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Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 171 Ratings

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  • Summary: The saga continues with Halo 2 the international award-winning sequel to the highly successful and critically acclaimed Halo: Combat Evolved. In this sequel, the battle comes to Earth, and Master Chief, a genetically enhanced super soldier, is the only thing standing between the relentless alien Covenant and the destruction of all humankind. Exciting Single-Player Gameplay: Experience first hand the epic struggle between Master Chief and the Covenant armada. Brandish dual-wield weapons Covenant arms and pilot human and non-human vehicles and aircraft to battle intelligent AI alien enemies. Halo 2 for Windows Vista taps into the power of Live Anywhere, a service similar to Xbox Live, to deliver online matchmaking for PC gamers. The service enables Windows Vista gamers all over the globe to connect via their PCs and play on an innovative and competitive online forum. New Multiplayer Map Editor: The game also features the all-new new Map Editor, guaranteeing additional new, fan-generated content in the future. The Halo 2 community can now tap their endless creative potential to develop an unlimited number of user-created multiplayer levels. Complete Community Freedom: Halo 2 for Windows Vista offers gamers the freedom to host their own dedicated servers for maximum multiplayer action. [Microsoft] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Even two years later the game is easily one of the most exciting experiences in the gaming world. The online play upgrades and new fancy look will please even the staunchiest of PC elite players.
  2. While the single player may end like a car crash, the multiplayer seems to live forever.
  3. For those gamers that are already running Vista on a beefy enough system, have not yet experienced Halo 2 on the Xbox or are just looking for some fun multiplayer action on the PC, this would not be a bad title to add to your collection.
  4. Halo 2 for Vista is a solid game that probably won't appeal to anyone who's played any recent high-profile PC shooters.
  5. I expected more of Halo 2 on Vista, and I suspect that you’ll feel the same way too.
  6. Halo 2, you see, isn't truly awful, it's just achingly, repulsively mediocre, with a galumphing, clumsy story, poorly orchestrated action and bad music. It lacks bombast to the point where the nuclear destruction of a city on Earth doesn't seem all that dramatic. [June 2006, p.80]
  7. Though Microsoft's Games for Windows Live is an interesting system, they shouldn't have used a poor port of Halo 2 to demonstrate it, and instead focused on creating a great new title for the PC.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 53
  2. Negative: 21 out of 53
  1. Sep 24, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. halo 2 for the president Expand
  2. Mar 22, 2012
    Now my review is going to be based on when this was released and not what it is compared to the games of "now".

    Halo 2 was one of those
    games for me that I was addicted to; the totally immersing story, the enemies the vehicles and most certainly Master Chief.

    Granted the graphics were not a good on the Xbox version but on the the PC version they were improved immensely. I have very fond memories of Halo 2, very fond memories indeed that probably set me onto my current gaming life.
  3. Aug 12, 2010
    My favorite Halo game of all time. It introduced dual-wielding and showed the true power of the Xbox at the time. The story is second best to Halo CE. But in this Halo you go through the story of Master Chief and the Arbiter. Very good game, a must play for Halo fans. Sadly, Microsoft has recently cut off the Online to all Xbox Originals so no online on this one. But my only complaint is the extremely hard difficulty that Legendary offers, very unfair, very punishing, and NOT recommended. Overall, good story and fun game-play, check it out ;D. Expand
  4. Oct 3, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I must confess to being very dissapointed with Halo when I finally got it on Xbox all those years ago. It was an xbox exclusive, a game that had originally been planned for PC release and was going to be a large open world game where as the masterchief you roamed the Halo hooking up with ragtag bands of marines and took the fight to covenant while trying to uncover the secrets of the halo, no 2 playthroughs would play the same if you made different decisions and they even hinted at allowing "drop in" co-op in the early interviews.

    What we got was fairly much that story but on rails and towards the third quarter of the game it was quite repetitive. Sure it had all the beauty we knew to expect from the early videos but the single player was just... ok. Co-op was great fun 2 plyayer on xbox and if not for that I probably never would have completed the game on the console.

    Then halo 2 arrived and it started off very cool, it let you play as the MasterChief to begin with fighting the covenant on earth in some very memorable battles. Then you got to play as the fallen Arbiter on the Covenant side which was also cool.


