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XBox (Games)

Halo 2 Reviews 619

SilentChris writes "As of 3 PM EST, major websites were finally 'permitted' to release their reviews of Halo 2. The verdict: near perfect scores. Check out reviews by Gamespot, IGN, and GameSpy. Bungie has done it again!"
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Halo 2 Reviews

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  • PA (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mentalflossboy ( 811716 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @08:05PM (#10749957)
    Hell, even Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] liked it.
  • Ehh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by realmolo ( 574068 ) * on Sunday November 07, 2004 @08:07PM (#10749978)
    I have an Xbox, and Halo just isn't very great. It's well-done, but it has no personality, and very little new to add to the FPS genre.

    That said, my Xbox-owning friends who had never(?!) played a multiplayer FPS game before think it's the greatest thing ever. And, if you've never played Unreal Tournament, I suppose it is. But for people who've been playing FPSs on the PC for years, Halo is only average. I imagine Halo 2 is more of the same, and the reviews seem reflect that.

  • Emphasis on AGAIN (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fsterman ( 519061 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @08:17PM (#10750061) Homepage
    What most people don't understand is that Bungie has always been one of the most innovative game houses. Halo and Halo 2 have received quite a lot of attention since MS was able to do some real push with the game. But all of Bungies games are just as impressive, and more so when you realize what a variety of new thinking they put out.
    Marathon, an FPS, to Myth, a team player RTS, to Oni a FPS/martial arts game, to Halo, possible the most creative FPS to date. If they had gotten with a big development team earlier I would love to see the games they would have produced!
    So hats off to Bungie, I want to see the next non FPS!
  • by pmc255 ( 828453 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @08:23PM (#10750106)
    Do you think that people buy the Xbox just for Halo? Or do they buy Halo because it's on the Xbox? ;)
  • Re:Again? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Firehawke ( 50498 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @08:23PM (#10750110) Journal
    What really gets me is how the Gamespot review spends over half the review glossing over the flaws and then they still give it a near-perfect score.

    I admit I actually liked the original Halo-- it had a different feel and the enemies had some character to them, but the review I just read makes Halo 2 sound like they didn't even bother to work on the biggest issues of the original at all and in fact came out a lot worse in a few areas while only improving mildly here or there.

    I guess the reviewers really ARE taking payoffs these days...
  • excuse me... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sinner0423 ( 687266 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {3240rennis}> on Sunday November 07, 2004 @08:30PM (#10750168)
    Bungie has done it again!

    Done what, exactly? Anybody who was reading the developer blog regarding the original Halo was completely disappointed by the time it hit the shelves. Bungie hyped it up to be something it wasn't, and by the time it got released, 95% of the "innovative, ground breaking" features were found in other pc/console games. The only thing that made it unique was that it was on the Xbox.

    How long did we have to wait for a PC port for this one? 2 years?

    I've played Halo 2, and controlling the game is like watching a monkey fuck a football. Sure, it's amusing, and interesting for the first minute, then it becomes frustrating and pointless. Although the graphics are awesome, and the gameplay is superb.

    It's a good game, but really.. it should be on the PC where 99% of first person shooters belong. The controls really do detract from the experience. Bungie will get my money if I see a holiday release for a PC port.
  • Re:Again? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Solder Fumes ( 797270 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @08:38PM (#10750230)
    The original Halo would have been revolutionary, the graphics and gameplay would have been advanced well beyond what anyone else had, if it had been released back when it was supposed to. On the Macintosh. Way, way, WAY before Microsoft bought Bungie, came up with the X-box idea, made the X-box, and then forced Bungie to port Halo to the X-box. Microsoft merely saw something that would cause people to buy Macintoshes, and Mac OS, so it merely bought what might hurt it. It's not "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" it's "if you might have a tiny bit less of a monopoly because of 'em, absorb them."
  • Re:Boring? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by secretsquirel ( 805445 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @08:43PM (#10750273)
    There hasn't been anything new in FPS since online gameing.
  • Re:Boring? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aweraw ( 557447 ) * <aweraw@gmail.com> on Sunday November 07, 2004 @08:49PM (#10750325) Homepage Journal
    Thats what I think...

    Halo is only thought of as 'superb' in the console arena. On PC, it was 'Just Another FPS', with nothing to distinguish it from more popular titles such as the BattelField's, FarCry, etc... the action was repetitive, the weapons bland, and the terrain was homogenous through out the entire game.

    Halo 2 I believe will be more of the same, with the only real difference between the first and this sequel being the story line, and prettier graphics. It will be loved by people who own consoles, and have yet to properly experience what an FPS should really be like. I predict that gamers who are FPS purists, will have the same gripes with this games as they did with the first one.

