Editor’s Note: This is the second portion of our week-long review of Halo 2: the entire Master Chief Collection! Stay tuned for more during the week, as we provide our final verdict on the sport.
The effort has always been closest to my heart, filled with complex characters whose motives and goals (and affiliations) are not known until the action-packed past action of this game. Two excellent warriors should sacrifice everything from game’s end to be able to complete the fight against the Covenant. More times loom over them just beyond the shadow of space.
Back in 2004, Halo 2 had some very big shoes to match. Whether you think it did or did not, whether you think Halo 2 is the most crucial entry in Halo canon or a pass, that’s insignificant. 2014 is about observing the title, and what a grand reception it’s been thrown.
THE NECESSARY REVIEW STUFF
Really, I am just giving you complete disclosure here. Let us get the review-y components out of this way before I get back to telling you why this game is a masterpiece. Be aware that Halo 2: Anniversary will not be receiving a numbered score out of us. We’ll save that for the entire Master Chief Collection review on Friday.
Much like Halo: Anniversary prior to it, Halo 2: Anniversary is very decked out — even a graphic upgrade, an entirely re-recorded score, also re-done cinematics that perfectly complement the game’s excellent narrative. For all intents and purposes, Halo 2 is still the game you know and enjoy — all of the familiar things are still theredown to the first controller settings (which I have to confess is a little too dated for me to use) — and that’s a fantastic thing.follow the link halo xbox iso At our site
And of course Halo 2 doesn’t reveal its wrinkles sometimes. It certainly does. Not only are the controls blasphemous to the standard shooting controllers, but activity sequences occasionally tend to move a little too slowly. Chief does not always react when you want him to and the AI is even worse. In fact, I had completely forgotten precisely how bad the AI was again back in 2004. Or was it only Halo? The purpose is that you don’t ever wish to get trapped in a firefight with Marine NPCs covering your spine. They will be dead in minutes, and you’re going to be left to fend for yourself pretty much the whole game. But that’s how you enjoy it?
Halo 3 and 4 (especially the latter) were more of an update to gameplay than I ever recalled. Halo 2 occasionally feels stiff. Mobility was not exactly what it is now. I do recall feeling as though Chief was overpowered by now the next episode rolled around. He was versatile, faster, stronger. Basically untouchable. Beating that game on Heroic was no perspiration.
After spending hours using Halo 2: Anniversary, I feel like maybe today’s console FPS fanbase is too pampered. The sunrise of Call of Duty did actually streamline enemy AI to the point where it’s become a shooting gallery. However, the enemies in Halo 2 appear bright, swarming you at just the proper moments or holding back and selecting off me at long distance. The hierarchy in command is obviously apparent through a firefight. Take the Elite and the Grunts shed their minds, running in circles like loose chicken until you’ve struck them to death. It’s more than I can say about Rodriguez and Jenkins around there.
Perhaps now’s idle enemy AI is a symptom of terrible storytelling and world-building. But the ancient Halo games, particularly the first two, have a great deal of time developing the Covenant from hierarchy to culture to spiritual beliefs — achieved so sparingly, in reality, together with cues during gameplay and Cortana’s comment. I understand why Bungie chose to once again utilize an AI company to feed you little tidbits regarding the enemies from Destiny. Too bad that it doesn’t work as well.
Shooting your way through the devastated Cario streets is ten times more fun than any other world city level in the modern modern shooters. The roads are claustrophic and spin and turn as a maze. You can find snipers at every turn, inconveniently placed where they’ll definitely get a fantastic chance on you. The squads come in little packs along with the stealth Elites appear like the killing blow as soon as you’re overwhelmed by plasma screen. There is no sitting in cover in such close quarters.
The same may be said of”Sacred Icon,” an Arbiter degree that still disturbs the goddamn crap from me. Every new area, most of which provide larger spaces to move around in compared to Cairo, is overrun by the Flood, who will chase you all the way back to the beginning point of the degree when it means they can feast upon your flesh. There are several drops in”Sacred Icon” which make you feel like you’re plunging deeper in the fires of Flood-filled Hell. It is done so unbelievably well.
