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LB's "Halo(R) 2" Walkthrough and Strategy Guide - Review

Halo 2
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Lunabean Rating: 8.3
Platforms: Xbox
Release Date: 11.09.04
ESRB Rating: M-Mature
More Info: Official Site
LB Store: Halo 2 + Free LB Guide
Amazon.com: Limited Edition | Regular Edition
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Halo 2 Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
Table of Contents



1. LB's Halo 2 Strategy Guide Introduction
2. Master Chief I (The Heretic, Armory, Cairo Station, Outskirts, Metropolis)
3. Arbiter I (The Arbiter, Oracle)
4. Master Chief II (Delta Halo, Regret)
5. Arbiter II (Sacred Icon, Quarantine Zone)
6. Master Chief III (Gravemind)
7. Arbiter III (Uprising)
8. Master Chief IV (High Charity)
9. Arbiter IV (The Great Journey)
10. LB's Halo 2 Quick Review
11. **LB's Downloadable and On-Demand Halo 2 Strategy Guide**

LB's Halo 2 Review



LB Rating:
8.3
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Like First Person Shooters? Well, You Do Now!

Three years ago as I stood in line at 5:30am waiting for Wal-Mart to open so that I could purchase the Xbox and "Halo" on launch day I never could have imagined that "Halo" would have turned into such a huge franchise. With 2 million pre-orders for "Halo 2" and a record one day total of $125 million, "Halo" has established itself amongst the more revered franchises in gaming.


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I happen to have very mixed feelings regarding "Halo 2". It is, by far, one of the smoothest, prettiest, and most solid First Person Shooters I have played in quite some time. However, that's where it ends. There is nothing revolutionary in the game. That's not a criticism of the game because it was never advertised as being something revolutionary. It was advertised as being the sequel to one of the best pure FPS's to date. And, that's exactly what it is. If you like "Halo" and all of the "Halo" copycat games that have come out over the past three years, then you're really going to like "Halo 2". Be warned, though, there is no puzzle solving, no mind powers, and no jet packs. This isn't a frilly-nilly game. It's tough and smart. You have your guns and your feet (and the occasional vehicle) and it's your job to kill everyone you encounter. If you're looking mentally challenging game (ie, puzzles), go elsewhere. If you're looking for a pure shooter, utilizing your most basic instincts, this is your game.

In "Halo 2" you pick up right where you left off in "Halo", battling Covenant aliens and Flood mutants in a quest to save the Earth from the powerful super-weapon known as Halo. The settings are rich and detailed, the weaponry is amazing and the nuances that made "Halo" a great game are still there: rechargable armor instead of health and the restriction that you can only carry two weapons at a time. However, there are several new aspects to the game. The first is the new Dual-Wield feature. Using this feature you can carry two hand weapons (pistol, SMG (Sub Machine Gun), etc.) at the same time. This makes for many different possible configurations based upon what you are trying to achieve. For example, you could wield a Plasma Rifle in your left hand (left-trigger) and an SMG in your right hand (right-trigger). That way, you can bust up energy shields with the Plasma Rifle and then kill the enemy off with the SMG. Another new feature is a bevy of drivable/occupiable vehicles. Back is the Warthog (Jeep), this time in two different versions and the venerable Ghost. However, add to this mix a few Tanks and an improved Banshee. I do have to say it is quite fun to hop into the back of a Warthog as the Turret Gunner and let an ally do the driving as you pick off any enemies in the way. I also got quite a rush from using the Scorpion Tank. The improvments were more tweaks than anything else. Hey, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

As I said earlier, this isn't a mentally challenging game. It's a run then shoot, then run then shoot some more, kind of game. That's both an asset and a flaw. The asset being that it is a very finishable game. If you're the type of gamer who wants to play for a few hours then put it away then come back to it, this is a perfect game for you. You'll get through it without being too frustrated and you'll feel good for doing so. If you're the type of gamer who wants more of an epic story-based game, complete with side-quests, plot twists, and game-changing decisions then you should probably look to games such as, "Thief: Deadly Shadows," "Bond: EON," "Splinter Cell: PT," "Deus Ex: Invisible War," and, "Star Wars: Battlefront". I found all of these games to be more enjoyable from an all-around perspective than I did "Halo 2". They did a better job of grabbing me and pulling me in. But, hey, that's just my opinion.


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I couldn't talk about "Halo 2" without mentioning the multiplayer and Xbox Live features. Other than the aforementioned "Star Wars: Battlefront", I have yet to find a more fun Xbox Live experience. Yes, the campaign in "Halo 2" is a bit short but the Online play will give you hours and hours of endless entertainment. I hope that MS and Bungie release more maps and/or campaign levels over the next couple of years. A game that keeps on giving...that's what I like.

In summary, if you liked "Halo" you'll love "Halo 2". If you like first person shooters, you'll really like "Halo 2". If you are more of a "Deus Ex", "Thief: Deadly Shadows", "Metal Gear Solid" or "Splinter Cell" kind of gamer, you'll appreciate "Halo 2" but probably won't love it.


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