Halo 2 review

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

In conclusion: we miss our dream of Halo. Halo 2 has some glimpses of it here and there. We love the energy sword stuff, and wading into enemies at close range is a joy until they become too tough to fight. The plunging-base-in-gas-giant level is a great (but solitary) level idea. The “dual-wielding” of having two guns in your mitts is provocative too, allowing for a minor boost in firepower. Best of all is the capacity for your second character, the Covenant warrior who is fighting in parallel with Master Chief, to briefly turn invisible. It allows for some sneaky stuff that’s fun, but doesn’t demand tedious adherence to stealth principles. Run behind cover, cloak, reposition, attack. It’s a tiny idea that we expect to see picked up elsewhere.

Halo 2, you see, isn’t truly awful; it’s just repulsively mediocre, with a clumsy story, poorly orchestrated action and bad music. It lacks bombast to the point where the nuclear destruction of a city on Earth doesn’t really seem all that dramatic. It’s a subtle thing: camera angles, the feeling of violent feedback and the nuances that make FPS games great. Average isn’t good enough, especially when it crushes our expectations of greatness. We can’t be genuinely appalled by this failing - Halo 2 is just too boring for that.

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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