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.
Sometimes, you shots just don't add up
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.
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.
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
You better have a good clan to win CTF games
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
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.