Ah, but that I won’t review the already oft-reviewed. Everything that felt and looked great in 2004 looks and feels much better in 2014. It’s an excellent remaster. There are even a few added melodies inside the new and improved score which deliver their very epic moments. Of course, I believe Halo 2 has one of the best video game scores ever made.
Couple of technical things: Apart from rigid movement, there’s the occasional graphical glitch. Nothing game-breaking, however you can tell the source material has been pushed to the graphical limitation. Driving vehicles is still sort of the worst. There’s nothing about doing what with one joystick that really irks me. But you get used to it. It is much better than letting Michelle Rodriguez (she’s really in this game as a spunky lady Marine) drive, though.
Oh, and also the BIG ONE. You’ll notice that I haven’t even bothered citing the multiplayer component. Even though Halo 2’s great old multiplayer is still my favorite in the pre-mastered series (I am hoping I just coined this expression — does it even make sense?) , the entire multiplayer expertise in The Master Chief Collection is fairly broken. With this particular write-up, I abstained from attempting to join a match playlist from the other matches. Attempting to acquire a match in any of those Halo 2 playlists is a large disappointment. Next, I will try the other playlists, but that I do not expect any of the matchmaking to work. In case you have not heard, Microsoft understands about the matchmaking issue and is trying to repair it. Sit tight.
I’d play a small amount of co-op using a Den of all Geek pal, but it took us forever to setup online. But probably not. I’ll be too busy blowing your head off in Team SWAT.
“WHAT IF YOU MISS?”
“I will not,” replies the Master Chief, as he prepares to launch herself into space using a giant Covenant bomb. I wonder whether it was with the same confidence that Bungie dove forward into the growth of Halo 2…Just like I stated above, the programmer had to follow-up on a video game phenomenon. So I am sure that they were panicking only a little between popping fresh bottles of champagne. 1 thing is for sure, Bungie took much larger risks with Halo 2. And that is commendable in the current formulaic play-it-safe strategy to first-person shooters.
We will not get too deep into the background of the development of Halo 2 (though that’s coming later in the week), however some details deserve a mention: Bungie had more story and concepts than could fit in Halo: CE. Obviously, after earning Microsoft a bazillion dollars, they had the leeway and writer service to get a bit more difficult with the sequel.
And that’s how you receive a tale of two towns, one half of the game starring an ultra good man fighting to get a militaristic society that wants to spread out to the world and another half starring a ambigious alien who goes on suicide missions from the name of some mislead theocratic authorities. Nowadays, we understand that both societies pretty much suckbut back thenwe had just discovered the tip of this iceberg.
By having the ability to peek at both sociopolitical environments, we’re able to actually unfold the entire world of Halo. We understand the rulers of the Covenant are not guided by the gods by their own desperation. By the start of the second act of the game –“The Arbiter” to”Quarantine Zone” — we know that the Covenant does not know exactly what the Halo bands are effective at, or rather that the Prophets won’t disclose the truth. Things get way grayer as the story progresses. Whether you want it or not, being in the Arbiter’s sneakers enables you to take that initial step into uncovering a living, breathing galaxy par with all the Star Wars universe.
Bungie were bold enough to tell the narrative of either side, and it pays off exceptionally well. While Halo: CE’s narrative is in large part an adventure narrative, 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 one character’s place in his sterile society and that societies set in the universe.
Most of all, it answers the thematic questions posed in the beginning of the game. Can the Covenant have to proceed to the Fantastic Journey? I think most of us know the reply to this by game’s conclusion. Is the Arbiter a honorable warrior fighting for the better? From the time the credits roll, indeed he is. The Arbiter and his culture have changed.
I know that lots of fans of the first game didn’t like the Arbiter plot, preferring the adventure feel of this Master Chief parts of this game, and that is fair. It didn’t help that the Brutes, the faction that could ultimately topple the established Covenant arrangement, were severely rushed out through creation. But it was a risk worth taking. A logical person for developers who are utilised to adapting high concept theopolitical science fiction into their games. I’d dare say that around the stage, (because Destiny does not have a lot of narrative at the present time ) Halo 2 is the largest leap in narrative Bungie have ever performed. This is why it takes its position as the best game in the Halo series.
After Halo 2, the next two major installations (sandwiched in the middle is the excellent and daring ODST) were the regular sci-fi shooter cuisine. Nothing was ever quite like this game .