Halo 2 Is Still the Best Game in the Series

Editor’s Note: This is the second portion of our week-long review of Halo 2: Row as well as the entire Master Chief Collection! Stay tuned for more throughout the week, as we provide our final verdict on the game.

Halo 2 has always been my favorite sport in Microsoft’s flagship collection, one that I played endless hours while at high school (back when you needed to invite people over to play multiplayer or co-op). The campaign has always been closest to my heart, full of complex characters whose motives and intentions (and affiliations) are not understood until the action-packed last act of this game. Two great warriors must forfeit everything from game’s end to be able to finish the fight against the Covenant. Better days loom over them only past the shadow of space.

Whether you think it did or did not, if you believe Halo 2 is the most critical entrance in Halo canon or even a pass, that’s insignificant. 2014 is about celebrating the title, and what a grand reception it has been thrown.


Really, I am just giving you complete disclosure here. Let us get the review-y components out of the way before I get back to telling you this game is a masterpiece. Note that Halo 2: Anniversary will not be getting a numbered score from us. We’ll save that for the whole Master Chief Collection review on Friday.

Like Halo: Anniversary before it, Halo 2: Anniversary is extremely decked out — even a graphical upgrade, a completely re-recorded score, also re-done cinematics that perfectly complement the game’s excellent narrative.by link halo xbox iso website

And of course Halo 2 does not show its wrinkles at times. It certainly does. Not only are the controls blasphemous to the standard shooting controls, but actions sequences sometimes tend to move a little too slowly. Chief does not always react when you need him to and the AI is even worse. Actually, I’d completely forgotten just how bad the AI was back in 2004. Or was it only Halo? They’ll be dead in moments, and you are going to be left to fend for yourself pretty much the entire game. But that is how you like it?

Halo 3 and 4 (especially the latter) were more of an update to gameplay than I recalled. Halo 2 occasionally feels stiff. Mobility was not exactly what it currently is. I do recall feeling as though Chief was overpowered by now the third episode rolled around. Basically untouchable. Beating that game on Heroic was no sweat.

After spending hours with Halo 2: Anniversary, I feel as perhaps now’s console FPS fanbase is overly pampered. The dawn of Call of Duty did really streamline enemy AI to the point at which it has all become a shooting gallery. But the enemies from Halo 2 seem bright, swarming you in just the proper moments or holding back and picking me off in long distance. The hierarchy in control is obviously evident during a firefight. Shoot down the Elite and the Grunts lose their minds, running in circles such as loose chicken until you’ve struck them to departure. It’s more than I can say about Rodriguez and Jenkins around there.

Perhaps today’s idle enemy AI is a symptom of terrible storytelling and world-building. Nevertheless, the early Halo games, particularly the first two, also take a whole lot of time creating the Covenant from hierarchy to culture to religious beliefs — achieved so reluctantly, in fact, together with cues during gameplay along with Cortana’s comment. I know why Bungie chose to once more utilize an AI companion to feed you little tidbits about the enemies from Destiny. Too bad it does not work as well.

Shooting your way through the devastated Cario roads is ten times more enjoyable than any other world city level in the modern contemporary shooters. The roads are claustrophic and spin and turn as a maze. You’ll find snipers at every turn, inconveniently placed where they’ll definitely get a good chance on you. The squads arrive in tiny packs as well as the stealth Elites look like the killing blow once you’re overwhelmed with plasma fire. There is no sitting in cover in these close quarters.

Every new place, the majority of which provide bigger spaces to move around in than Cairo, is overrun by the Flood, who’ll chase you all the way back to the beginning point of this level when it means that they could feast on your flesh. There are lots of falls in”Sacred Icon” which cause you to feel as if you’re plunging deeper in the flames of Flood-filled Hell. It’s done so incredibly well.

Ah, but that I will not review the oft-reviewed. Everything that looked and felt great in 2004 feels and looks even better in 2014. It’s a fantastic remaster. And I have not even mentioned the score, which received a potent re-recording — louder horns, louder violins, LOUDER GUITARS. There are even a few added melodies within the new and improved score which deliver their very epic minutes. Needless to say, I believe Halo 2 has among the very best video game scores ever made.

