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New write up on Halo 2 ...Now with added 4th part goodness !

Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 3:18pm

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Vega70

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many people on there have xboxes and have been following the halo2 stories. This
was posted on there last night.

HALO 2: ULTIMATE ONLINE HANDS-ON WITH BUNGIE'S MASTERPIECE!

Part one: The full lowdown on Halo 2's multiplayer modes and customisation options

17:58 Here's the first important thing about Halo 2: with a cursory glance it's
not hugely different to the first game. It's almost disappointing.
But we can't criticise it for being like the original, because Master Chief's
first outing got so close to perfection it could smell her knickers. So here's
the second important thing about Halo 2 that becomes clear very quickly: it will
be God. Think of it as everything you wanted - and then a whole lot more.

We know because we sat down with the guys from Bungie and played Halo 2's
multiplayer modes - online and offline - for a whole, glorious day.

We were led into a darkened room where clusters of top-notch plasma screens
nestled amongst huge stereo subwoofers, then eased into armchairs so comfy it was
actually impossible to get up from them.

Not that we wanted to. As the Halo 2 title screen faded onto our monitors and we
reclined on our cushioned thrones, we could have sworn we were in heaven.

What did we learn? While at first it doesn't feel that different, Halo 2 actually
has more intelligent tweaks and tune-ups stuffed into its combat armour than
almost any sequel we've ever seen, and the multiplayer modes are going to push
Xbox Live into the stratosphere.

Over 8,000 Microsoft employees worldwide have already signed up for the Live beta
test, and we were about to go head-to-head with them across five new multiplayer
maps. First, though, we had to customise our outfit. Hey, a Master Chief's got to
look good on a killing spree, right?

Custom Killer
Who would have thought choosing colours for your Master Chief or Elite armour
(you can choose to play as either) and designing a logo would be so captivating?
We mucked about for so long in the customisation menus one of the guys from
Bungie actually asked us if we were okay.

You choose your colour scheme by selecting five colours from a huge selection,
which fit together to give you a unique look. At the moment it's a bit awkward
working out where each colour is going to go on your armour but we're sure
that'll get simplified in the final game.

Next you've got to design your logo. There's a huge selection of preset patterns
and symbols to choose from and since the finished article's going to get slapped
on your armour you better get it right. We hooked up a white cross on a blue
background with a silver bio-hazard symbol banged on top, which everyone agreed
was well cool.

It might sound like a little thing but being able to customise your player model
is awesome because it means chumps will recognise you as you batter them in the
face with your assault rifle.

Even better, if you set up a clan or team you can all rock the same logo and
colour scheme, instantly causing opponents to mess their armour as you enter a
game. We guarantee certain logos and colour schemes will become legendary in the
world of multiplayer Halo 2, so it'll be worth spending a bit of time getting
yours right.

Online, On Fire
Once our character model was kitted up and looking good it was time to get into
the game. First of all, it looks like 16 players is the upper limit. We're not
saying we wouldn't have like 24, or even 32, but 16 works brilliantly and gets
really impressive on some of the smaller maps.

Excitingly, it's looking increasingly likely that those rumours about four
players hooking up to Live through one Xbox are true. We know for a fact that two
players can do it split-screen, so it's not such a stretch of the imagination to
consider four players on Live, on one screen, all at once.

The Live interface has been designed to be as quick and as smooth as possible.
You can either dive straight into a Free-For-All or Team Optimatch where Live
automatically hooks you up against players of your ability, or set up every
single parameter and launch an Arranged match for you and your mates.

Optimatches operate on a ranking system, so rather than starting off and getting
your **** kicked by a bunch of fatties with no girlfriends (which is obviously
what people who beat us in online games are) you'll have a level slapped on your
newbie butt that will dictate who you get matched up against. As you rack up the
kills and develop your skills you'll level up and begin to face off with more
experienced players.

You'll be able to dip into Halo 2 at any point after its release and instantly
get a match against gamers of your standard. What's more, you'll have a separate
ranking for individual and team game modes, so your solo score won't get damaged
if you're useless playing in a team.

Since no individual player is acting as a host in Optimatch games, Halo 2
automatically chooses the person best suited to acting as host without them even
knowing. If they drop out someone else becomes host, and so on. Easy.

