Halo 2 Review

Halo 2 is a 2004 military science fiction first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie Studios and published in Microsoft Game Studios.  It is the second installment in the Halo franchise, released for the Xbox, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows; the story follows Master Chief and Cortana who lead humanity in the conflict with Covenant while alternately following the Arbiter who must prevent civil war within the Covenant.


Positives:

  • Great voice performances
  • Great soundtrack
  • Good characters
  • Good story
  • Extensive campaign
  • Competitive multiplayer

Negatives:

  • Dated graphics
  • Linear campaign

Campaign:  The campaign is quite extensive, though extremely linear.  The first storyline follows Master Chief and Cortana as they lead the UNSC forces against the Covenant.  The second storyline follows the Arbiter who goes on a mission to prevent civil war within the Covenant ranks.  Great that the two storylines parallel each other. (4 out of 5)

Gameplay: The gameplay doesn’t deviate much from the previous Halo: Combat Evolved but it does flow smoother. New additions that make the gameplay actually really fun especially during the multiplayer aspect is the ability to not only use the Covenant weapons as well as the UNSC weapons but also the vehicles. The NPCs are challenging and the harder the difficulty the more challenging they become. (4 out of 5)

Graphics:  Although revolutionary for its time, the graphics are dated compared to today’s standards.  Now, the level designs are pretty decent but the massive backdrops are great for giving an epic feel.  The cinematics are pretty decent though some of the character models are comedic. (2 out of 5)

Score:  Halo: Combat Evolved was a great game but one of its most prominent features was the soundtrack.  Like its predecessor, Halo 2 delivers on its promise of maintaining a fantastic score.  Not only are the sound effects on point and the voice performances are great, but the soundtrack is just epic.  The soundtracks brings new themes as well as bringing back memorable ones.  Steve Downes and Jen Taylor are just great as Master Chief and Cortana.  Keith David voices the Arbiter and does a great job. (4 out of 5)

Replay Value:  There are a lot of things worth revisiting Halo 2 though like in the first game they are a bit limited.  The multiplayer stands out most prominently and it is highly competitive and highly entertaining.  Very fast paced for those gamers who enjoy a challenged.  The campaign can be played on multiple difficulties and between the two campaigns can be refreshing. (3 out of 5)


The Verdict:   In the end, Halo 2 is better than its predecessor and definitely brings the franchise to the next level.  Despite the linear gameplay style or the dated graphics, the game does tell a compelling story, the gameplay exciting, the multiplayer competitive, and the score is just brilliant. Halo 2 gets 4 out of 5.

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