    IMO, the hype surrounding the first game was completely unwarranted... and thus I suspect the same will ring true when I bother getting around to play this.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2004 @08:58PM (#10750399)
    Okay, I've had enough of the people saying Halo on Xbox is only for people that have never "really gamed".

    I've gamed heaps - still remember Wolfenstein 3D when it was the best thing out there. Used to kick my friends butts at Doom and Quake. Quake 2 and beyond just didn't appeal to me though.

    Tried Unreal Tournament, and didn't like it. Just my personal preference I suppose.

    I've got an XBox, and I love Halo. Don't know why, just the feel for the game, moving around, the environments. Multiplayer is heaps of fun too. It is much easier to transport an Xbox to a friends house for some multiplayer than a whole computer. Most of my friends have a spare TV, none have a spare monitor lying around.

    Controls - don't mind them at all. I prefer to be pulling on a trigger when shooting than clicking on a button. I find using the dual analogue joysticks great for moving and looking around.

    I find the weapons and health system to be well balanced. A good player will get 3-4 kills for every one of a bad player. The point here is that a bad player can still frag a good player every now and again.

    The only complaint I have is that you run so darn s..l..o..w..l..y...

    I don't like Microsoft as much as the next /. fanboy, but I do enjoy Halo, and I do enjoy getting the XBox out every now and again for some fun.

    I'm looking forward to Halo 2. Unfortunately, exams finish for me on the 16th, so I think I might just wait a week before getting it....

  • by Yolegoman ( 762615 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:04PM (#10750441) Homepage
    Every single fucking comment in this article is about how you guys think that Halo wasn't revolutionary, Console gaming sux, and the gameplay just repeats itself over and over.

    You belittle those who find Halo fun, saying they "haven't experienced true FPS gaming".

    Well, I have news for you. Halo is JUST PLAIN DAMN FUN. Since when does anything else matter?
  • Choose One. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Askjeffro ( 787652 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:05PM (#10750450)
    1) Halo 2 2) GTA:SA 3) Metroid Echos What game would you buy if you could only buy one?
  • Re:Emphasis on AGAIN (Score:5, Interesting)

    by curtlewis ( 662976 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:08PM (#10750475)
    I think you've been jaded with time.

    Halo 1 Creativity:

    weapons - manly rockets, not those pussy quake type ones
    alien weapons that can't be reloaded, and overheat

    vehicles - first game I know of that you could DRIVE vehicles in an FPS game.

    enemies - while only a few types existed, the AI was very good, unlike the 'huge hit games' like CoD.

    Bungie didn't do the PC port, although they supervised it. And shame on them for shipping it with utter garbage for net code. Can you say milking the customer base?

    outdoor sequences - first FPS with halfway decent outdoor levels and graphics in those levels. Sure, the graphics look dated now, but they were pretty hot back then.

    Indoor sequences - walls tend to be flat, that's what walls are. The dark, moody ship levels were interesting early on, but the rubber stamp action of a rushed ship job became rather boring. Given enough time, I think they would have done it well.

    Bungie invented dual wielding and weapons with more than one firing mode back in the mid 90s with Marathon. They also veered from the overly fast, unrealistic movement of the DooMs and Quakes and went for a slower, more realistic run speed. This forces you to think more and makes it a bit less of a twitch game. You can still twitch to take out a target that suddenly appeared, but escaping from danger isn't so easy.

    No, I'm not a Bungie fan boi. But they have been historically innovative in game design, often a step ahead of the competition. But they fail to listen to fans just as much as the next game company and they ship a game too soon just like every other game company. People still buy the stuff anyways to feed their crack habit, so why put some quality into it? It's a disgusting trend in the industry, but there's no avoiding it now unless we stop thanking them for slop with the all mighty dollar.

  • by kai.chan ( 795863 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:12PM (#10750499)
    Looks like the Microsoft fanboys are marking the parent as troll even though he has his own valid opinion of the game.

    Speaking of which, why are there so many people on Slashdot with XBoxes? Aren't people on here aware of Microsoft's business tactics and their inability to innovate? If so, why continue to support the company and give them more revenue to further deter innovation and slow-down technology?

    Some of you say that your purchase won't matter. But to even have a collective on Slashdot giving Microsoft money, the fight for innovation is going to waste.
  • Re:Boring? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:14PM (#10750513) Homepage
    9/10 of the original Halo experience was playing in a LAN-party with friends.

