Halo 2 was by far the most anticipated game to be released on the original Xbox. Gamers would have to wait three years to suit up as Master Chief once again to take the battle to The Covenant, but it was well worth the wait
Story & Presentation
Halo 2 moved the story of the original game along at a blistering pace. You still play the role of Master Chief, but this time a great deal of the story is told to you through your holographic companion Cortana. The Covenant want to destroy earth and it’s up to you to stop them. The story this time around is much more cinematic and epic in terms of its scale. I loved the cliff hanger ending that the game had as well. Although had I know I would have to wait so long for Halo 3 I might have not. One thing that Halo 2 did that for some odd reason angered a number of fans was making you play as The Arbiter this is a Covenant Elite soldier who is blamed for the events of Halo 1. He joins the side of humanity and I thought it was a pretty cool twist to the story.
I love the intro to the story that shows Master Chief given a hero’s welcome home after the events of the first game. Whereas the Arbiter is humiliated in front of thousands of other Covenant soldiers.
Halo 2 looks great and I think it still holds up well to this day. I will not say that the graphics had improved 100 percent, but everything certainly did look much shinier and smoother. I also think that the characters had much better animations this time around which helped me buy into the story more. Also the environments were much more varied than what the original halo offered.
Halo 2 kept that same amazing game play from the original Halo and made a couple of twists that refined it to near perfection in my opinion. The main change to the combat this time around is that you can dual wield weapons. This is just amazing and somehow manages to make Master Chief seem even more of a badass. They did take a few of the weapons away from the first game, but there is still more than enough fire power here to keep your trigger finger happy. The vehicles now controlled much smoother than they did in the first game. In Halo 1 some people had a tough time getting to grips with the controls of the vehicles, but this time around they are much more responsive.
One thing that Halo 2 does not get the credit it deserves for is the AI. Not just the enemy AI either. Your squad mates now are much smarter and will actual fight the Covenant rather than just standing there waiting to be shot. Also the enemies are a little smarter and will duck and cover much more rather than just standing there letting you unload a clip into them. The single player campaign is epic in every sense of the way. It is a story full to the brim of action and some pretty emotional scenes as well. It can take you around 15 hours or so to see all that the game has to offer.
The multi player is what many Halo 2 players got hooked on. As a matter of fact when the Xbox 360 was first released Halo 2 was the most played game on Xbox Live for a very long time until an Xbox 360 game came along and knocked it off its perch. The multi player was just so much fun. Playing it online or in split screen with a couple of buddies was awesome. There was more than a few people who would cheat it the game which did make some players leave the game, but for the most part the online experience of Halo 2 was just great.
Halo 2 does what a sequel should do and that is take what made the first game great and improve on it in every way. Honestly this has to be one of the best sequels to a hit video game ever released. The single player campaign on its own makes this a game you really need to own.