Halo 2 - XBox

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[[Waiting for Halo 2]]

As soon as anyone turned on, probably for the first time, their XBox and placed the Halo CD on the tray, they knew that a sequel was coming. The sweet anticipation, the trembling hand with the sore thumb and the sweaty sigh of release at the end of a session, were the signs that Bungie had got it right.
The success of its predecessor has all gamers hungry for any morsel, as tiny as it may be, of information regarding Halo 2. In fact the whole story surrounding the sequel has a lot more to do with what we all know rather than with what we do not.

You already know Halo 2 is the sequel to Halo. You already know Halo walked off with a ton of rave reviews and Game-of-the-Year awards. You already know the bar has been raised and expectations for a sequel are high. You already suspect that Bungie would not create such a game only to destroy it by its sequel.

What you really want to know is: What does it look like? What's new? What's the solo campaign all about? What about multiplayer? And of course the all-important When can I get my hands on it?

[[Halo 2 - Changes]]

The game itself is everything you loved about the original Halo, but with all the knobs turned up to 11 this time round. In fact, Jason Jones, Bungie Studios head described the sequel saying Halo 2 is a lot like Halo 1, only it's Halo 1 on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas and the ninjas are all on fire, too.
This is not a quickie Halo 1.5 follow-up using the same engine. Bungie are using a completely rewritten graphics engine which allows artists to work in previously unimaginable complexity and detail. Anyone who thinks the original Halo stretched the Xbox's graphical abilities to the limit is mistaken. There are gorgeous new realms to be explored, and Halo 2 will take you there. There will be several new weapons in addition to the reliable old standards from the first game. Not to mention the new vehicles you'll ride into battle. Or the many new enemies you'll face. If you had a hard time with the handful of Covenant races you met in the first game, you may wish to start practicing now; you'll need it when they unleash the rest of their army.

[[The Story]]

Halo 2 returns you to the role of the Master Chief - still humanity's best weapon against the Covenant. Their defeat at Halo was only temporary, and they are pursuing their goal - the complete obliteration of humankind - with renewed zeal. Human military forces are exhausted and unable to stave off the Covenant's rapid advance toward Earth. Even with the Master Chief back in action, the situation looks dire - and this is at the beginning of the game, before things get a lot worse. In true Bungie tradition, the solo campaign in Halo 2 deepens and expands upon the story that began in the first game: old questions will be answered, new mysteries will unfold, and the truly epic nature of the story will finally be revealed.

[[Multiplayer]]

The true difference between Halo and its sequel, will of course be the multiplayer aspect. Now that XBox - Live is fully launched and well established in most gaming nations, Halo 2 has the potential to prove very useful in drawing in XBox Live subscribers. Halo 2's multiplayer function, will be designed from the ground up. What's more, the multiplayer experience is being completely redesigned. The first Halo offered just a glimpse of what Bungie originally had in mind. In Halo 2 we should expect a few surprises, a hint as to what those will be comes from lead designer, Jamie Griesemer, we still have the multi-player game-types that people loved in Halo, but we're planning something special for multi-player in Halo 2. I don't want to ruin the surprise, but imagine the essential Halo single player experience: pitched battles between the humans and the Covenant, massive vehicle and infantry engagements. Now imagine that every combatant is an actual person playing over Xbox Live. With no bots planned, Bungie are really trying to create a Next - Generation title.

The Halo 2 online multiplayer experience will feature squad-oriented team-play, real-time voice chat, and extensive community support.

[[The New Engine and the Sound]]

Some will be surprised that Bungie chose to create a new engine for Halo 2, after all the original Halo engine seemed to be working pretty well. Changing the graphics engine however, was of paramount importance if the sequel was to offer something new, something better.
Our code squeezes every drop of power out of the Xbox, said Chris Butcher, one of the sequel's engineering leads. We're doing dynamic lighting and shadows, per-pixel everything, rendering gigantic, lush environments. The graphical features we're using are so advanced we don't even have buzzwords for them yet.

Although some may be quick to dismiss the above quote as pure hype, a quick look at the trailer, which offers in-game footage, will definitely make you think twice about Bungie's claims. As seen in the trailer, shadows, lighting, textures and detail are out of this world.