    As I mentioned in another post, this was the first game to really break the barrier of who would attend a "LAN-party". It used to be a couple of techies with towers strapped to their backs, who knew the ins and outs of drivers and networking and would play Quake in their college dorm. Now, it's kids who bring a few Xboxes over to their friends house, hook up a couple of TVs and bam, instant social fun.

    That was the main draw of Halo, anyway. Halo 2 seems to capitalize on it: creating "parties" of up to 16 players who could be anywhere (including on the same couch), that stick together on Live. It's essentially bringing the LAN-party social experience online. That's pretty impressive (not from so much a technical standpoint, but a design standpoint).

    As for bots: while I admit it would've been nice, I've never been too pleased with bots in the past. Either they were too good (UT at the higher settings) or totally ignorant (Perfect Dark bots tended to get stuck on ladders and inclines). Give me massive multiplayer mayhem anyway. :)
  • Re:Not soo good... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:20PM (#10750563)

    I was in Electronics Boutique on Saturday, picking up Donkey Konga, and while I was chatting to one of the clerks, a guy walked in, maybe early thirties. He wanted to put down a pre-order for Halo 2.

    The other clerks took his name, phone number, etc. He then went on to run his jaw about how he hadn't been too blown away by what he'd played so far, but was going to order it anyway. Everyones jaws dropped, as this guy just stood in front of three people who make their living by selling games, and at least one more that dabbles in the idea of writing them, as this guy talked about how much software he ripped off, and how it was unfair that he had to fiddle with his modchip to use XBox live.

    Now I know a lot of people dabble in console piracy, but do you have to come out and declare it to the whole world in the middle of a computer games store? Sheesh, almost makes me begin to understand how Gord must feel some days.

  • by dancingmad ( 128588 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:32PM (#10750657)
    I'll admit I haven't played Halo 2 yet and I don't have an XBox. Most of my PS2 games are Japanese RPGs (Phantom Brave, Disgaea) and most of my Cube games are the AAA titles (Zelda, Metroid, etc.). I have played Halo 1 and I don't see what the big deal is.

    Everything Halo does has been done before, especially in Quake. Maybe the kids playing Halo now missed Quake (didn't have PCs, too young, whatever). The graphics seem pretty lack luster (if that is even a legitmate game play issue) and the single player is awful. The game can be ok in multiplayer, but I'd have more fun in a 4 way Dr. Mario or Wario Ware.

    I'm no fan of FPSes, but I was thoroughly engrossed by Metroid Prime. It perfectly translated the desperation and fear of being alone from the 2D classics into a 3D world. I have never played an FPS all the way through but I beat Prime several times. Maybe its the difference in PC gamers and console gamers (I count myself in the latter).

    Personally, I think most of the fanbase for Halo and GTA are casual American gamers who haven't grown up worshipping Japanese games. That could mean there's a legitimate movement to "American style" games in the U.S., but to me it seems like casual gamers are just that, casual.
  • by vhold ( 175219 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:38PM (#10750696)
    I couldn't agree more with the basic concept of this sentiment. Doom 1 is a nearly unplayable game by today's standards, but at the time it was the most unbelievable thing ever to me.

    A decent portion of my marketable skills were once all attributable to the desire to play networked Doom. I spent 6 months convincing a couple key faculty at my high school in early 94 that we should build a computer lab, and after a year of acquiring and repairing free 286s and networking them, we finally maanaged to scrounge four grungy 386s just barely powerful enough to play doom with no sound and network them, it was the most incredible thing ever.

    Based on our successes we eventually ended up getting a real budget to build a 486 lab and we went so far as to operate a Doom and Descent arcade for money during lunch and after school to buy more computers. That's some seriously pre-columbine stuff right there.

    A couple sensitive faculty caught wind of the full picture of what was going on, but because our school was so underfunded our faculty supporters were able to convince them it was harmless enough to be worth it. In fact, their suspcisions were instigated by the fact we had a computer lab at all, it seemed impossible to them after 20 or so years of only being able afford new books every 7 years or so.

    Even though I don't particularly employ the specific technical skills I acquired then anymore, the first experience of working with others in an adult mentality and actually creating something matured me from a nihilistic wannabe punk to something resembling a half way useful person. Earning the right to be treated like an adult in an environment where traditionally I'd been treated like a criminal was priceless. Thanks Doom, it took my selfish desire to play you networked to grow up.. .. ?

    When Halo came out, I was basically, eh, that's pretty good, nice use of physics there, a bit slow paced and repetitive level design though. The fact that so many people saw it as the best game ever was pretty alien to me without the perspective of how totally floored I was by the original Doom. I still have these emotions burned into my brain by just how blown away I was by the leaked alpha and beta. It was that extreme sentiment that actually changed my life.
  • by dfj225 ( 587560 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:58PM (#10750795) Homepage Journal
    I don't care that I'm burning karma here...but it was on my mind so I figured I would post it anyway...

