Halo 2 Anniversary Review

Introduction

Halo 2 was the hit sequel to Halo Combat Evolved. It was developed by Bungie and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It was released in 2004 on Xbox, and released in 2014 for Xbox One as part of the Master Chief Collection.

Review

The Halo ring is destroyed. The Covenant have learned the location of Earth. Little do they know that it’s filled with humans, who are trained to fight back! So not only do they not have the fleet size to be able to take on the UNSC on their home turf, they also don’t have the knowledge of the planet. 

The story is told from two points this time around. One from Master Chief as he fights the Covenants who are trying to take over Earth, and then you have the viewpoint of the Arbiter. Who is doing the bidding of the Prophets. But there is discourse and disloyalty throughout the Covenant. As the Elites are falling out of favour, and the race of Brutes are basically committing a coup.

The story is amazingly told through excellently remastered cutscenes, and lore videos that you’re able to find throughout the game, if you happen to find terminals in the levels. I found quite a few, and to be honest I wasn’t sure if they added more to the story, or just deeper lore to the entire universe. So it’s hard to say if they’re important, unless you’re dead set on knowing all the lore. But just as the issues that Reach had, and a lot of games in the series seem to have, there are no subtitles in the levels! So when people are explaining the story beats in the levels, and you don’t happen to hear it, you don’t know what’s happening or why!

The game plays like the other many games in the series. So it’s really hard to talk about gameplay. Especially if you’ve read my other coverage. It’s a basic first person shooter, where you hip fire more than you would fire from aiming down the sights of the gun. But at least this instalment lets you dual wield your weapons! Was it worth it? Not really, as I never really used the feature. It just felt kind of useless, and made reloading my weapons take so unbelievably long. I wouldn’t say there’s a bigger importance on plasma weapons this time around, but they are more frequent. So a lot of the time I was carrying two plasma weapons, and I hated them. They feel like I’m just shooting spitballs at my enemies.

This time around there are actually some boss fights though! Sort of. The enemies that are classified as bosses are just bullet sponges. There’s no special mechanics to them, or set pieces. They just run around the area and try to kill you, while they also soak up all of your bullets. Sure you have some AI soldiers running around with you, but they never actually do anything for you. I don’t even know if their bullets damage the bosses.

The remastered graphics of the game look great. But the one thing that really wasn’t great was that the remastered graphics made the game look a whole lot darker. Just like with the first Halo on the Master Chief Collection, you can switch the look with one tap of a button. A lot of the time I kept it on the original graphics, mostly because it made seeing around, a whole lot easier. But if I was in a bright area, I used the remastered looks.

Rating

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Cutscenes Look Amazing
  • Story Was Interesting
  • Switching Graphics On The Touch Of A Button

Cons:

  • No Subtitles In Levels
  • Too Many Plasma Weapons
  • Remastered Graphics Make The Game Darker

Summary

Halo 2 really improved on what the first one did. With better level design and a deeper story. Yes the game is basically the same as the last, but it was still interesting to see the fight come to earth. It’s just unfortunate that there’s such a heavy reliance on plasma weapons. I can’t wait to keep going with this series.

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Game & Developer Information

Developer Website: Bungie
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Microsoft Game Studios
Publisher Socials: Twitter

Images – https://www.igdb.com/

Halo 2 Anniversary Cinematic Launch Trailer [Official]

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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