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.