Universal acclaim - based on 91 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 964 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Covenant alien race threatens to destroy all humankind, and the only thing standing in its way is Master Chief, a genetically enhanced supersoldier. Master Chief returns in Halo 2, which features new vehicles, weapons, environments, and more. This time, you can interact with your environment, wield two weapons at the same time, board opponents' vehicles, and even switch sides to play the role of a Covenant Elite. Halo 2 also supports broadband multiplayer action via Xbox Live. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 89 out of 91
  2. Negative: 0 out of 91
  1. I can say with complete honesty that no other first-person shooter can touch Bungie's epic in terms of level design, gunplay, sheer action or multiplayer entertainment.
  2. From the huge gameplay twist early on, to taking down a giant walking tank, to way late in the game when you team up with certain...teammates, all the way to an end that'll leave you with the same breathless feeling you had when you first watched "The Empire Strikes Back"...moments like these turn a fun game into a monumental experience.
  3. Microsoft and Bungie have created a gigantic bell that sounds like thunder and reverberates with a fury worthy of a gale-force hurricane. It's not perfect, but get in front of it, and wonderful things - wonderful destructive things - are bound to happen. [Dec 2004, p.72]
  4. A fantastic example of pure artistic vision coupled with serious technological know-how.
  5. 95
    It's a game that deserves every superlative attached to it, a title so well-rounded and technically superior that it demands to be played. [Offline review only - includes multiplayer]
  6. The system works well, even if it is different from what you are used to. Stop whining, learn how to create a party for custom games and enjoy the benefits of the matchmaking system the rest of the time. It's not perfect but neither is the traditional server list model.
  7. I felt so screwed out of some sort of satisfaction, screwed out of more levels off of the Halo, screwed out of many hours of my life that I just poured into one of the most amazingly bad excuses for a single-player first-person shooter campaign. I was bored, I was tired and by the end of it, I was just really pissed off.

See all 91 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 52 out of 464
  1. AustinR.
    Dec 13, 2004
    Hands down, the most legendary game in history!
  2. AndrewG.
    Feb 14, 2007
    I don't understand how anyone could say that Halo 2 online was bad - this was the best online game I ever played (save Counterstrike).
  3. May 27, 2012
    Probably my favorite war shooter multiplayer game. Had so much fun with this one. One of the best multiplayers ever.
  4. Aug 26, 2012
    This game is the sequel to one of the best game of all time! Great campaign, really fun missions and you can play as the Arbiter in some missions. Multiplayer is just amazing and improved on the multiplayer (BT). And halo 4 will be awesome, HALO FTW!!!!!!! Halo 2 9.6/10 Expand
  5. Aug 17, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. An improvement on the first game. I enjoyed the Covenant parts of the game and I had no problem with the cliff-hanger ending. Needless to say that fans of the first game will enjoy this. Expand
  6. AlistairF.
    Jan 21, 2005
    Halo 2 - The biggest let down in gaming history? Probably. Halo 2 is not a bad game as such, its just that nothing stands out and their are better FPS games on the Xbox including Halo and Chronicles of Riddick to name a couple. So whats wrong with the game? Well the graphics do look better close up, but the texture pop-up is quite bad and you can see the texture change to a more basic one after just a few steps back from the object. So they are not really pushing the graphics in any way. They have addedd better models and more detailed textures at the expense of having quite a lot of pop-up to keep the frame rate up. The story is pretty poor also, it does not feel as epic as the first game, they could have had a massive struggle on Earth between Humans and Covenant but they took the story in other directions, which I feel was to the detrement of the game. They should have kept the story simple, it worked with the first game, why change it? I dont want to give anything away but the ending feels like a cop out too and that their is a few levels missing from the end. The multiplayer system is a good idea and the match up system works quite well in matching you with equal players, the only problem is that the actual multiplayer gameplay is not as good as Halo 1. Its basically just a "spray-a-thon" first one to pull the trigger wins. The lack of health has taken all strategy away from the games. The CTF and other team modes should have been quite good but most people who play online seem to completely misunderstand the idea of team play so its a frustrating waste of time. The level design with exception of two or three is quite uninspiring. On the plus side the game controls are great and the AI has improved a bit. It also sounds quite good. Its an average game that really doesnt justify the Hype that surrounded it. Expand
  7. Eric
    Dec 19, 2004
    Granted, I don't think that this game truly deserves a 0, but it is very far from the greatness of the first Halo: Combat Evolved. Consider the unsatisfying storyline, the poor implementation of XBOX Live, or the removal of much of the "skill" elements (too often, firefights become two people circling each other with twin SMGs). It is enough for it to earn the title of Halo 2: Combat DE-volved. Expand

See all 464 User Reviews