    /. has to be one of the most negative sites I have ever read. No matter what the topic is, it seems like only the most negative comments get modded up (unless, of course, the topic is linux). I wonder, and I'm serious here, the people who don't enjoy halo and think that halo 2 is a dissapointment, what would you have changed?
  • by cbreaker ( 561297 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @10:21PM (#10750956) Journal
    While Halo was mildly entertaining for a little while, I've found many FPS games to be really good and lots of fun since Halo.

    I mean, the game was okay and everything, but I'm still not sure what all the hype is about. It doesn't seem any different from any other FPS, and I've played the whole game. Just your normal Progress Quest stuff, with some decent graphics. Unfortunately, putting the game on the Xbox first really limits you to the capabilities of that machine - new games out now are significantly more advanced then what the Xbox can do for you.

    I know a lot of Halo geeks are probably angry at my post but maybe instead of just bitching at me, someone could tell me perhaps what I've missed that makes the game into the incredible fantastic "mind blowing" game that it's claimed to be.

  • by Jagasian ( 129329 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @10:28PM (#10750994)
    Exactly. Halo is in 2004 what the original Quake was for PC gamers back in 1996: internet/LAN based multiplayer first person shooter. The PC gaming crowd has been professing the importance and fun of first person shooters, especially multiplayer ones, for a long long time now.

    Halo is nothing special except it delivers this great genre to more people than Quake did, simply because consoles are more affordable and easier to setup than a PC gaming system.

    Of course, a PC capable of playing Quake these days can be had for a couple hundred bucks.
  • Re:Boring? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by strict3 ( 827367 ) <strictfoo-public@noSpaM.yahoo.com> on Sunday November 07, 2004 @10:31PM (#10751006)
    Halo was not "born on the console". It was born on the Macintosh. Microsoft got hold of it and changed that, however.

    Sorry, but Halo was being developed on PCs for the Mac and PC. This has now come full circle with the early Xbox Next development kits consisting of high end custom Apple G5s.
  • by harikiri ( 211017 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @10:35PM (#10751024)
    It was the story in Halo that I loved.

    About the only thing I disliked was the somewhat repetitive umm... levels where you had to get away from the zombie like thingies, whatever they were.

    The final level where you have to get out of the exploding ship, with the pumping soundtrack psyching you on, just made it for me. I have to checkout Halo 2 just because of the memory that Halo left me with.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) * on Sunday November 07, 2004 @11:01PM (#10751208)
    I agree with this post. I know of a few groups of people that play Halo and they love it partly because to get eight people playing they use four TV's and four XBoxes.

    It's so much easier for people to put together a few TV's and consoles than it is a whole LAN setup and multiple computers. I've played with a few LAN groups now and then. and you have to admit there is a LOT more fiddling that goes on when several computers get together than when you are hooking up consoles.

    I did enjoy the few times I've tried multiplayer Halo, but I have to admit I still prefer UT2004 for my online FPS needs.

    I do kind of yearn to play Halo 2 though, just to see the story unfold - I fell into listening to the whole set of audio on iLoveBees and am really curious where the story goes. But, I can wait until it comes to some other platforms next year.
  • by Dr Reducto ( 665121 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @11:01PM (#10751209) Journal
    This may sound like trolling, but whenever /.ers think something sucks, and write long posts about how people won't like it, it will be a big hit.

    I see a few really long rants about blandness/lack of originality, so I am going to bet Halo 2 will break sales records.

    Slashdot is not good at figuring out what is going to be popular. What's cool thouh is that it is so reliably wrong, you can set your watch by it.

    My favorite examples:
    iPod/iPod Mini
    and now, Halo 2
  • by kai.chan ( 795863 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @11:28PM (#10751396)
    It is not even about how great Halo is. It is about Microsoft's proven ability to take over a market and stop innovation. Every purchase of Halo and XBox does lead to a world without video game evolution. You want evidence of this? Think IE. Does the browser war ring a bell? Do you even read Slashdot and the numerous security exploits readily available on IE?

    Also, it is common knowledge that Microsoft takes a huge loss on each console. It's been posted numerous times on Slashdot, as well as many other places. Do your own research instead of asking me to spoon-feed you such common information. But perhaps such a trait causes you to loyally following Microsoft without thinking.

