Halo 2 review

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

There’re also the leftover remnants of its console heritage to consider. The menus ask you to press the green and red A and B buttons on your Xbox controller. They are, of course, the A and B keys on your keyboard. Or you could use a PC-adapted Xbox controller instead of a mouse and keyboard, and that might not be a bad idea, so poorly balanced for mouse play is this beast of lore.

There’s something else that’s a little troubling about Halo 2, and that’s the inclusion of Microsoft’s “Live” architecture for online play. Halo 2 has been bolted into Microsoft’s plan for online gaming - the same plan that they’re using for the Xbox. It’s a tried and tested interface that serves the consoles well, but on the PC it seems like more unnecessary fiddling. We just want to be able to load a server browser and start playing, just like we’ve done for years.

Having to be signed into Live and use its architecture seems like yet another layer of this meaningless Microsoft control. Updates and extra content will all be delivered through Live, whether we like it or not. This has some fairly intense implications for modding and level design for games that use this system. Essentially, if your name’s not down on Microsoft’s list, you’re not coming in. If this is a taste of “Games for Windows” to come, then we’re not feeling like part of the smiley-happy future.

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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