Arranged matches, on the other hand, don't count towards your ranking. Why? To
stop cheats bumping up their scores by arranging matches against easy prey or
their similarly loser-ish mates. That's also why ranked Optimatch games are, at
present, pretty random in what game mode you play other than letting you choose
individual or team games. The idea is to give everyone an equal chance by forcing
players to perform in a multitude of different game types rather than
concentrating on a speciality.

It might sound annoying being forced into random games if you want to build your
ranking, but the system works so well we didn't mind. It's cool moving from a
rocket launcher game straight into a plasma sword-only Slayer match because it
keeps things fresh. What's more, Bungie is planning loads of cool interactive
ranking stuff that's still under wraps but will definitely involve Bungie.net in
a big way, so you'd be daft to miss out.

P, A, R, T, why?
If you want to stick together with a group of mates you can arrange a party that
will travel en masse from game to game until you disband it. It's kind of like a
clan, but only lasts until you switch off your Xbox.

Support for clans themselves is still pretty secretive, although we're sure
Bungie has got some amazing stuff planned and Bungie.net will again figure
prominently in these plans. With the customisation options on offer and the ease
of Live multiplayer, the possibility for tournaments, alliances, and bitter,
brawling rivalries is awesome.

Rules of Destruction
We were able to try out three game modes: old favourite Slayer; team legend
Capture the Flag; and the hot from the kitchen Assault mode. While you can't beat
Slayer for good old fashioned free-for-all madness, the Live set-up is
particularly suited to team games so we got a real kick out of CTF and Assault.

The most exciting thing about the team modes is that you'll be able to set up as
many teams (each with a minimum of two people) as you want, so you could have
four teams of four or a team of six and two fives and so on. This adds a whole
new spin to classic CTF and although we could only play it with two teams you can
imagine the chaos if there are loads of different teams - each with their own
flags - chasing after each other.

Assault is a totally new game mode. Primarily team-based, it involves one team
planting a bomb in a strategic position while the other team desperately tries to
stop them, or desperately tries to defuse it before it blows. The player carrying
the bomb cannot use any weapons, and if he carks it a teammate has to recover the
device. Sure, it's Counter-Strike, but who says that's a bad thing? There's even
an individual variation called Neutral Assault where everyone's out for
themselves, resulting in some crazy shootouts as sixteen people try to nick the
bomb off each other.

Offline, Off the Hook
Don't despair if you don't have Xbox Live (although you should probably sort that
out really quick), because Halo 2's offline multiplayer modes are just as solid
as the original's. Every game mode available online is present and correct in
single Xbox multiplayer (2-4 players) or System Link (up to 16 players, each with
their own TV, Xbox, and voice communicator).

-Part two coming soon-

Last edited Sat, 18th Sep 2004, 4:38am; edited 3 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 3:33pm

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er-no

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Still a rather crud game.

Overall, BFV slaps it silly for multiplayer fun, and Doom 3 is so much more intense in single player.

Halo 2 is claimed to be better (by people I spoke to the 'very best' fps experience) - whatever. Lots of gimmicks inserted into a remake of the rather average original.

*gets his spoon and begins to stir*
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 4:54pm

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aaron 99

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Halo 2 will be owned and will blow...




OWNED BY ME AND ALL OF MY FRIENDS AND BLOW ALL OTHER GAMES OUT OF THE WATER!!!
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 4:59pm

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er-no

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Or it'll just suck, because it's going to be lame.
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 5:00pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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aaron 99 wrote:

Halo 2 will be owned and will blow...




OWNED BY ME AND ALL OF MY FRIENDS AND BLOW ALL OTHER GAMES OUT OF THE WATER!!!
Halo 2 will no doubt be a console epic, but compared to the pc gaming market which is already miles and miles ahead of the console gaming tech it won't be anything special. As er-no previously stated.

But things like this are nothing new, Goldeneye was a console blast and games on the PC outdid it in every aspect. So I'm quite sure the game will be a big hit. As if that wasn't obvious.
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 5:02pm

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aaron 99

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er-no wrote:

Or it'll just suck, because it's going to be lame.
Listen to my sig
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 5:04pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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aaron 99 wrote:

er-no wrote:

Or it'll just suck, because it's going to be lame.
Listen to my sig
GOOD GOD, WHO GIVES A DAMN WHETHER IT'S GREAT OR THE OPPOSITE?