The game will also feature cinematic quality sound which promises to contribute greatly in the creation of the eerie atmosphere which offered so much to the first Halo. A decent Dolby capable system is definitely a worthwhile investment for anyone waiting for the sequel. According to Mat Noguchi, who is responsible for Bungie's tools and sounds on Halo 2 says, I've improved our sound engine so that we can play more sounds with higher fidelity all the time. Most of the sounds in Halo were played at the equivalent of AM radio on a typical receiver. For Halo 2, we're going full-bore, with sound as good as that you get from a professionally recorded CD. Basically, the best audio experience out there.

[[The Summary]]

Halo 2 is destined to become an FPS classic, a title which will not only claim its predecessors position in gaming but one which will attempt to improve on the original. The various gameplay aspects of the title are more or less known, more weapons (7 is just not enough), more enemies, more frantic action. The real difference however, will be in the new graphics engine. Worlds of unsurpassed beauty and complexity will invite you to carry out your very detailed and textured slaughter.
The other important difference is online play. Utilizing the, quite impressive, XBox Live connectivity capabilities, Halo 2 will attempt to do what no online FPS has yet managed to do, create a completely immersive world where everyone you see is another gamer.
For now, Bungie are under Lockdown orders in order to preserve the air of mystery surrounding the title. We do know it has been delayed and will not be on time for Christmas 2003 but will see release in Q1, 2004.

Whatever the release date however, Halo 2's success will be immediately relevant to the survival and future of the XBox console and of the XBox Live service.

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Halo 2 - XBox

man echt cool !!hoffentlich wird das AUCH für pc raus kommen !!sieht echt ziemlich geil ausaber ich bezweilfle das das so auf x-box aussieht !becausgreetings to all those people against war.

Halo 2 - XBox

This is the Xbox killer app. PS2, you will be killed. Watch Xbox ownership quadrouple, watch the monopolisation (aka the M$-isation) of the gaming industry...

Halo 2 - XBox

BTW, LINUX USER, yes, M$ do make piece-o-shit software and products, but because of the M$-isation of the computer industry we have no choice but to use them (at least with Windows anyway, can you find a big-brand OEM preinstall a non-M$ OS? Can you find a Windows post-95 without Internet Explorer? Post-ME without WMP? XP without MSN Explorer?). Monopolisation, and manipulation of any industry is bad, I'm not looking forward to having no choice but to buy an Xbox if I want to play games. Too bad the US didn't recognise this, but I suppose its so-called open economy relies on it for stability. Maybe the EU will nail M$ and re-establish an open market, consumer choice and stopping any advances into other industries...

Halo 2 - XBox

Ok I quit reading halfway through the garbage in the list, I just wanted to post my comments about Halo and it's sequal. I personally love Halo,I play it at lan parties whenever I can, it's just an ingenious game, theres just something about it that makes it more complex then other shooters, ie: the vehicle aspect. Granted there have been a few other shooters with vehicles like WWII, but also it has the smacking ability, I mean I just love the satisfaction I get from sneaking up on an oponent and hitting them across the skull. Ultimatly it's fun for different reasons, I know M$ has done some particularly evil things but Halo isn't of MS's design, it's Bungie's as some one before me said, and they have something worthwhile. Well thats my piece, cyas ^_^.

Halo 2 - XBox

well said apoctanks, and fadarka, u shouldn't be anywhere near a console of any kind if u cant learn how to go into the options menu and change the controls u faggot

Halo 2 - XBox

Halo is another attempt for M$ to lure user to buy Xbox. Halo was never great. Its the same FPS as any other FPS. You play games because you think it is cool. I play the game based on REPLAYABILITY.....IE: Mods, custom levels, custom characters, total conversion & ETC. Halo is consider low replayability. Only you play it & finish it....its go back to the shelves. WHERE is the fun in the game? You all see it as best FPS. I don't get my money worth. NO Replayability means sucky game.

Halo 2 - XBox

all i have to say is that Halo is a great single/multi player FPS. And u, yautjatraker can shut up about quake being a shit game! quake basically revived the FPS (first person shooter) gaming world!!!

Halo 2 - XBox

Great FPS? I don't think so. There are too many things I wish Microsoft would put in.1. WHERE IS THE CHICKS IN THIS GAME?2. Redone the guns. Some guns looks like crap3. Gives us more vehicle to drive in.4. Monster creatures sux, give us more challanging stuff.5. Give us more guts & gore. Stop being pussy about censorship.

