A game that would remain in the hearts of many, Halo 2 was a game that just couldn't be ignored. This is a game where many innovations were made. It was the first XBOX game that had the XBOX LIVE software, and the first to have Gamerscore Points and Achievements. Many people still play this game (inclusive of me) and it is the last Halo to ever come out for PC...currently.
Halo 2 allowed players to fight on both sides of the fence: The Humans (via Master Chief) and The Covanent (via The Arbiter). The story continued from where Halo 1 left off, and players get right back into the action with a new suit.
As the Master Chief, your mission was to defend the Space Station from being destroyed by the covanent. You then continue the fight on earth and eventually you and a Pelican full of Marines chase the covanent to another Halo. It is revealed that this Halo Ring is to be activated, and you must stop the activation.
On the covanent side of things, you (as the Arbiter) was blamed for the destruction of the last Halo Installation. As it happens, the other councillors wanted you dead, but the Prophets (call them Leaders) saw other plans. They thought of the other councillors as..."overzealous", knowing that the Arbiter was no heretic. Being made the Arbiter, your first mission was to neutralize a resistance that was still on the largely destroyed Halo Ring Installation. This resistance (a Rouge Faction of the Covanent and possibly the same Rouge Faction found in Halo 4) was neutralized and the next mission found him searching for "The Icon". It is there where the full truth is revealed, as suddenly there is a shift in the royal guards to the Brutes instead of the Elites.
This game has many memories to many people. To this day, it is still played by drastically fewer than it had when it came out originally, but it is still alive!
- Weapons: There is a new stash of weapons to be used in Halo 2, as you can use weapons and vehicles from the 3 main factions: Humans, Brutes, and Covanent. There were also dual weildable weapons, giving double the damage. There are new weapons on the Human side as well, with the Battle Rifle (most used) and the SMG. For the Elites, usable weapons would be the Covanent Combine, Energy Sword, and Beam Rifle. For the Brutes would be the Brute Plasma Rifle and Brute Shot. With more weapons at your disposal, it makes things interesting, especially in...
- ...multiplayer:The defining factor of all Halos. Multiplayer was an absolute success in halo 1, and doubly so in Halo 2. You can play for hours on Multiplayer online or with friends Locally. With so many gametypes to chose from, there is never a dull monent (unless there is ALMIGHTY LAG). Some of the maps were reintroduced in Halo 2 from Halo 1, such as Blood Gulch to Coagulation, Battle Creek to Beaver Creek and Wizard to Warlock. The most played would be Slayer, Team Slayer and Capture the Flag.
- Introduction of GFWL:Halo 2 on the Original XBOX was the first to introduce XBOX LIVE (Known on the PC port as Games for Windows LIVE). This was the only way to play online against players around the world, until players found a way to continue playing on the XBOX (since XBOX LIVE was discontinued on the Original XBOX) using software. PC Players who had either used up their product keys or never had one (due to downloading the game) was able to play others online using Programs such as Hamachi or Tunngle, at the cost of receiving no achievements or gamescore points. With the silver or (payable) Gold account, you could simply install the game, input your product key (provided that it wasn't overused) and join a server. With this, you now get added items, such as Achievements and Gamerscore Points. It is quite fun to see a popup at the bottom of your screen with the achievement that you have unlocked.
- Medals: Finally, you can see your hard work pay off! Medals were introduced into the Multiplayer component and there were a total of 20 medals to be had. These range from Sprees, to Chain Kills and Objective medals. The total amount of medals you receive (as well as the type) would be shown at the end of games.
- Vehicles: There are a few more vehicles to choose from, instead of just the Human ones and 2 covanents. Now you can actually use the Covanent Tank (Wraith) as well as the covanent answer to the Warthog (the Spectre). The trusty Ghost and Banshee is still there with a few more trick up it's sleeve.
- Teamplay:Now you can play as a Spartan or an Elite, depending on what is your preference. This can prove useful for Machinimas or if players want to have Human-Sanghelli wars and makes gameplay more interesting.
- Playing on both sides: You can get an inside look of the convanent and play on the covanent side of things, finally seeing the covanent's perspective. This was very fresh.
- Custom Maps: You can now create and edit maps at your disposal, as Halo 2 PC includes a map editor. For those creative minds, many things can be made, and retro maps have been created and uploaded, such as Halo 1's Sidewinder, and maps from newer games such as The Pit and Valhalla (Halo 3) and The Boneyard (Halo REACH). Even weapons and vehicles have been made, such as the Gravity Hammer and The Mongoose.
- Hackers: Hackers, the scorge of the gaming community made a huge comeback in Halo 2. Here, because of the improved engine and the introduction of medals, hackers cheated theur way through Halo 2, with speed hacks, super jumps (hacked, not glitched or specially performed) and the infamous aimbotting as well as invincibility. There was also the "Crash Hack" where the hacker can enter a game and crash other players out of the game (possibly because they were losing and they were sore losers). This was an absolute annoyance to gamers, and since Microsoft was not making a patch for this, it was up to gamers to create the "Anti-Cheat" and "Anti-Crash" patches. This prevented hackers from either activating their hacks and cheats or even entering games.
- Only for Windows Vista: When released, Halo 2 was named "Halo 2 Vista" or "Halo 2 for Windows Vista". That meant that PC's with anything before Vista would be unable to play Halo 2 without specific software. Since Windows Vista itself was one of the worst Operating Systems and was inferior to Windows XP (possibly still the best), this was a huge shock to the gaming community. It forced users to upgrade their systems just to play this game, at the expense of stability. While many other games that were made the same time and even after Halo 2 was still able to run on XP with no problems, this could have been the factor as to what caused the sales to be poor. (Thank goodness for Windows 7)
- Mongoose was there then...:The ATV Mongoose was supposed to be introduced into Halo 2, but the idea was scrapped because Bungie had no idea how it would have fit into the franchise. This was actually put over to Halo 3 years later, but the string was still found in Halo 2 codes. While many modders were able to input it intothe game, you were only allowed to use it in special custom maps and special programs. It would have been nice to have an answer to the Ghost.
- Weapon Problems: Only 2 weapons were virtually useless, the Handgun and the SMG. The Handgun was the weapon of choice in Halo 1, but it became heavily underpowered and as such rarely used in Halo 2. The SMG had an aiming and stability problem, where using it continuous sends the gun out of alignment, and as such inaccurate. In fact, you start going up instead of ftaying in place due to extreme recoil. Halo 2 is also the first and only Halo that did not feature the Assault Rifle...a major bummer.
Halo 2 is still of of the greatest Halo games ever, and is still being played today. I'm going to grab up a few hours of this!