Ultimately how good it is will only affect the people that buy the game. And even then, if it blows you can refund it. Why are people so vehement about it being sucky or great? It doesn't really matter at all... it's just a game. Buy it or don't buy it, but for christs sakes...
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 5:05pm

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er-no

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aaron 99 wrote:

er-no wrote:

Or it'll just suck, because it's going to be lame.
Listen to my sig
Sorry, I can't hear your sig.
I read it though, and it's a lie.
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 5:09pm

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aaron 99

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Then you must not have top of the line speakers razz
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 5:16pm

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aaron 99

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er-no wrote:



I read it though, and it's a lie.
You act like you don't know I am part of the CSB staff.

Last edited Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 5:22pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 5:20pm

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Joshua Davies

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People linking to our forum images like that aaron 99 run the risk of being banned from the forum...

EDIT : Thanks for removing them...

Last edited Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 5:26pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 5:26pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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aaron 99 wrote:

er-no wrote:



I read it though, and it's a lie.
You act like you don't know I am part of the CSB staff. Just look at my icons
Right, enough is enough.

aaron, you are not part of the CSB staff and I am personally asking you to stop this argument. Partly because it's redundant. And also because it's not difficult to see through what you've said about being staff... partly because well... er-no is a mod and I'd think he knows who the staff are and are not. Remove those from your sig pics or the Mods will do so for you.

Edit - too late wink
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 5:57pm

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sidewinder

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Wah Wah. PCs are better. Therefore Halo sucks.

That's a cruddy argument. I suppose MGS 1 or 2, or Resident Evil suck also. I mean, your logic is inescapable.

And Er-No, You said you played the Halo 2 singleplayer. That isn't being shown anywhere. And you rate the Halo 2 mulitplayer as if it's already been released.

I think you're full of it.
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 6:11pm

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Simon K Jones

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MGS1 was really cool, enjoyed that one a lot. MGS2 was barely a game - seemed more like a bad Van Damme b-movie, but with pretensions of being high art. Maybe I just played a bad bit of it.

Certainly, technology does not make a game. So there's no reason why an old console can't have a better game than a cutting edge PC. The latest graphics don't make for good gameplay. However, almost all the games I like on consoles are available for PC as well, with the same gameplay but better graphics. So it usually just comes down to whether I prefer to play in a chair with nice crisp hi-res graphics or on my sofa, with a blurry low-res TV image.

I can't see me paying much attention to consoles until the next-gen ones come out, at which point we'll hopefully be seeing all kinds of innovation - both technically and in terms of gameplay. That's what I'm really looking forward to.

</cunningly skirting the issue of Halo 2>
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 6:23pm

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Joshua Davies

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Problems with your arguement Sidewinder...

MGS2 wasn't much good - too many cut scenes and not enough Snake.

MGS1 was a good console game but it didn't cut it on the PC because it was way to limiting when other games were first person or gave you more freedom to explore. Basically different games work better on different formats - Mortal Kombat on the PC anyone wink

Never got in to resident evil so I couldn't comment - first game seemed far to limiting to me.

The difference with Halo is that its a console trying to do a PC type game (as Halo was originally intended) and it just can't hack it compared to the best on the PC. This was to be expected but Halo disappointed me loads. I do admit it was pretty much the best console FPS I've ever played, but compared to most PC FPS games it doesn't really cut it in multiplayer or single player. Once it finally appeared on the PC the game felt very out of touch - but then it was like 4 years late.

I hope Halo 2 is a better game, there are still many skilled people left at Bungie so I expect it is. I hope they have concentrated on single player as much as they have on multiplayer. All the multiplayer stuff on consoles really can't cut it compared to a PC so I hope there is a great story to keep single players going. Co-op mode was always good and I wish more games would take that on - would improve most FPS games. Its a shame you're pretty much stuck with a joypad on the Xbox as you can never get as much control in a FPS as you could with a mouse and therefore never really move on to the same level of gameplay.
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 6:32pm

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Nagual

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I personally believe that while, without a doubt, technology can have a drastic effect on a game it is not always a good one. I have two all time fav games. 1 - Ultima 4 ( on the C64 ) and 2 - Dungeon Master on the Amiga. Of course there is also Elite on the Speccie too.

