Reviews// Halo 2

So what's the big deal?

Posted 17 Nov 2004 13:48 by
Again, there has been criticism for certain features missing from the Live modes, but bearing in mind it is trying to forge fairly new paths with extremely large shoes, the occasional tumble does seem quite forgivable. There are some disappointing omissions ? the lack of online co-op is a real shame; and for some strange reason there isn?t even an online scoreboard for the campaign mode. However, in terms of performance, Halo 2?s multiplayer modes perform solidly. Navigating the game lobby and seemingly endless menu options seems a little more complicated than necessary, but after a while these numerous options become more understandable and their inclusions more welcome. If you?ve been waiting for a reason to get on Live, this is the most convincing argument yet.

Once again, however, we have to point out that this is just an FPS. PC gamers won?t see it as anything particularly new or revolutionary, and the inclusion of online multiplayer modes won?t make people who didn?t like FPS game now suddenly like them. It really feels as if Halo 2?s creation is just a reward for those people who bought an Xbox on the strength of the original, in the hope of hanging on to their loyalties until XBox 2 comes along. But in our opinion, this game is what Halo 1 should have been. If this had launched the Xbox, with online play incorporated as standard, rather than dressed up as an extra, the fortunes of the console may have been very different.

The overall feeling we get from Halo 2 is, however, one of general apathy. It does look brilliant, it is the finest console FPS ever made, but, to be honest, so what? There?s simply nothing inherently impressive about such straight-forward gameplay mechanics anymore. In fact, some may find this quite tedious. If a game requires you to chug all the way through a series of environments, however crisply-recreated, over and over again doing the same sort of stuff, you?ll get bored. We?ve come to expect nominal hints from other genres: when you?ve had enough of firing rockets, you want to go to an alien bar and play alien pool. When you?ve had enough of storming up and down dimly lit corridors, you want a spot of mischevious sneakery, stealthing up behind an extra-terrestrial foe before delivering a mighty flick to their scaley-skinned ear lobes. The genre needs to evolve.
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Comments

ben mills 17 Nov 2004 17:01
1/6
I very good and fair review but i feel the reviewer has maybe been a bit 'anti-microsoft' on us.

The gameplay in single player is pretty much the same as many other FPS. But maybe its not what it looks like at face value that makes this a great classic. From a AI programmers point of view it shows some amazing techniques. For instance when a comrad or a foe falls other NPC's will come over and talk about him/her/it. The AI in Halo 2 is matched only by Half-life 2.When you say there is stealth on Thief and not on Halo 2 maybe try playing it on a diffculty harder than normal.
I feel that the reviewer has not looked at it in a very semiotic way.

For instance there was no mention of the sound and music in the game. The music in Halo2 is some of the best seen in any game. Metal gear solid maybe had something that came close, but the music here inspires and impresses.

The reviwers says that online co-op is not a option but does he actually know what it would take to make it work? The bandwidth needed to send every deformed object, every sprite, projectile and AI instruction between Boxes would be about 100mb/sec.

Graphicly is is maybe a bit of a let down - The cutsceans are good but the poping is bad. However the fact there are no loading screens does make up for it and it helps move the story through alot better.

When the critic talks about the lack of 'evil' in the covenant has he plaid the game through?!
The covenant are not evil, they simply are following thier beliefs. The thing with Halo is that sides are not clear cut. The flood is the only true evil. The covenant, Mankind and the Forerunners are all coming from diffrent points-of-view.

The story is maybe lacking and Halo does indeed have better plot. I feel that bungie have tried to fit to much in a short period of time and they are unable to develop the plot as much as could be possible. Also being able to play as a elite is maybe a cheap gimic. Playing as a elite should be like a wild sexual fantasy - never actually acted out but always lusted after.

As for online - Nothing comes close on ANY FPS ever. The detail on the bungie website is fantastic and the screenshots of your movements and kill placements can help develop stratagies well.
Rod Todd 17 Nov 2004 18:03
2/6
ben mills wrote:
I very good and fair review but i feel the reviewer has maybe been a bit 'anti-microsoft' on us.


Anti Microsoft sentiment is one of the things to love about SPOnG ;-)

But it's true, Bungie used to be wildly creative in comparison to other games at the time of Marathon, it was a narrative masterpiece. But Halo 2 seems kinda run of the mill.

If that isn't corporate development methodologies eroding creativity, then it must be something else, far less sinister instead.
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fluffstardx 17 Nov 2004 19:31
3/6
Halo 2 plot, boring?

Read First Strike.
Follow all of ILB.
Read "conversations from around the universe".

The plot isn't boring, it just simply cannot all fit in.
QuaiD 18 Nov 2004 00:43
4/6
Whose gone onlibe with it and found it slow?
fluffstardx 18 Nov 2004 10:52
5/6
You got the patch? It fixes a LOT.

Plus, on a 1mb/sec line... no, i notice no slowdown. Ever.

As for the game being "run of the mill"... watch the DVD. They had to cut a ton of stuff, because frankly they were just too damn creative. So, the plot we got was a little... jagged. Time constraints.

It is, however, still a LOT better than Killzone, the supposed "PS2 Halo". If you want to really fry a game for being overhyped, look no further. The AI is ropey, the controls missing a little something (jump, for example...), and the multi-character implementation made totoally pointless.

Oh yes, and the plot is non-existant.
Master Chef 19 Nov 2004 11:24
6/6
fluffstardx wrote:
You got the patch? It fixes a LOT.

Plus, on a 1mb/sec line... no, i notice no slowdown. Ever.

Totally awesome --if you have a 1mb line


As for the game being "run of the mill"... watch the DVD. They had to cut a ton of stuff, because frankly they were just too damn creative. So, the plot we got was a little... jagged. Time constraints.

Yeah, I'm hardly pumped by the stuff they left out.

It is, however, still a LOT better than Killzone

I thought this was a discussion about Halo2, not something that has been hyped as baing a Halo-beater by the game's own publisher.

I'm totally whelmed by Halo2. More of the same. IMO it doesn't offer a great, mindblowing leap in the Halo story arc like we got with the progression of Marathon. Following the plot in the ILB/Haunted Apiary game was better than progressiong in the game. I can handle another run of the mill FPS if the plot rocks, otherwise it's a dud.

Still, I'll plow thru and finish the game.
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