Couple of specialized things: besides stiff movement, there is the occasional graphical glitch. Nothing game-breaking, however you can tell that the source stuff has been pushed to the graphical limit. Driving vehicles remains kind of the worst. There is just something about doing everything with a single joystick that really irks me. However, you get used to it. It is far better than allowing Michelle Rodriguez (she is actually in this game as a spunky lady Marine) push, however.

Oh, and also the BIG ONE. You will notice I haven’t even bothered citing the multiplayer element. While Halo 2’s great old multiplayer is still my favorite at the pre-mastered show (I expect I just coined this expression — does it make sense?) , the whole multiplayer expertise from The Master Chief Collection is pretty broken. With this particular write-up, I abstained from trying to join a match playlist from the other games. Attempting to acquire a match in any of these Halo 2 playlists is a big disappointment. Next, I will try out another playlists, but that I don’t anticipate any of those matchmaking to do the job. In the event you haven’t heard, Microsoft knows about the matchmaking problem and is trying to fix it. Sit tight.

I did play a little bit of co-op with a Den of Geek pal, however, it took us forever to setup online. Maybe I’ll update this Halo 2: Anniversary’s multiplayer is all up and functioning. But likely not. I will be too busy blowing your head off in Team SWAT.

Yikes, now that you have gotten your inspection, perhaps I can go back to discussing why Halo 2 is the best installment in the series.


“I will not,” replies the Master Chief, as he prepares to launch himself into space using a giant Covenant bomb. I wonder whether it was with that identical confidence that Bungie dove ahead into the evolution of Halo 2…Just like I stated previously, the developer had to follow-up to a video game phenomenon. So I’m certain they were panicking only a little in between popping fresh bottles of smoke. 1 thing is for certain, Bungie took much bigger risks with Halo 2. And that’s commendable in today’s formulaic play-it-safe strategy to first-person shooters.

We won’t get too deep into the background of the development of Halo 2 (though that’s coming later in the week), but some facts deserve a mention: Bungie had more story and concepts than could fit in Halo: CE. Needless to say, after making Microsoft a bazillion bucks, they had the leeway and writer support to receive a bit more ambitious with the sequel.

And that’s how you get a story of two cities, 1 half of the match starring an ultra great guy fighting to get a militaristic society which wishes to distribute into the universe and the other half starring a morally ambigious alien who goes on suicide missions in the title of a mislead theocratic government. Nowadays, we know that both societies suckbut back then, we had just discovered the tip of the iceberg.

By having the ability to glimpse at both sociopolitical environments, we are ready to actually unfold the entire world of Halo. We know the rulers of this Covenant aren’t guided by the gods by their own greed. From the beginning of the second act of this game –“The Arbiter” into”Quarantine Zone” — we all know that the Covenant does not understand exactly what the Halo bands are capable of, or rather the Prophets will not reveal the truth. Things get way grayer as the story progresses. Whether you like it or not, being at the Arbiter’s sneakers permits you to take that first step into uncovering a living, breathing galaxy on par with all the Star Wars universe.

Bungie were daring enough to tell the story of either side, and it pays off exceptionally well. Even though Halo: CE’s tale is in large part an adventure storyline, Halo 2 is some thing more. You could say that the actual story in Halo 2 is all about the Arbiter and also his trip to recover his honour. Even a 15-level epic about a single character’s place in his decaying society and that societies set in the universe.

Most importantly, it answers the thematic questions introduced in the beginning of the game. Does the Covenant have to go on the Great Journey? I think most of us know the answer to this by game’s end. Is the Arbiter an honorable warrior battling for the greater good? From the time the credits roll, really he is. The Arbiter and his culture have shifted. That’s the narrative arc of Halo 2.

I know that many fans of the first game didn’t like the Arbiter plot, preferring the adventure feel of this Master Chief parts of the game, and that’s fair. It didn’t help that the Brutes, the faction that could ultimately topple the based Covenant arrangement, were seriously rushed out during development. But it was a risk worth taking. A logical one for developers that are utilised to adapting high concept theopolitical science fiction in their games. I would dare say that up to this point, (since Destiny doesn’t have a lot of narrative at the present time ) Halo 2 is the biggest leap in storyline Bungie have ever performed. That is the reason it takes its position as the best match in the Halo series.

After Halo 2, the subsequent two chief installations (sandwiched in the center is the excellent and daring ODST) were the normal sci-fi shooter cuisine. Nothing was ever quite enjoy this game again.