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Halo 2 Online Multiplayer-- Some Complaints

Published December 12, 2004 in CONSOLE GAMES
By Ryan Parsons | Image from GameSpot
Sometimes, you shots just don't add up
Alright, I know it is great to praise Halo 2, especially for its ability to bring this FPS to online multiplayer. While the only complaints seem to go towards the single player, I am going to go against the trend and announce my own founded complaints.

Halo 2 Single Player


When it comes to the single player gameplay, I don't have any complaints. While a player can go through the game a bit quicker than the original Halo, it still offers enough new characters and enemies to satisfy. The enemy is also quite a bit tougher to kill in Halo 2.

The coolest new feature that I enjoyed in Halo 2 is the double story line that has you not only playing as the master chief, but you also play on the side of the covenant.

Alright, I just wanted to briefly mention the single player, as my main complaints are aimed towards the multiplayer.

Halo 2 on X-Box Live


This is where my issues with Halo 2 truly lie. The thing that truly bothers me is that some of the most disappointing issues did not exist in the original Halo.

Weapon Unbalancing


A big part of every shooter is weapon balancing. For multiplayer, most Halo 2 maps start every player with a sub-machine gun that has little effective range and fires pretty weak rounds. This weapon is only good if you carry two of them [dual weapons]. This leads me to my first complaint: While you begin every life with this weapon, almost every player will be running around with a better weapon or dual sub-machine guns. So, at this point, you are usually heavily out-matched. You start each life searching for another weapon quickly, and a lot of the times you will be mowed down before you can get your hands on one. In the original Halo, you either began with the assault-rifle, or the magnum. Both of these weapons gave you a chance, while the sub-machine gun leaves you high and dry. There is nothing more frusterating than, especially right after respawn, immediately having to defend yourself against a larger arsenal. Usually, skill cannot help you defend against this larger arsenal either.

What I would suggest: Let everyone start with a pistol or the assault rifle. With these two weapons, and some skill, you can survive.

Rangeless Weapons


You better have a good clan to win CTF games
As I already stated, you will usually begin with the sub-machine gun. This gun has little effective range, but is the most used weapon on multiplayer maps. What does this mean? Well, in the original Halo, a skilled player could use the magnum pistol and be pretty lethal at nearly any range, on any of the maps. Now [Halo 2], the magnum has no scope, but it still has some range [though less than before]. However, it is a rare weapon on multiplayer maps with only a couple spawn locations. So, we are stuck with shorter range weapons like the sub-machine gun and the plasma rifle.

Because of this, players aren't killed at a distance. Most deaths are a result of players getting shot in the back by a very close opponent. If the two opponents do happen to see each other, what usually occurs is what I can only call ring-around-the-player. When players confront one another with their short range weapons, they usually precide to try to outrun circles around one another.

In the end, there is a confusion on what skill is. In the original Halo, skill was based on shot placement from most ranges. In Halo 2, skill means you know the map, you know where to find weapons, you know how to sneak up on people, and you are great at running circles around your opponents... stupid.

Ping and Lag


I use DSL to play Halo 2 online. With this, I am still unable to achieve top pings and usually have a little lag in each game. On computer games, lets say Counter-Strike, a good ping is 80 and below. In Halo 2, I predict the average ping to be around 120-140. Some of the X-Box live servers will be so bad that all the players will experience what I can only predict to be 400-500 pings.

In a game that supposively involves 'skill,' ping is a major issue. An issue I feel that hurts players that are not as close to the server as other players are.

Multiplayer Still Good Though


Besides these complaints, the multiplayer setup for Halo 2 is excellent. You can join clans, talk to people, check your stats, leave voice messages for clan members and other players, and be in a game within a minute or two. Not too shabby, for a console game.

If you do play Halo 2 online, look out for flabbybuns.
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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image from GameSpot
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