Let’s break it down. Firstly and most fundamentally Halo 2 doesn’t deliver fights with the promised pizazz. Shooting people, which constitutes 100% of Halo 2’s game, struggles to satisfy from the start. The AI of both enemies and allies is solid and reliable, but hardly as inventive as that in Half-Life 2 or F.E.A.R. The weapons are all agonizingly similar, and none of them require much skill to master. They’re either splash-damage monstrosities, or designed to spit loads of damage over a wide angle. Point in roughly the right direction and you’re going to win (perhaps do some weird floaty jumping to avoid hostile fire).
The same is true of the enemies who are fighting you: by the end of the game it’s a case of ordnance-spam attrition. Can you pump out more grenades and rockets in the first few moments of the fight than your enemy? Good, then you’ll reach the next checkpoint. It’s boring. Halo 2’s fighting is soulless and tiresomely predictable. It’s boring likecleaning your house is boring. Pick up some shoes, wash the dishes, bazooka the conveyor-belt of linear monsters. Halo 2 has no puzzles that we can recall, no notable physics events, a handful of interesting scripted scenes and no memorable emergent glories at all. It is repetitious shooting that leaves us feeling, at best, sad and unfulfilled.