Halo 2 has arrived!

by Mitch on 12/11/2004

This afternoon I decided to hire Halo 2 and give it a test drive. You see, this afternoon I sold my BMX and I have some cash units, so I think I am going to spoil myself with a copy of Halo 2 and a memory unit. I am going to use a word to describe this game that I wouldn’t normally use: perfection.

The graphics are beautiful, I think the physics engine has copped an entire revamping and the AI improvements are more than marginal. When hiding behind a pillar if you change directions to approach from they will learn your tactics and when you change again it takes a moment for the AI to regroup and start attacking you again, it’s brilliant.

Graphics: No expense has been spared in the graphics department. It’s still not a “real world” and I like the call it a Halo World, but it’s much smoother and clearer and the graphics really flow well. Blood splatters are quite fake looking, but I think it’s a good thing to keep blood looking quite fake for the kiddies. Wall textures are awesome and when you fire upon the wall it leaves bullet hole marks which look fantastic. The menu system is beautiful too, it operates very much as an entire operating system and I am certain there will be windows themes like it coming out soon.

Physics Engine: A good mix of yes-that-will-happen-in-a-real-world-situation and let’s-make-it-fun-for-the-gamer. In fact, it’s a perfect mix. Water flows cleanly and splashes appropriately, not to mention that the guns recoil accurately when fired, which is a huge improvement on the old blast-away style of the first.

Artificial Intelligence: The new AI is terrific. Like I said before, it has the ability to understand tactics. While hiding behind a barrel I ducked to the left several times and fired and they ended up getting me pretty bad, so I ducked right and they had no idea what was happening, because my strategy changed – I emptied a full clip before they woke up to what I was doing, but then they learned both and I had to change once more.

Vehicles and Weapons: Wow, never mind the whole 3 person buggy, there are now aircraft, alien craft and all of which have their own dynamic. Craft can now be operated solo, so no more double kills while you drive around looking for bad guys. The weapons are amazing and a lot more realistic. Firing now has to be done in bursts so as to keep an accurate aim, and something that I think needs to be included in every FPS, you can now hold two weapons at once.

Playability:
Halo was good for one major reason: people could play it well, without any hassles. Halo 2 is no exception. Apart from a few extra options and minor difference with weapons (like when holding two weapons) it is exactly the same and therefore very easy to play and very friendly on the hands – no performing any impossible hand riddles just to pick up a weapon.

Overall: After 2 games of Multi-player with Luke (yeah I 0wn3d him both times) and a few solo levels, I can honestly say this is a terrific game. I am already marking it as the best game I have ever played, it is just that good. To any gamers out there, get a copy along with a Live! kit and I might see you online, I am getting mine tomorrow. Rock on!

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