5.0

Halo 2 review
Just Say No To Halo 2

The good:

Excellent graphics. Fully optimized for Xbox Live.

The bad:

The game takes forever to get going at first. Cutscenes are way too long. Not enough action-good battles are few and far between.

Summary:

After giving in to the hype I recently decided to rent this title and play it for a few days...in some ways it fits it's massive billing but has some notable shortfalls.
First up, the graphics-you'll notice they're extremely impressive with almost Hollywood-quality cutscenes and attention to detail. You'll feel like you're watching a sci-fi epic at times. The characters also show a lot of detail, especially in the facial areas and you can clearly see their faces moving when they talk. The frame rate is excellent with no real hints of slowdown when many objects are on the screen at once. The sounds are excellent too, with a lot of good music and frequent spoken dialogue during the battles, which helps add an extra sense of realism to the shooting.
Controls are complex and difficult to learn at first-while one stick controls your actual movements, you have to learn to use the other one to look around. Virtually every button on the Xbox controller gets a workout, so naturally it takes time to learn switching and dual-wielding weapons. Other than that, they feel quite responsive. The gameplay is intense and furious in the times you're actually blasting aliens. My biggest complaint is some of the cutscenes seem to drag on forever and there's too much just running around and waiting. I would rather just be able to shoot everything that moves compared to sit around bored!
While this is actually a very good game for what it does, I would only recommend this for die-hard Halo fans and those who have less than no life and can actually lock themselves away for a long time playing this...I couldn't. If you're new to the franchise, might want to seek out the original first and see if you can handle it before putting down the $50+ for this title. It just failed to really hold my interest for very long.

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