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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Quick Final Impressions: Halo 2

I’ve been playing Halo: Combat Evolved on PC for years, but never picked up the second one until recently, mostly due to needing Windows Vista or above to install the game.  That always bothered me because I believe it was nothing more than a marketing move by Microsoft to help Vista sales as Vista was fairly new when Halo 2 dropped for PC. 

I played through and enjoyed the campaign mode more than the original campaign.  The original’s campaign always felt really repetitive to me, even when the game first came out.  Halo 2 still felt a little repetitive at times but offered more variety and took a story that I didn’t find all that interesting and made it a little more engaging.  Adding certain levels where you play as an Elite was a big step in the right direction in my eyes. 

The new melee weapons, namely the energy sword and gravity hammer, were a blast to use whenever I got my hands on them, but I wasn’t too excited about any of the new firearms.  There were problems with the way the game controlled though.  You moved a little slower than the first game, and you jumped like you were on the moon.   It just felt off to me and far less smooth than the previous game.  For some reason the tab button which was used in the first game to switch weapons became an additional throw grenade button, so one of the first things I did in the game was blow myself up.  Not a big issue, as you can easily map your own controls but I couldn’t figure out why they changed that particular key.

Now the multiplayer is why I still play the original Halo, and I was hoping for some really fun multiplayer action in Halo 2, but I didn’t find it fun.  This Halo was built with the Xbox controller in mind like the first game, but when they ported it to PC, they didn’t make any changes to compensate for it being on a different platform other than removing the aim assist thing that Halo has when playing with an Xbox controller.  I have a feeling when you push the thumbstick further on the Xbox controller in Halo 2 you run a little faster, but that doesn’t exist when using a keyboard.  I think that might be what’s making it feel slower to me, but I’m not sure if it’s really what’s going on.  Also, this game allows you to use the Xbox controllers that hook to your PC, which gives anyone playing with a controller aim assist, while anyone using a keyboard doesn’t have that feature.  What it really comes down to though, is that I don’t care for the multiplayer maps in Halo 2 anywhere near as much as I liked the ones in the first game.  This comes down to personal preference though; they’re not bad; I’m just not a fan of the layouts.


  1. I found Halo 2 to be a huge improvement over the first game. I found the first game to be quite rubbish actually with the back tracking and extremely long levels being a major annoyance. I have no idea about how it would play on the PC mind you.

    By the way, I'm enjoying your short but sweet "Quick Final Impressions" posts.

  2. I'm totally with you in regards to the backtracking, long levels, and overall redundancy found in the first game. The second one was a huge improvement in those aspects. Really the only thing I liked less were the multiplayer maps (and the control issues but I think that was just a PC issue)

    I'm glad you're liking the Quick Final Impressions Posts! I've been meaning to get some more full reviews of both software and hardware up but I keep putting too much on my table.