Halo Triple Pack - Xbox

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Halo Triple Pack (Xbox)
Viewed: 3D First-person Genre:
Shoot 'Em Up
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Bungie Soft. Co.: Bungie
Publishers: Microsoft Game Studios (GB)
Released: 4 Nov 2005 (GB)
Ratings: BBFC 12
Connectivity: Xbox System Link Cable
Accessories: Memory Unit, Communicator Headset


You all know Halo. Even if you don't own an Xbox, you know Halo. Bungie’s first-person shooter has gameplay to burn. Coming on like a cross between Half-Life and Quake 3, Halo: Combat Evolved charges you with the mission of trying to destroy the Covenant, mankind’s greatest enemy. Players can use an assortment of alien and human technology to blast through the levels. Intelligent computer controlled officers are also on hand to help dish out the punishment. They actually respond to situations that you create. For example, if you park your jeep near them, they will automatically leap in.

One of Halo’s strongest points is it’s multi-player game, it’s easy to get into, but difficult to master: a true learning curve. Up to four players can take part in the action using just one console and TV screen. But multi-player doesn’t end there. It is painless to connect four consoles together and enjoy some brutal deathmatch action.

Halo 2 is no slouch, no lazy 'half-bottomed' sequel. Taking on board the minor criticisms levelled at Halo, Bungie's sequel refines the basic play mechanic and already-stunning AI of its predecessor to deliver something bigger, better and bolder than before.

One of Bungie's greatest strengths lies in its ability to create a game world that is paced in a dynamic fashion, and Halo 2 is a prime example. From the outset, players are free to tackle the game's vast worlds in multiple ways, whether they charge in guns-blazing or adopt a more subtle, almost stealth-like approach. This is partly thanks to some diverse level design and enhanced player abilities that give players the freedom to make their own choices from level to level. Because many of Halo 2's beautifully rendered environments are wide open areas brimful of numerous props and hiding places, any given level can be completed in several ways. Secondly, your enhanced super-soldier can now wield and control two weapons at once (provided those weapons can be held in one hand) offering a more gung-ho approach for trigger-happy gamers.

That's all well and good, but there is one key feature in Halo 2 that's puts most other titles in the genre to shame, and that's AI. Artificial Intelligence is an aspect of game development that some software houses will overlook too often for our liking. Bungie, however, realised a long time ago that a good FPS can only become a great FPS with the aid of smart opponents. Halo demonstrated just that, and its sequel does even more so. Level after level, hostile members of the alien Covenant behave in a manner that is not only smart, but also difficult to second guess. It's as if your enemies have been trained - they react to your actions as any solider would, and they are more than capable in combat.

Single-player game aside, Halo 2's multi-player experience is unrivalled. Accommodating 16 players via system link or Live!, Halo 2 comes blessed with more than a dozen multi-player maps that are well suited to all of the game's multi-player modes. These comprise of Slayer, Oddball, Juggernaut and of course, Capture the Flag. Maps vary in size, with some geared towards larger parties, but all boast the usual plethora of pick-ups and weapons, and parties can even commandeer a number of vehicles to swing the battle in their favour. Together with online rankings and the option to set up clans and parties, Halo 2 together with Live! is host to a truly communal online environment.

The Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack is the first true expansion pack for a console game, featuring nine new innovative and intense multiplayer maps that will add hours of fresh, adrenalin-pumping Halo 2 combat. The Map Pack also includes an auto update that improves multiplayer experiences by implementing cheating countermeasures and tweaks to the weapons to further balance Halo 2's arsenal. The retail Map Pack also includes all prior Live updates to save gamers time and to ensure the best possible multiplayer experience for offline players as well.