XBox: Halo 2

So. It’s two days old in my house, and the Playstation is back on with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Does that say it all? I think so, however not one to say a few words when a speech could be made, let me discuss.

I opened the box, strapped myself and watched the opening movie sequence. Very nice, except for one flaw. Models appear instantly onscreen in the cutscenes and the action starts, but the skins and textures can take anything from half a second to, in one extreme circumstance, two seconds to appear. Even then the textures bump about as the camera moves adding and loosing detail. In one cutscene even the model of a ship just appeared in the middle of the screen! What’s that all about? Microsoft QA?

Okay, so let’s move on. The cutscenes can be lived with because after all it’s the game we’ve bought it for. So how is the gameplay? Well it’s Halo with nicer graphics. There are the neat touches which everyone knows about, dual wielding, new weapons, etc. Still, it’s Halo, they haven’t messed with the formula much.

Yet somethings wrong. I loved Halo and have repeatedly played it, even those long, boring, repetative sections. So this should be a dream for me, but I’m only managing to play for about half an hour before I need to go do something else. I’m bored of it, and I think I’m bored of the whole FPS.

Perhaps it’s because my eyes have been opened to other games now, and GTA: SA is really one of those games that’s just wrenched you to another level. Here though, I’m not sure if the surprises waiting for me around that next level are exciting enough to keep me going through.

What’s made it worse is that I’ve played the first five levels on Normal without dying once, and I stopped to make sure everything was dead. That’s when I decided to kick it up to the next level, Heroic. Now I’m finding it hard to progress as there are little set bits which are designed to trap you and cause you no end of trouble.

If only there was a setting slightly down from heroic, or normal was almost a step up.

Still, it is Halo, it is excellent fun for that brief blast, and there’s loads of Multiplayer fun to be had. Although I haven’t experienced that yet so expect an update.

Was it worth the money? Is it worth the hype and the huge ratings it’s getting? Well perhaps my mind will change as I get further into it, but right now I don’t think so. I’ll stick with it though and drop it in at a higher rating than I think it deserves because of the Multiplayer fun yet to be had.

Update: 18/04/2005

I’ve just downgraded this review from four stars to three, why? Well yesterday I tried the first multiplayer game. We tried both co-operative and versus, and we didn’t get any further than a few minutes because of the killer feature, and I mean killer as in the destruction of playability.

Why did they decide to split the screen on the vertical? It’s impossible to fight in close quarters anymore, sure I can now see to the top of the sky and the tips of my toes, but why can I not even see anything that’s not standing right in front of me?

For us it totally destroyed playability, totally. It was switched off and we were onto another game. There was no way to change it. Seriously bad mistake from Bungie there and it’s killed co-op play. That may not be a big thing for many, but we played Halo constantly on co-op, that was so much fun. No such luck with Halo 2, good move there Bungie.

Halo 2 review on Eurogamer

1 comment on “XBox: Halo 2”

  1. Matt Adcock Reply

    It’s all true… At least KILLZONE brings some new things to the FPS party (even if it’s flawed in places too).

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