    If you are a consumer and not a stockholder, it is absurd for you to be cheering for Microsoft. You are thinking about your "fun" in the present, but fail to recognize the effects in the future. You call me a junior, but obviously, you are too senile to think ahead.
  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @11:47PM (#10751494) Homepage Journal
    well for one, they rave about how big and vast halo 2 is. it isn't. they even mention the length of the game and still don't bitch. then, of course you could call a "it's obvious the story needs a sequel" ending 'curious' like ign puts it.

    **So, with nearly four times the amount of discourse from the first game and almost 20,000 lines of dialog, Bungie's story is deeply woven into every aspect of Halo 2, from the heart-stopping first hour to the climactic (and perhaps curious) ending. During the course of the game's 15 levels and just like the first game, you'll hear dozens of funny quips and memorable lines delivered by human soldiers that reverberate throughout its 10-15 hours of gameplay (yeah, that's what I said, 10-15 hours)**

    enuff said, they got 10 hours of gameplay, and make it sound like it's big(10 hours isn't. and the game feels like it's 'cut' at the end a bit.. like a two episode movies first part or something).

    bungie says the game is twice as long as halo 1 - this simply isn't true and should be critiqued.

    ign's review is 8 fucking pages with 2 paragraphs worth of content( and basically.. apart from the halo2 name.. the whole review has been seen a thousand times before, it's boring, the praises are rehashes basically and as such quite empty, like the whole review).

    but what's more to note is that game mags are now AGAIN at valueing games at 97-99 out of 100 scores(they did it at least here locally in the early 90's, as they failed to take evolution into account in giving the points.. like, they gave games bigger scores because they were better than the games 3 years ago).

    (besides all this, halo2 offers _nothing_ in the creativity department into gameplay)
  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Sunday November 07, 2004 @11:48PM (#10751500) Homepage Journal
    "The verdict: near perfect scores. "
    because ther want to review Halo 3.

    COme on, can we trust a review site that has to agree to all kinds of stipulations before posting what they think?
    Not me.
    I'll wait 2 weeks, gert the report from the early adopters and get it for 15 bucks less then every one else. Assuming the reviews I get are favorable.

    Now, I'm not saying Halo 2 isn't the perfect game, hell I jope it is I like good games, just pointing out the these reviews aren't the most unbiased in the world.
    I am also of the opinion that if what ever you are reviewing, whether its games, cars, or Krypton Lasers, you should not regularly give a 8 or higher to everything. If you do, you need to change your rating system.

  • A few have asked why Halo was as acclaimed as it was.

    Halo was not only in a good spot for exposure, being the only polished FPS on the Xbox, but filled expectations well. I was originally unimpressed by the screenshots and even a few minutes of deathmatching at a friend's house. But I kept reading of the the awards it received, long after the inital reviews. Almost always, the write-ups would mention the exhilartion of playing on the highest difficulty, single player. So I borrowed the game from the same friend.

    And my eyes were opened. Not only was what appeared to be yet another FPS suddenly exciting, but during the tense, chalenging moments, I was attuned to the subtlties of sound effects and level layouts. The AI was superb, feinting and flanking as well as some of the best online FPS clans (marksmanship not as good). When you are paying attention to every detail to survie and progress, you learn the levels very well, and the feeling is almost more "Survival Horror" than some Doom-style adventure.

    The game has been compared, derivatively, to GoldenEye/PD, UT series, and Quake series. I've played all of those, some on multiple formats. These are pillar games, but Halo stands alongside them. Unfortunately, untile you devote a few hours on Legendary, it's really difficult to understand why.

    Now it appears that Halo 2 isn't up to snuff, but every series I mentioned has it's better and worse titles. Im not surprised here, but I am still looking forward getting the game alone at 12:01am's single player fun and the following Halo2 party, where i imagine both seasoned and noobs will have fun drinking eating and shooting the crap outa stuff! And it should smell better and have lest tantrums than LAN parties Ive attended...

  • Re:Boring? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AngryUndead ( 733008 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [olaffur.sirhc]> on Monday November 08, 2004 @12:47AM (#10751863) Homepage Journal
    The first I heard of it, Halo was going to be a ground-breaking squad-tactics game that would take you inside and outside of bases and across large terrain. When I first played it... I was dissapointed. I realized that all the rumblings in the "community" were not blown out of proportion at all. The game got nerfed, period. Bungie should have been left with their creative vision to produce it on the PC. I think everyone can admit that a controller is not made for FPS games. Every FPS game that is released cannot be viewed simply in terms of the console it was released for; rather it must be viewed in the light of every game released before it. I hope you do not movies according to their venue. While that is not quite the same... the gameplay of Halo on the PC was horrible. The gameplay of Halo on the Xbox is only good when you have other people that are fun to play with. I'd rather play Counter-Strike and I think that about sums it up.
  • I agree (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LighthouseJ ( 453757 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @12:52AM (#10751893)
    This is not a flame so please don't punish me if you disagree. I agree with the parent very much and here's why...