Now all of these games have one thing in common ( well more than one - they are games and they are old and on differnt formats, thats three...) they had lastability/gameplay whatever you call it. The majority of modern games are truely remarkable things to behold and a pleasure to watch, but many of them lack that essence of the old games, when they didn't have the power to produce near to life looks and sounds. Now this basically means that programmers have become complacent or perhaps the comsumer has become less demanding.
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 8:22pm

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aaron 99

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schwar wrote:


Its a shame you're pretty much stuck with a joypad on the Xbox as you can never get as much control in a FPS as you could with a mouse and therefore never really move on to the same level of gameplay.
When I play Halo I use the "FPS master controller." You should try it. It makes Xbox FPS so much better. I know some ppl who got a port added to the computer just so they could use it with PC games.
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 8:56pm

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er-no

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sidewinder wrote:



I think you're full of it.
I think your full of it. As press I was entitled to play single player for a very short time, probably because they know any longer and any press member will stop playing through choice, I then went and joined the public and played the multiplayer for a lot longer, many frags of kids later. I left for the Doom 3 and World of Warcraft booth.

I'm full of it alrite, but its all good in here.
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 9:32pm

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CX3

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I just dont understand how people think Halo is a bad game. Ive never seen more tournaments of one game in my life. Its one of the most talked about games. Sooo many people play the game too. I love it, i even liked the co-op better than the multiplayer but then again i didnt get to play the multi player that much. I prefer a controller over a keyboard anyday btw.. This game will be huge, the sells will be huge and i cant wait till it comes out.

(Tho i still believe socom 2 beats out any gun multiplayer game on any system.)

-C
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 10:33pm

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sidewinder

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It is all good in here, except for Er-No's LIES!

Bungie itself says that the single player hasn't been shown to the public.
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 10:56pm

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AndrewtheActorMan

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Everyone needs to just realize that wherever you go it's going to be a different opinion. I personally like the game, some don't... I like most parts of it, but dislike some... GET OVER IT.

Andrew biggrin
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 11:34pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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sidewinder wrote:

Wah Wah. PCs are better. Therefore Halo sucks.

That's a cruddy argument. I suppose MGS 1 or 2, or Resident Evil suck also. I mean, your logic is inescapable.

And Er-No, You said you played the Halo 2 singleplayer. That isn't being shown anywhere. And you rate the Halo 2 mulitplayer as if it's already been released.

I think you're full of it.
That's because Halo is a first person shooter, and not an adventure/stealth game that isn't a genre completely covered by the PC.
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 11:45pm

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Joshua Davies

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Rating: +1

Would be interesting to find out what PC FSP games these people who love Halo have played. I don't mean for five mins on a mates system, I mean like to the same degree they play Halo.

In my group of friends nearly all the people who have played a lot of PC FPS games think Halo is nothing special where as those with only a passing interest in PC games seem to love Halo. The love of Halo by console users seems to be because they really haven't experienced good PC FPS games or can't afford a PC to run them well.
Posted: Tue, 14th Sep 2004, 11:46pm

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er-no

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sidewinder wrote:

It is all good in here, except for Er-No's LIES!

Bungie itself says that the single player hasn't been shown to the public.
Believe what you like sidey, I'm a journalist for a gaming company, I went to a trade show as Press. I played Halo 2. Hey.. two months ago I played the NintendoDS and am one of a few people in Europe to have done that.

/me slowly claps.
Posted: Wed, 15th Sep 2004, 3:24am

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sidewinder

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You still haven't given any details of what single player was actually like...


I'm calling you out, man!
Posted: Wed, 15th Sep 2004, 7:46am

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CX3

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*Looks and waits with popcorn*
Posted: Wed, 15th Sep 2004, 12:22pm

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aaron 99

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Other then the 2003 E3 demo (which I wathced about 30 times smile ), Nothing has been revealed of the Halo 2 campaign mode.
Posted: Wed, 15th Sep 2004, 3:22pm

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Vega70

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sidewinder wrote:

It is all good in here, except for Er-No's LIES!

Bungie itself says that the single player hasn't been shown to the public.
I've been following the Halo 2 updates for a while now and all the journalists do is whine how they have yet to see any of the single player gameplay so I can't imagine anyone else has played it. Bungie are being overly protective/secretive about the Campaign play.

Here's part two.. mouth watering news...

HALO 2: ULTIMATE ONLINE HANDS-ON WITH BUNGIE'S MASTERPIECE, PART TWO


In part two of our unmissable Halo 2 coverage we take an in-depth look at five
new multiplayer maps and play them to death!


