The date was November 14th, 2001 the biggest month in entertainment history taking into account the launching of the site on Microsoft’s Xbox and PlayStation 2 platforms as well as the worldwide renown of the Halo universe. Keeping in mind the extremely positive reaction the Halo series received from gamers, the game still goes to show the success of gaming franchises.
The very first game, released on Microsoft’s Xbox, truly opened the doors on the future of gaming, and although it was fun, being a launch title it wasn’t the most important game to consider going into development for the Xbox ( carnage 2 was). However, after the first full sequel, Halo: Combat Evolved followed up the extremely positive reception given to the game by bringing gaming into the next generation. Once again, the franchise took advantage of the unique opportunity for gaming and Halo took gaming into an entirely new direction. The first Halo-based game gave birth to an entirely new genre of gaming, the first in what was to be become the ever popular First Person Shooter genre.
Halo 2 continues the great tradition that was started by Halo and looks as though it may prove to be the best in its category. The game takes place sixteen years after the end of Halo and gamers will be immediately notified that the gaming environment has changed for the better. The first game left players a bit in awe seeing as how powerful the covenant had become, and also seeing how powerful the humans had become almost overnight. The opening scene of Halo 2 shows the alliance forces hunting you, and you are left struggling to survive the atmosphere and the circumstances forcing you to escape.
The game takes place primarily on planet Reach. The Bungie clan has given Reach a very unique feel and the players will almost immediately notice it. The lush greenery, the textures, the level design are all very appealing to the eye and provide the environment with a great sense of realism. This gives the impression of great care and thought for detail when the player first sees the planet.
The game consists of two distinct modes, the campaign and multiplayer. The campaign mode shows the make of Halo 2 in a whole new light by having you play the gamer alongside an ally. This gives the campaign a very interactive and personal feel which is never easy to achieve. The fact that there are numerous different types of enemies and that they will remain hidden until the right time for maximum damage is harder to achieve than it sounds.
In multiplayer mode, there are a wide variety of options to choose from. TheWeaponserequest hub from Halo 1 is kept but it has been modified to serve the new campaign. All of the helmets from Halo 1 are available as well as many items of armour, the armour and weapons from Halo 2.
The motto of the game says it all “Hopes are few and far between, Dreams are sweet, But to Dream a hero, Is a great thing to do.” This is not quite true. Throughout the game a number of different characters are introduced who will give the player added depth and importance as the game progresses. The first person perspective of the game and the previous game’s artificial intelligence have both been adapted to achieve a new level of realism. This means that the new enemy types are very challenging to defeat but are also much harder to identify.
The game is broken into eight chapters, with the first four chapters being the core story-line, while the latter four chapters consist of bonus games taking place across the different alien races in the story. These bonus games are basically mini-games that can be played at any point during the game, although they usually do not contribute to the main story. In fact, playing through the first four chapters of the game will only give the player a feeling of what the game is like at the start of the next segment.
This is the case with most games nowadays, and games like Halo usually have a lot of value to the player that keeps people coming back to play the game even though they know most of the game is going to be tedious.
Although Halo 2 has generally positive reviews, it is the most anticipated game of the year and those who try to wait for it will soon find out that it will sell out in record time. Microsoft and other game developers have been posing a number of great questions with Halo 2, mainly with the dynamic multiplayer experience the game offers. Those who do not want to wait until the official release date will try to buy Halo 2 before the Halo-less edition comes out or after Christmas. Getting hold of a copy of Halo 2 is still considered to be a feat in itself.