Halo 2 review

  • Moments of inspired brilliance
  • Entertaining
  • Finally getting to play Halo 2
  • Sloppy port of last-gen game
  • Boring firefights
  • Uninspired sequel

Think we’re done with bitching? We’ve got more: there’s the overall level design and visual drabness. This is an old first-generation Xbox game. It looked unexceptional back then, but these days no amount of upped resolutions and anti-aliasing is going to save it from a case of the grey-walled uglies. Crap textures, made worse by lack of artistry and lack of computational palette, make Halo 2 hypnotically uninteresting.

The original Halo at least had some challenging level design (the Silent Cartographer, anyone?) that had been given life by intriguing alien architecture.

Halo 2 manages a couple of exquisitely drawn science fiction landscape skyboxes and an alphabet of lumpy, crappy grey blocks. Lifeless level design and concrete-boredom pervades. It’s just exhausting.

Further down the list of Halo 2 bashing: it only works on Windows Vista. Laughable, really, only it’s no joke. If it had been a pure DirectX 10 thoroughbred, dripping with freshly processed pixels, then maybe the Vista-only tag might have made sense somehow. As it is, this is a weird, ugly botch that we can’t imagine anyone upgrading to Vista for. Bring on Crysis, please, oh please. Please.

More Info

Release date: Nov 09 2004 - Xbox
May 31 2007 - PC (US)
Nov 11 2004 - Xbox (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox, PC
Genre: Shooter
Published by: Microsoft
Developed by: Bungie
ESRB Rating:


  • nomnom52 - August 22, 2010 11:52 p.m.

    @Wiggins & LSeL: But that's the problem. This isn't the Xbox version. This is a poorly ported version ONLY for Wndows Vista. I have 7, and I never, EVER want to go back to Vista. It, to put it plainly, sucks.
  • LSeL - February 9, 2010 10:36 p.m.

    no offense but this review is a joke. halo 2 revolutionised how xbox live was meant to be used. it paved the way for great things to come and was, and will always be the most successful xbl game ever. 2005-2006 were some of my best gaming years of my life thanks to h2.
  • wiggins1234 - July 15, 2009 10:18 p.m.

    First!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, GR I think you were a little harsh on this game. It's supposed to be the biggest game on the Xbox!! I think at least it deserved a 7 or 8 because of the Co-Op

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