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Halo 2

Preview By: Tim Mitchell

Developer:   Bungie
Publisher:   Microsoft
Genre:   FPS
Est. Release:   11-9-04
Date Posted:  

9-8-04

Coming to a game store near you on the now famous date of 11.9.04, Halo 2 is bringing with it improvements of all kinds over the first game.  But the single most talked about new feature is also the biggest - Halo 2 will support play over Xbox Live in a big way.

But it won’t just be a glorified multiplayer game. Halo 2 promises all that you’d expect from a sequel in the single player arena as well- new Covenant enemies, new weapons (Including the awesome Covenant Energy Sword from the first Halo), new vehicles and improved graphics.  The repetitive environments of the first game are gone, replaced by beautiful new levels populated with destructible pillars, boxes and even light sources.  Part of the reason is that the new game is set (at least in part) on Earth itself, which the Covenant has finally located.  They’re attempting to wipe out humanity at its source, but Master Chief isn’t about to let them get away with it.

But despite the exciting new story, the primary focus of the hordes of drooling fans has been the multiplayer.  Aside from the Live play, there are many new elements to the game that promise days of pure action bliss.  Vehicles will now display battle damage, pieces of the hull blowing off and revealing the vulnerable mechanics underneath.  Several of them will also be board-able, which means you can hop on, toss the rider off and take control yourself.  The high-flying Covenant Banshees will be in multiplayer as well, so expect some aerial battles.  And there are levels large enough to take full advantage of all these vehicles, as Halo 2 promises arenas that are larger, more varied, and just overall “better”.

 

Speaking of variety, players will be able to mix and match one-handed weapons with the new dual wielding feature.  You can even wield the energy sword along with a ranged weapon!  There’s a downside though, as while dual wielding you won’t be able to throw grenades or melee attack.  For even more diversity, you’ll be able to play as either a human Spartan Marine or a Covenant Elite in multiplayer, and customize your model with different colored armor and even different insignias. Pick your favorite or one for your whole team.  Speaking of teams, you’ll be able to pit more than two against each other in a single game.  Three vs. three vs. three, four vs. four vs. four vs. four, or for you macho types, five vs. five vs. one?  The possibilities are nearly unlimited with up to 16 players per game.

It all sounds good.  It sounds really good.  Basically, they took the best selling Xbox game ever and added every improvement you could possibly imagine. But as good as it all sounds, trust me, it’s incredible when you see it in action firsthand.  Halo 2 is going to be an action-packed experience that no one with an Xbox should miss.  If you don’t have Xbox Live yet, this is the reason to get it.  If you do have Xbox Live, then you should already have this game reserved.  It’s just that simple.

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