Halo 2 - XBox

I Love Halo but I agree, show f**kING GORE you pussies. Some intentines here and some flying limbs there really add to the realism. Someone falling back when a rocket hits em is just retarted. Take out the f**king monitor and other computer npc's with human personalities for number 2, that was just f**king retarted in the first place. Other than that, top-notch game.

Halo 2 - XBox

I wonder why Halo 2 aren't coming out for PC the same time as the Xbox? I find it ridicilous for them to make the game from PC software & then transfer it to Xbox. Then port it back into PC. They are wasting time.

Halo 2 - XBox

The reason is that M$ know that their only hope for a sales revival is for 'XBox First' release. I own 2 PC's and an Xbox, and I only purchased an Xbox coz of Halo. If Halo had come out on the PC at the same time I wouldnt own an Xbox, because aside from Halo I think that Xbox's are devoid of decent games, but the capabilities of the machine are quite impressive. The hype over 2 years building up to Halo's release was aimed purely at PC and MAC users, so I would say that M$ have Halo and Bungee to thank for about half of Xbox sales due to Xbox Exclusive Halo releases.

Halo 2 - XBox

Also - if ine more person implies that M$ are designing Halo and that MC looks like the Doom Marine I'm gonna go outside with a box of grenades GTA 3 style and blow up a load of ped's. STOP BEING SO RIDICULOUS YOU GUYS!!!! WAKE UP!!! Bungee are designing Halo - NOT M$

Halo 2 - XBox

All i can say is i hate xbox so much..BUT i recently gave it a chance and played multiplayer Halo.The game was not at all what i heard it was,you xbox owners talk about this game like its a god and stuff,but its just like any old FPS..It is a decent game and all,but the graphics are NOTHING special,and it gets repetative after about 20 mins of play...I hope halo 2 will be ALOT better than 1,and i maybe give it a try..oh and i hope it gets more weapons and better levels,cause that was its biggest problem...P.S- I cant belive all you ppl hate the allmighty Cube and PS2 so much,all i see xbox owners do is bash those consoles when they have nothing worth standing up for on thier own console..oh well,tthey will see thier mistakes soon enough!

Halo 2 - XBox

I cant belive people call Halo the greatest game ever,that is so funny.If you ppl call a game the greatest just because it has good graphics and guns then thats sad.The game is Decent at best and is not what i would call the best game ever.so if you think Halo is the best ever you should really try another console or some PC games,for you are living a very sad life!!!

Halo 2 - XBox

i didn't even read most of that.oh well, i hate fanboys talking crap.anyway, halo2 will kick arse.someone said that graphically it sould be nothing compared to DX2 and doom3. except that halo2 uses the same techniques as dx2 and doom3, they will all be comparable graphics-wise.and if your judging the master cheif on that picture in the top corner then yeah he does look a bit like the doom marine. but thats not what he looks like in the game. the visor is far smaller and sleeker. plus the suit is green.

Halo 2 - XBox

anyone who thinks this guy looks like the doom character is f**ken blind. either that or they got bad memories.anyone who thinks M$ designed this character is so f**ken stupidoh yeah and ps2 rules over the shit-box

Halo 2 - XBox

Too pussy to put a name eh? ps2 only rules because most ppl are sheep, as you have proved by bigging up the gaystation2.Ta Reefer for agreeing with me.Any xbox fans; who is for banning all ps2 fans who slag of xbox from this page? cos I for one am getting sick and tired of all this crap, KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELVES. WE DONT CARE FOR BASIC SLAGGING, MAKE A EDUCATED ARGUMENT(hard for some of you, since some have no education, otherwise their grammer and spelling would be readable).Big N rulez:

Halo 2 - XBox

To yautjatrakerunreal2 sux, its all graphics and no gameplay. also, you seem to care about graphics more then gameplay as you are mentioning is mostly about graphics. xbox may have the best performance and graphics etc etc but the reason why xbox is doing poorly is because it doesnt have any good games maybe except for a few and games is all it matters and not graphics in a game. Sure, you can say the graphics suck on PS2 but that doesnt matter because it has a wide selection of games of different genres and also, theres a wide selection of awsome games for PS2, all I see right now is that Halo is the only big bang for the xbox, sure, u can say splinter cell but what the hell, splinter cell 10x better on PC.If you were going to own 2 consoles, I would suggest PS2 and GC because those 2 consoles rock!.

