SPARTAN002 Review)

Halo 2, the long-awaited sequel to one of the most widely praised, most influential first-person shooters ever created, Halo 2 takes off right after Halo, the Master Chief has gotten back to Earth, and that's where it starts. Sgt. Johnson is back for the ride, Cortana has received a make over, and Captain Keyes' daughter has decided to follow in her daddy's footsteps.

The graphics have been given a huge revamp over the former game. The individual style of the Halo universe is still there, but everything is more detailed and there are more special effects. The lighting system is a huge improvement over the first game, giving everything a greater sense of intensity. Master Chiefs suit looks especially impressive when its bump-mapped surfaces reflect the light around it. Having said that, the lighting model doesnt seem to be as advanced as DOOM IIIs, but then again, Halo 2 has shown far more onscreen action and larger environments.

Out of all of the audio and video components of Halo 2, the audio portion is what stands out the most. The score to the game is simply amazing, Marty O'Donnell and company created the perfect score for the title with a soundtrack that has elements of modern day rock blended in with orchestral themes similar to those found in the original. The score complements the visuals to perfection. It's hard to imagine how the game would have turned out without such an intense score, undoubtedly the action sequences would not have been the same without it. You might not like the music if your not a rock fan but those of you are a rock fan u will be pleased.

There are some new weapons. The new weapons are great such as the Sword, Fuel Rod gun, brute shot, Covenant Carbine. They changed some of the old ones though, and for instance, the assault rifle and pistol have been massively altered. The assault rifle is now two guns. A sub machine gun that functions much like the original assault rifle did, and the battle rifle, a rifle with a 2x zoom and a three round burst. The pistol isn't such a bad-ass weapon anymore, although you can dual wield. This brings me to the next advancement, dual wielding. Dual wielding is both restrictive and a great save at the same time. When you dual wield you can't throw grenades or hit people. Many people might not like this about dual wielding, but it also allows you to have two guns that you get to fire independently of each other or at the same time. Each and every one of the vehicles is now destroyable too. Warthogs come apart, ghosts come apart and the plasma engines explode; even the tanks just fall apart under enough fire. Even the dropships can be blasted (at least their weapons). The Banshees are very impressive when they come crashing down as well. And speaking of which, all of the vehicles can now be hijacked as well. The tanks you get to jump on the back and stick a grenade in, the warthogs can be dethroned and even a low flying banshee is in danger. The bad things to gameplay are for some examples for SP the ending of Halo 2 might not be your favorite it ends pretty abrupt and leaving you out for a 3rd. For MP there are a wide amount of Glitches to be discovered and used in the game and this might distance people to play online also there are lots of cheaters who use there modem to do standby and cheat the game which is another negative thing on this game.

Halo 2 is not, was not intented to, and will not revolutinize the genre. Halo already did that. And people have to realize that and hopefully they will. Bungie took what they had before, and maximized it's potential. No other FPS has done it like Halo 2 has on the Consoles. Halo 2 does everything great. That is why Halo 2 is a fantastic game. Not because of it's story, or the MC, but because it does everything near
flawless and with a game that is near flawless, their will be flaws. I find it funny that there were people who actually thought this game would be perfect. Halo 2 is not perfect, and its not the best game ever, but it came pretty damn close.

-Korben Carreno (SPARTAN002)