TOM CLANCY'S SPLINTER CELL: DOUBLE AGENT ISSUE ON SALE NOW!
GameInformer - The Final Word on Video and Computer Games
Subscribe |  Customer Service |  My Account   
USERNAME   
PASSWORD 
REMEMBER MY ID
Forgot your password? | Register

 PLATFORM: XBOX
HAIL TO THE CHIEF

imply put, Halo 2 is by far the greatest first-person shooter the console world has seen to date. From the monster multiplayer (both off- and online) to the perfectly constructed single-player campaign, this game never lets up for a second.

If you have been following the Halo phenomenon, you already know that this sequel has introduced dual wielding, vehicle boarding, and a host of Xbox Live options including clans and the ability for four players on a single split-screened TV to all be online.

But that’s just the beginning. The multiplayer options are just too numerous to list. You can turn vehicles off and on, customize your avatar’s color scheme and logo, and play as a Spartan or an Elite. In other words, if you want to customize it, you more than likely can.

In total, there are seven different games to play across 12 different multiplayer maps, including Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, Oddball, Assault, and Territories. All of these have many variations to play and explore. Game Informer has even learned that Bungie will deliver more maps through Xbox Live at a later date (probably sooner than you think).

So no matter how you slice it, multiplayer kicks complete and utter ass.

Concerning the long-awaited single-player campaign, all I can say is it will blow your mind. Long before I got a chance to review this game, I (like you) was getting a little frustrated by Bungie’s stance to keep quiet on the particulars.

After playing through the game myself, I can see why the company was so tightlipped. It’s anything and everything you could have asked for, and revealing the many surprises found throughout the single-player campaign would be wrong on so many levels.

What I can say is that the plot twists in this monster release will absolutely floor you. The biggest, which happens fairly early in the campaign, is something few will see coming, and is easily the greatest surprise this year. And that’s just the beginning – it seems that around every corner Halo 2 throws something new at you, be it weapons, vehicles, or enemies to destroy.

Nothing I say can prepare you for this game. During my playthrough of the single-player campaign, I was constantly amazed by its intense pace. It never once falls from glory. There is no loading screen after the initial start-up. You begin this roller-coaster ride, and you just want to keep playing till you reach the end (and even then I instantly restarted the game on its Heroic and Legendary levels – which offer a whole new level of death and destruction). The dual-wielding obliteration of your enemies is priceless. The vehicle boarding creates situations where I was literally sitting on the edge of my chair simultaneously laughing and swearing as I crowned myself the greatest gamer in the world. Every situation, every fight, can be different depending on how you decide you want to handle it. This, my friends, is a sign of perfection. This is Halo 2.  -ANDY

ADAM   10

It’s well known that I’m a PC guy, especially when it comes to first-person shooters. I bring this up because Halo 2 is so incredibly slam-dunk awesome that after an hour playing it, I had forgotten how much I prefer the mouse and keyboard. From the opening cinema to the final credits, Halo 2 rocks like no other. Never have I felt like such a bad mother as when I’m holding two plasma rifles and daring the Covenant to bring it. Furthermore, every single little problem I had with the original is gone. There’s no more driving forever to get where you’re going, levels don’t get repeated, and it’s Live-enabled. Also, all of the new elements in the sequel integrate perfectly into the Halo formula, and do nothing but add to the strategy and entertainment – especially when you get to multiplayer. Once you jack your first Ghost from the enemy and dominate them with their own cannon, there is no looking back. To my mind, there is no question that this has the hands-down best multiplayer on console – on top of a highly replayable single-player campaign that’s nothing short of amazing. In any light, Halo 2 absolutely deserves video games’ highest honors.

10
CONCEPT:
Take Halo, then add a “2” and a whole lot of kick-ass
GRAPHICS:
It may not be the best-looking console game ever made, but it is close
SOUND:
From Steve Vai’s guitar heroics to the classic Halo chant, this soundtrack rocks
PLAYABILITY:
Silky smooth play control
ENTERTAINMENT:
To date, Halo 2 is the greatest console FPS made – hands down
REPLAY:
High
Copyright 1991 - 2006 :: Game Informer Magazine