Halo 2 - XBox

thats why xbox has sold more than gc eh?sc is better on xbox i think anyway. mainly for the analogue speed control, but thats my opinion.ps2 has more great games cos it has been out longer, so ya cant really use that argument. and there are loads o0f great games on xbox, just gotta read the rteviews and try new things.

Halo 2 - XBox

playstation struggled to get ppl in at first,mainly cos of the sucky games. then it got a few gems and ppl started tolike it.same will probably happen with xbox.xbox has: halo, blinx, doa3 & doax, hunter, project gotham, moto gp, indiana jones, buffy, dead to rights, wreckless (now 4 ps2,bugger it), unreal championship, mechassualt, phantom crash and splinter cell. i have more, but say those are the best games. plus more great games to come this year. so stop with all this slagging.i agree with yautjatraker, both on his view and the whole

Halo 2 - XBox

Consumers won't buy Xbox cuz of the FREAKING MICROSOFT NAME TAG. Yes, people do judge company before buying it. For crying sakes change their name to something else. You don't recall Blizzard rename their name to Vivendi when Vivendi bought Blizzard. Microsoft wants their label everywhere. People are fed up with that.

Halo 2 - XBox

I think the biggest reaon ppl hate xbox so much is because its a M$ product and they have no right to make game sand try to put Nintendo and Sony out of businees,because thats all they are trying to do..They dont care about having good quality games and a quality console,they just throw a lot of money into making it have high specs and

Halo 2 - XBox

Does Blue Screen of Death sounds familiar to you? Not everyone trust M$. Sure they are the leading software designer, but what about all the years with buggy OS? Certainly no one can forget what M$ has done to 10 million users.

Halo 2 - XBox

I think that Halo 2, unlike the prequel, should have the ability to have bots. I hate it when I want to play multiplayer, I don't want to connect the the internet, and I don't want to play against a stationary person! I bet a lot of peeps agree with me.

Halo 2 - XBox

yeah bots should be in.me: any sony and nintendo dont just want to make money, they are a company for f**ks sake. sure ms are trying to have the most powerful console with the coolest looking games, but it is better than a company giving a half-assed attempt and pretending it isnt just to make money, like sony.the playstation was originally created for nintendo anyway, as the snesCD, but ninetendo pissed them off somehow so sony went against them. so their console was created out of revenge, not

Halo 2 - XBox

whats with all the M$ slagging for putting their own brand name on their own product that they spent their own money on to develope? Are you ppl stupid? Plus they arent trying to put Sony and Mintendo out of business as the lack of competition if it was possible wouldnt be good for any business. People arent gonna not buy an Xbox because it has Microsoft on the box, we all have more intelligence than that

Halo 2 - XBox

I find this incrediably amusing. Most people around here just see the 'MS' tag on anything and automatically dislike it. All the while they complain about MS... whilst using their WINDOWS machines to do so! Can ayone say hypocracy?I mean come on folks. If you don't like MS... it's simple DON'T BUY THEIR PRODUCTS. If you don't own an MS Product what gives you the right to critique them conversely? As well if you do own an MS Product, compare it to the other options out there. Windows is by far for the 'average' joe / jane user the OS of choice (*watch the MAC ppl come screaming*).Frankly, I own / use Linux, MS Products, and about any PC software that interests me. My console tastes are similiar, I owned a PS2 (it died), I own an Xbox. GC? Probably not for me, so I stear clear.It's the people like this that just abritarily hate a company or their product WITHOUT TRYING IT! Sit, down, play Halo. There 'is' a reasoning behind it's success, it's not MS Hype the game is amazing. I can only hope the 2nd redition will be as good. I'm glad to see they've delayed it a bit myself, I was worried they where going to rush the game. Improving on a game as well balanced as Halo and rushing on it? That'd be disasterous. Anyway, there's my 2 cents / rant for the day.-T

Halo 2 - XBox

To the guy who wants M$ to develop a free OS; have you ever heard of software piracy? Windows ?? is the most pirated software ever. I personally never payed for an OS in my 10 years as a PC user, and I dont ever intend to either :-)

Halo 2 - XBox

Software piracy sux if you can't fix the freaking OS. You can't upgrade or update your WinXP without hack & crack. M$ is being prick about software piracy for WinXP. Soon after, WinLonghorn will do the same. Hell with M$ anti-competition. I hope one day someone will assasinate Bill Gate.

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