    Here the game took a turn for the worse, back in the master chiefs shoes you are transported to another halo like the first one... ugh. It was at this point in H2 on xbox that I stopped playing, recalling how horribly repetitive the areas in the later halo game had been. Being that I do not like the concept of paying my ISP and then paying for Xboxlive service I never took either game online.

    Since then Halo 1 came to PC and was since upgraded to Halo CE or the Halo Custom Edition which is a lot of fun, the fact that the CE allows custom maps and mods (theres even a halo 2 weapon mod and the community is still active with new maps) has kept it alive far past where I though it would exist and the Vs gameplay with vehicles is actually a lot of fun.

    Eventually Halo2 also appeared on PC but only for Vista users. I bought it a year or two back for about $10 in the clearance bin at JB Hifi alongside copies of Shadowrun (that other Vista only games for windows launch title) with the intent of seeing if the online community was any good for it. I installed it and sat down to play a little single player to tweak my settings and get a feel for the weapons.....

    OMFG the mouse even at speed 10 (Max) felt like I was trying to turn in a tub of concrete, keyboard was permenantly mapped and you couldnt edit it (not a big deal I guess if you like WASD standard settings) and general game performance was pretty lousy. I stopped playing the game but didnt uninstall it.

    Recently I was reading some gufff about the next Halo installment in passing & one of the user comments was that Halo 2 is hard to surpass as the best of the series which I found surprising, more surprising were other comments by quite a few people who agreed that Halo 2 was the best of the series thus far. Hmm I thought, maybe I should give it another chance ? ugh but the controls were horrible and the game performance terrible.... well sort of.

    After a bunch of tweaking in nvidia control panel & maxing out all my halo 2 graphics options the mouse is actually quite responsive and the gameplay not choppy. Turns out the game tries to limit itself to 30fps capped, if your system exceeds this (especially if you have vsynch off and are pre-rendering frames) then the game starts dropping frames which makes it look choppy and interferes with your mouse control. long story short I am 90% happy with how it feels now.

    So I played through the first Masterchief section & the Arbiter section, and arrive back on the fourth Halo where I abandoned the game on xbox. Oh dear how wrong I was, after a slightly slow start to this section there are some extremely exciting shootouts and vehicle gameplay to enjoy. The environments look a little dated (low res textures by todays standards) but the player/creature/vehicle models were always incredibly detailed in the halo games & got a lot of love to the point they still look exceptional IMHO.

    My recommendation, if you havent tried Halo 2 on PC and you can find it someplace cheap grab it. The Story and single player gameplay are well worth it (sadly no co-op in PC version), multiplayer seems dead with Halo CE being the far more active title for multiplayer (no doubt due to the modding options). That said the Ingle Player portion of Halo 2 is really good and worth a look for FPS fans, though I am not sure how available it is in 2012, a recent stroll through some local games retailers showed me they are still stocking Halo (probably because people need the game keys for Halo CE) for PC but no sign of Halo 2.
  5. Jun 13, 2012
    Probably my favorite game in the series besides the first one. Played it for PC and Xbox, and the PC version is much smoother and better. The only thing it lacks is a multiplayer base since it's an older title. If you can run at 120fps, it looks great even though the textures and engine are older. Still overall a great game in the series. Just wish the multiplayer had actual people in it :/ Expand
  6. ZxZ
    Jun 5, 2013
    halo basically is the original, same gameplay, same game modes and it does not feel like a new experience, this is a sign that better graphics do not make a good game Expand
  7. Jul 1, 2012
    For those who loved the original, Halo 2 was a disappointment. The single player plot was very disjointed and confusing, and at some point it didn't really matter what was going on, the point was just to frag more. But doesn't that make it just a souped-up Doom-like shooting gallery? Game play was fairly good, but still put to shame by its predecessors like the Unreal Tournament series.

    On the plus side, the colors and textures were improved and even more lush than the original. A couple new weapons, new aliens and truly beautiful level architecture helped redeem the game and keep the score in the "good" range. The cut scenes were interesting, but the disjointedness of the plot made those insufficient. Overall, well worth playing, but don't expect it to be particularly memorable.

See all 53 User Reviews