    I recently got the play Halo for the first time ever (I live in PS2 land mainly thanks to Grand Theft Auto games and Gran Tourismo) recently, I was interested to see what the fuss is about but became disappointed because of the aforementioned reasons.

    Maybe it's my newcoming to FPS on the Xbox console but I've always had a hard time accurately and quickly aiming with my thumb on any console. Take Goldeneye for Nintendo 64, you got to use the analog joystick which made aiming tolerable but still slow. The cursor would dance from side to side if you're in a hurry and would take forever for the cursor to walk over to the target if you decided to take it slow.

    I am a frequent player of Day of Defeat though. Coming off of 6 months of intense Day of Defeat and getting pretty proficient at the game, I can aim faster than the aim cursor focuses for an accurate shot. If you don't know, most if not all rifles expand the crosshairs while you walk indicating your shot has a huge chance of not making the target. Once you stop moving, the crosshairs focus down and stop to indicate the most accurate aim you can manage with the gun. Back in the game, if I run around a corner and spot an enemy, I am used to where the center of my screen is and put it on the target, I wait for the crosshairs to converge and then fire, all done in under a second. Sure, I could crouch and inch around the corner but that's no good if I'm expected by the enemy. If the target is a sniper or minigunner, this works especially well because the sniper has tunnelvision and the minigunner might not be able to react quick enough. If the target uses any other weapon, crouching or not will suffice because I only need one shot. A couple other guns, if aimed extremely well for a headshot, only need one shot too but the chances for a luck-of-the-draw headshot without any moment to aim is highly unlikely.
  • Re:Again? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DavidBrown ( 177261 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @02:43AM (#10752326) Journal
    I don't buy that argument. Halo is a very good game. It's primary problem is one of level design, and that problem doesn't run through the whole game, only parts (the exteriors are excellent). Level design wasn't driven by Microsoft and the portion of Halo to the XBox.

    But that's all in the past anyway. The question before us today is whether or not Halo2 is something that those of us who have an XBox will want to buy. I'll do it, if only because I enjoyed Halo, despite its flaws.

  • by Nexum ( 516661 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @05:34AM (#10752889)
    I don't know about anyone else, but I have to say that I was very much underwhelmed by the first Halo.

    I simply don't think it deserves the huge scores it got, and I can't understand why it got them. I mean, the part when you fight through stage after stage after stage after stage of those plague things really is some of the most repetitive worst level design since the original wolfenstein.

    Put that together with the sections after that which have you going through corridors and occasionally coming across a long bridge - again, so boringingly repetitive.

    And the save system is horrendous, absolutely awful - I got stuck in one place having to save with very little health, and the next section just happened to be super-difficult, took me an absolute age to finish.

    For what it's worth, I think the enemy design, although quite nice in places was not wide ranging enough - there are what, three different types of bad guy?? Look at the great stuff coming out in terms of enemies in Half Life 2 (Strider anyone?) and the nice assorted mix in Doom 3. Halo's really pale next to these. And what's with the cutesy-ness of those little alien things? Making cute sounds, I'm not watching a cartoon! I want to feel like these are serious assailants I'm facing, not some bastard offspring of Barney.

    Now of course, there were some very good points to the game as we all know, the vehicles were great fun, and graphically I was very impressed. The storyline - well meh, I wasn't blown away, but I love the idea of the Halo in the first-place.

    So I'm puzzled by all the crazed fanboi-ism over Halo, it was an OK game as far as I'm concerned, but people giving it crazy 10/10 scores? Did we play the same game?

    But this is about Halo2... which I haven't played, but am not too buzzed up on it due to the disappointing original. Hopefully Bungie hasn't used the cut & paste method of world building this time round. - Nex
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2004 @05:48AM (#10752920)
    Hmm well I have some counter points for you :)
    First, disclaimer: I do really like Halo for an easy to set up LAN with friends. That niche was filled very nicely.

    "It is a very polished game, and plays exceedingly well on xbox."
    You're probably talking about it overall, but a multiplayer game on a system with known hardware specs shouldn't have any graphics lag. Halo does in some graphically intense firefights.

    "it's very well done"
    This is subjective, I could list many things I believe are problems with Halo, silly 'features', and options that should be more configurable than they are.

    "it's somehow FPS gaming on training wheels"
    Again, this is subjective since many people, even the vast majority of PC gamers, don't have much knowledge of everything that can go on in a multiplayer FPS.