13:04 So there we were. We'd chosen our armour colour scheme, we'd designed our
logo, and we'd hooked up with fifteen other players from 8,000 worldwide
Microsoft employees, a handful of European journalists, and even a few guys from
Bungie. Let the Slaying begin...


There are five multiplayer maps available in the beta version we played. Here's
what we saw:


ZANZIBAR

We'd already seen this level at E3 this year but this was the first time we'd
been able to have a good long sniff around - and blow the place to hell in
sixteen-player matches! Just to jog your memory, Zanzibar is a wind power
installation situated on the coast outside Old Mombasa, the city that stages Halo
2's Story Mode's first level.


This map is designed with team games in mind. That's not to say Slayer games
aren't any fun here, just that the layout of the installation allows much more
scope for tactical thinking. In Assault and Capture the Flag games one team
starts on the beach in front of the installation, while the opposition begins
encamped behind the huge, groaning wind turbine. Cue all sorts of D-Day-style
craziness as the attacking team storms into the base on Warthogs or through
secret passages sunk into the rocks, and the defenders scale the installation's
towers and fortify entrances to pick off invaders efficiently.


Playing this level proved one thing: team multiplayer games in Halo 2 have been
refined to such a degree that the only way to be successful - other than dumb
luck - is to work together. The formation of Zanzibar (as you can see from the
concept schematic art on this page) favours the team on defence, so the attacking
force will have to use precise military tactics and every nook, cranny and secret
passage to gain an advantage. Trust us, you'll have to co-operate to dominate.


One of the sweetest feelings we experienced was choreographing an attack on
Zanzibar, sending heavily armoured Warthogs barrelling into the base while
snipers picked off entrenched defenders from afar and a few brave infantrymen
flanked the enemy position.


Of course, you could just go mental and attack the installation itself,
destroying the massive wind turbine and blowing open new routes of attack.


IVORY TOWER

This is a large interior level that really feels like a human building,
suggesting it could appear in Campaign Mode as a location. It's a big office-like
place with several long corridors on three levels connecting smaller rooms with a
huge open area. There's a cool atrium here with trees and shrubs circling a large
fountain and flourishing underneath huge glass windows. You can even splash
around - or bleed into - in the fountain and if you follow the course of the
water it'll lead you into a huge basement area reminiscent of Quake's knee-deep
cesspools.


CTF and particularly Assault games were great on this level, with the confined
design and obvious strategic strong-points making for some really fun matches.
Showdowns often turned into desperate territorial struggles as we tried to reach
the heavily defended target area.


But it was Slayer games that really shone here. Tight corridors + walkways and
balconies opening onto large area = loads of Killing Sprees. In particular we
played loads of Rocket Launcher Slayer matches on this map. The water-logged
basement is the perfect place to snatch a Double or Triple Kill on a few battling
chumps, and the sheer size of the atrium makes it the perfect place for
long-range surprise blasts. Best of all, the network of corridors on either side
of the main atrium produced heaps of 'OH SH*T!' moments as we came face-to-face
with an enemy and both unloaded a rocket.


Ivory Tower gets another definite thumbs up, and it might even be an interesting
insight into some of the Campaign Mode's urban environments.


MIDSHIP

This level caused a palpable ripple of excitement throughout the room. It's a
small, enclosed map set aboard a Covenant Battle Ship - perhaps indicating that
Master Chief will be hitching a ride off Earth and taking a trip to Planet
Covenant in the Campaign Mode! - that's absolutely perfect for short, crazy
Slayer blasts.


Roughly circular in shape, overwhelmingly purple and almost claustrophobically
small (the original Halo's Merlin level comes to mind), Midship's action is
centred on a recessed area filled with power generators. Twisting walkways lead
up and away from the floor and into two open areas flanking the central core. The
walkways continue up onto a see-through platform perfect for dumping grenades
onto enemies below.


Two of Halo 2's new weapons nestle in secret places on this map. The high
platform holds a Brute Shot and a Covenant Carbine is stashed in a little alcove
above one of the corridors.


Capture the Flag and Assault games take on an extra intensity on Midship since
the target zones are so close together, but Slayer is the undisputed daddy here.
Stuff in sixteen players and the whole map explodes in a Star Wars-style barrage
of bullets and plasma beams. Barely a second passed without an enemy straying
into our line of sight.