    Even the definition of FPS is debatable. For example, thousands of people would say Counter-Strike is the best FPS. IMO a "shooter" should be action-packed, so CS is only technically an FPS game because it doesn't have action (yes, I said action).
    It all depends on what kind of player you are; since I'm a QuakeWorld player, CS lacks action by its design, but most CS players wouldn't understand what I mean by that.
    Since it's safe to say that the majority of PC FPS gamers only play CS, they (and the console FPS crowd) aren't very aware of the type of action that can be found in FPS's.
    So virtually everybody, PC gamer or not, who is a hardcore Halo fan doesn't have enough experience to be familiar with many aspects of FPS gaming. That doesn't mean Halo is easy to play or learn, it just means there is a lot of experience missing, and with the small amount of experience you'd get from that game, it's not much different from an introduction to the FPS world, or "FPS gaming on training wheels" as you say.
    All of that stuff is based on my preference of fast paced action/strategy over the more 'relaxed' style of gameplay in Halo, but most people with a decent amount of FPS experience don't think much of Halo as a serious/competitive game.
  • by lmnfrs ( 829146 ) <lmnfrs&gmail,com> on Monday November 08, 2004 @05:52AM (#10752927) Journal
    Hey, no offense but..
    Halo was designed for the COMPUTER not for the XBOX. Perhaps you weren't around on the Internet way back in 1998 when it was slated to be released, but I was, and I had been around. I remember the (then groundbreaking) features like mouth movement (who else remembers the wazzzaaaaaaa! video they released?) and realistic plant and wildlife.
    Unfortunately, now in 2004, Halo 2 still doesn't have the environment Halo had in the late 90's. That's my problem with the franchise, neither game comes anywhere near the level of hype surrounding it. As for being a competitive rather than casual game, consoles don't compare to PC's. Sorry. Remember that supposed Halo "tournament" they had? If you didn't already know, they played large FFA matches (!!?) not 1on1's.

    Several years after I had decided that Halo looked like a cool game, the release hype started up, and I had all but forgotten about the game. I didn't pay much attention to the hype around the Xbox release, and when I finally saw the game I said "What the hell? This doesn't look as good as what I remember seeing". It wasn't and isn't. Halo 2 has some new game modes and new features, but nothing I can think of that hasn't been around a while.
    For a console, it's a very good game, it opens up the ability to LAN with just 1 machine per 4 people. In the arena of FPS games, though, it's nothing. Sorry.
  • by The-Bus ( 138060 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @09:13AM (#10753524)
    First off, you're not correct. At least not in what I've seen.

    Most people that played Halo played THE console FPS before, and I mean Goldeneye for the N64. If you were of age to play that game when it was out, you played it. Now at that time its PC competition (Quake 2, Unreal) completely blew it away, but Goldeneye was still ridiculously popular. So I would say the people whose first exposure to an FPS game was Halo would be extremely limited. Since multiplayer FPS gaming on the console went back to Goldeneye as well, I would say the same for the second statement. (Perfect Dark was an awesome game, but was extremely unpopular, I found).

    The people I know who play Halo are a big mix of extreme "street" cred gamers (owned Neo-Geo, played iD games before Wolf3D) and casual gamers (had consoles, no real computers). It's pretty evenly spread out.

    That said, I would 100 to 1 prefer to play a game on the couch with my friends with beer/soda/drinks in hand than sitting on a computer.
  • by El Camino SS ( 264212 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @10:23AM (#10753974)
    I mean, the game was okay and everything, but I'm still not sure what all the hype is about.

    The hype was that a whole new generation of people who never played a competetive FPS online got the chance. Anyone that screams Halo is the best game ever just hasn't been around the block, and used to be a non-gamer or a very casual gamer.

    Face it, the guys that scream "HALO!" at the top of their lungs are just not PC players. If they were, their buffet plate would be very full.

    "Halo, seriously dude, the best ever."
    "Ever played Starcraft?"
    "Ever played Tribes?"
    "Had a friend that had it, it rocked. Played it once."
    "How about Uneal Tournament?"
    "Never heard of it."

    It's nothing bad.
    These people are the same ones that buy The Day After Tommorrow and Van Helsing on DVD the day it comes out.
  • by elchuppa ( 602031 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @10:30AM (#10754024)
    not so. I was a hardcore pc fps gamer before Halo came out and I was very impressed with it. I did not think that the single-player game was the best fps ever, but it certainly was up there. In fact I think that it's the people who have played a lot of fps's who are most able to recognize what makes Halo great. Halo gets the feel right. The story is window dressing, but what makes an fps IMO (especially when taken into the multiplayer realm), is feel. Halo nails this. Playing Halo multiplayer has been as fun for me as any PC game I've played.
  • by EvilNight ( 11001 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @10:35AM (#10754062)
    I'm sure those reasons are a part of it, but they aren't the biggest factors in its success. The reason Halo was so successful is simply that it is a damn good game. Far better than Quake, IMO.

    1) Far better than average story. Seriously... none of iD's titles has ever had anything approaching a story. Doom 3 was their best effort in this direction. The last FPS I can remember that had a truly involving story was Half-Life, and we all know how well history has judged that game. Halo 2 actually tops Half-Life in my book, and until I played Halo 2, Half-Life was my golden standard (well, Half-Life and Marathon). Story is important to a lot of gamers. Halo has a badass story, cool characters, and good execution in their storytelling. Halo 2 has a far superior story to the original. I'm hoping Half-Life 2 has a better story than Halo 2, but it will by no means be easy to top. I think Valve has the chops to do it, though. Either way we all win.

    2) Good gameplay. While gameplay may not win you any awards, bad gameplay will kill you dead. Halo's greatest failing was the repetitive nature of the levels, but it wasn't enough of a failing to kill the game. Controls were good, weapons were fun and fairly well balanced, multiplayer was exceptional. Single player was challenging and entertaining. Halo 2 is more of the same, without the repetition, and with better balance. The level design in Halo 2 tops any other FPS I have played, and I don't give that out lightly. They have a level of interactivity and epic scope that I've never seen before. I was so busy oogling the surroundings on several occasions that it got me killed. I get the impression it was designed that way... it happened too often to be coincidence.

    3) Kickass soundtrack. Halo has one of the best I've ever heard in a FPS. Again, a kickass soundtrack won't make your game succeed (see Fable, for example), but it'll definitely cost you if the music sucks. Halo 2 is mainly a retread of Halo's music, with enough differences to keep it from sound too familiar. They added a touch of metal to it.

    4) ATMOSPHERE. I cannot stress this one enough. The most important aspect of any video game is its ability to immerse the player. Doom 3 had phenomenal atmosphere, but no story. Doom 3 was all premise. Halo has plenty of both, as did the original Half-Life. Half-Life is still my all time winner in this category... it is pure atmosphere from start to finish. The original Unreal had decent atmosphere (especially in the first few levels and at the end), but crappy story.

    Halo was also one of the first to do vehicle combat well, and I think that played a large part in its novelty. The vehicle combat in Halo 2 is phenomenal.

    You've got to score well in all categories to have a kickass game. Halo scores well by most gamer's estimations, and that's why it did well. The PC port was late and crappy, and the levels were repetitive (especially compared to a normal PC FPS), and these are its only real failings. Halo 2 does not have these failings... in fact the level design is now undoubtedly one of its chief strengths, so it will likely do far better than the original Halo. It'll be a win for folks who just couldn't get in to the original.

    By the way, on Legendary difficulty, Halo 2 is HARD as HELL. I could thump the original on Legendary without deaths... in Halo 2 I can't even get off the first damn level yet playing solo (although playing co-op a friend and I managed to beat it on Legendary after about 30 hours invested... this time, if one dies, you both respawn at the checkpoint, so no more cheating). My hat is off to any player who can finish this solo on Legendary. If you can do it, you're tournament material.
  • Re:Emphasis on AGAIN (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2004 @11:26AM (#10754566)
    I personally believe that there have been a few standout games in the FPS that are worth noting as milestones. Wolfenstein

    Doom 1
    Half Life
    You forgot a BIG one that everyone forgets.

    Doom 1
    Half Life

    Marathon was the first major game to allow the player to look around and had real physics. Quake's contributions, more or less, were merely the first major game to be done in OpenGL. I get the feeling that Marathon was what caused Carmack to say "oh, CRAP!" and jump into designing Quake.

  • Two words... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dstyle5 ( 702493 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @06:27PM (#10760161)
    Blood Gulch!

    I've played maybe 5 minutes of Halo's single player missions, but I've played many, many hours of the multiplayer mode with friends. The most popular map with our group was Blood Gulch, playing CTF. Yes, I play PC shooters and prefer them to console shooters (damn console auto aim: someone shooting you will a pistol from 100 ft away gets annoying fast), but Halo's multiplayer is alot of fun.

    Playing Halo with a group of friends is what sold millions of copys of Halo, and since Halo 2 is online in addition to the 4-16 multiplayer lan possibilities, it will probably sell more copies than Halo.

The optimum committee has no members. -- Norman Augustine