Melee attacks and grenades become hugely important in the confined space as the
combat descends into face-to-face carnage and - get this - as the match
progresses and more and more damage gets done to the generators in the centre of
the floor they start to spark and explode, creating a pyrotechnic atmosphere
straight out of a sci-fi flick!


Honestly, Midship gave us some of the most adrenaline-charged, non-stop,
in-your-face gaming experiences we've ever experienced in any game, let alone
Halo. Sheer genius.


WATER WORKS

This map is absolutely massive, by far the biggest of the five we played, and
definitely the best suited for 16-player team games where tactics and planning
are your most effective weapons. It's a huge, deep cavern separated by a
bottomless crevice. A bridge spans the void and connects two installations
(presumably the Water Works) set at opposite corners of the map.


It could be Earth, but it could be a totally different planet; perhaps the Moon,
which has been rumoured to be a location in Halo 2's Campaign Mode.


It's certainly dark, so suddenly stealth tactics become extremely valuable. The
level ceiling is also extremely high, which allowed us to hop into Banshees and
try out some aerial dog fighting. Speaking of, vehicles feature heavily on Water
Works. We saw Spartan Warthogs and Scorpions, and Covenant Wraiths, Banshees and
the new Phantom. We had a shot of this huge beast, and while it's not too fast
it'll terrify a bunch of enemies when you swoop down on them with plasma cannons
blazing.


You can pretty much write off Slayer on this map as the sheer size makes it
difficult to even find an enemy. Assault and Capture the Flag are the reasons for
hitting up the Water Works. The level throws up some cool problems - should your
team storm the bridge and risk getting cut to shreds by a defensive force, or
split up, dissolve into the darkness, and find more stealthy ways across?


The variety of vehicles, the strategic complexity of the landscape, and the
fortified nature of the installations means Water Works will be the scene for
hardcore tactical showdowns.


LOCKOUT

We reckon this was our favourite level for pure, flat-out Slayer action. It's a
weird collection of rooms connected by bridges and walkways in a kind of M.C.
Escher-esque style, all built onto the side of a mist-shrouded cliff. Clever
leaps can get you the drop on your opponents, but misjudge a jump and you'll
plummet hundreds of feet to your death!


The reason it's perfect for deathmatch is that the narrow walkways all lead to a
central platform that quickly becomes the natural flashpoint for up close and
personal action. We saw the area littered with Master Chief and Elite corpses and
totally soaked in blood towards the end of a full-on Shotgun Slayer match, and we
loved it.


If picking off enemies from afar is your thing there are a few sniping vantage
points offering pukka views. Watch your back, though - every last one is exposed
from behind so it's easy for opponents to sneak up on your blindside and thump you.


But the maddest experience we had of the day was playing Plasma Sword-only Slayer
matches on Lockout. In this game mode there are no ranged weapons other than
grenades, so we had to take it to our opponent's faces. A tap of the shoulder
button swings the sword but if you're the right distance away from your opponent
your targeting reticule will turn red - and if you're fast enough to react you'll
pull off a one-hit-kill uppercut on them!


The carnage is unbelievable. Imagine 16 Master Chiefs and Elites running full
pelt at each other and only one survivor standing on top of the pile of bodies...


-Part three coming soon-
Posted: Wed, 15th Sep 2004, 4:16pm

Post 29 of 40

Xog2

Force: 20 | Joined: 3rd Jun 2004 | Posts: 167

Member

Bungie has not released anything about the Campaign Mode on Halo 2 yet. I am sure they are saving some surprises for us. No, need to argue about if the game is going to be good or not. Some do not even like first person shooters therefor are not going to like Halo. On the other hand people like me love first person shooters and I bought an xbox just for halo...hahah. So we will see what it is going to be like on November 9. And keep those write ups coming Vega70.
Posted: Wed, 15th Sep 2004, 8:12pm

Post 30 of 40

Hybrid-Halo

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SuperUser

schwar wrote:

Would be interesting to find out what PC FSP games these people who love Halo have played. I don't mean for five mins on a mates system, I mean like to the same degree they play Halo.

In my group of friends nearly all the people who have played a lot of PC FPS games think Halo is nothing special where as those with only a passing interest in PC games seem to love Halo. The love of Halo by console users seems to be because they really haven't experienced good PC FPS games or can't afford a PC to run them well.
Ding!
I'm not saying Halo 2 won't be great... I'm pretty sure that it will be. I'm just saying that consoles are walking on ground that PC games have already paved for them. Nothing on a console has even equalled Battlefield 1942 for experience.. you go online and you're gaming against 63 other people... No console can do that... the experience of being under fire.. planes flying over and in those planes are people playing the game too. Console's just can't do that.. And the PC did it a year ago now..

I'm not saying that consoles are redundant.. As there are many great games on consoles that blow on the pc. But in terms of the FPS genre.. the PC is the king... I AM also saying that;

Half Life 2 > Halo 2.

You'd be insane to disagree.
Posted: Wed, 15th Sep 2004, 8:17pm

Post 31 of 40

Xcession

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I just dont understand how people think Halo is a bad game.
Well let me spell it out for you. I played and completed halo 1. It was irritatingly repetitive, with annoyingly samey levels, predictably enemies, mediocre graphics and a pathetic attempt at a plot. It broke cardinal rules of FPS gaming (like infinitely respawning enemies) had a miriad of gameplay glitches. The weapons were limited and poorly balanced, the BIG DEAL about halo - its physics - was eclipsed by everything else which was just shoddy.

To review it in more standard terms for those that will undoubtedly try and pick holes in my semantics:
Gameplay - poor.
Longevity - poorer.
Graphics - entry level.
AI - predictable.
Level design - none.
Variety - Vari-what?
Plot - in passing.

When i completed the game i recal coming into the chat channel and having to vent spleen about how i'd completed the game purely out of spite, because frankly i'd got bored about half way through. I'm sure someone has a log somewhere.
I was battling my way through the game, fuelled purely on the desparate, irrational psychosis that... perhaps....if i finished it, the children of every developer who wrote it might get ebola, or have acid thrown in their faces, or that the developers themselves might be involved in a really horrifying car wreck.

Halo 1 was a painfully average game, at least on the PC. Halo 2 would require a miracle of development progression to suddenly be amazing.

Thats why i think its a bad game.

I'll keep an open mind, but with its track record i'm reluctant to believe it'll be any different to its predecessor.
Posted: Wed, 15th Sep 2004, 8:43pm

Post 32 of 40

Joshua Davies

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FXhome Team Member

I pretty much agree with most of that but not with the graphics bit. At the time Halo came out the graphics were as good or better than any PC FPS (although much lower resolution). Technically it did a lot of swish things in hardware that PC games couldn't really do because there were no standards for them.

Otherwise I totally agree with what Xcession said.
Posted: Thu, 16th Sep 2004, 3:01pm

Post 33 of 40

Vega70

Force: 280 | Joined: 9th Apr 2001 | Posts: 295

Gold Member

I actually enjoyed Halo obviously.The gameplay kept me interested throughout and enticed me to actually finish it. I liked Dark forces too but i'm ashamed to say that I never completed it, it did'nt keep me hooked long enough, Jedi outcast was brilliant and also kept my interest up to the end of the game.

It does'nt matter if you like PC FPS or console FPS, or if you like Halo or not... fact is.. there will be consideraby more then 16 people playing Halo 2 online and if 15 of my friends are playing it with me, no matter where they are in the world, that suits me just fine !!

All I have to do is find 15 friends smile

Part three of our ultimate online hands-on with Bungie's masterpiece


17:19 Our essential Halo 2 special continues as we get trigger-happy with every
new and improved weapon.


We tried out dual wielding at E3 and played around with the new assault rifle and
plasma swords, but there are a lot of other changes even more far-reaching than
we expected. The guys at Bungie told us that they weren't too happy with the
balance of the guns in the first game, so they've done loads of work ensuring
every single weapon is a potent killing tool. Here's the rundown on all the
upgrades and the new additions we got a chance to play around with:


Improved/Amended Weapons


Magnum: Remember the Pistol? The little handgun with the scope that quickly
became the weapon of choice for true masters of Halo multiplayer? Well, now it's
called a Magnum. It's actually been made weaker than Halo's Pistol because Bungie
thought that for such a small weapon it was punching way above its weight. The
scope has been stripped making one-shot-kill headshots much more difficult, the
firing rate's slower, and it doesn't have as much power. It's kind of annoying at
first and a bit disappointing that the Pistol has been relegated to being a puny
last resort, but you'll get used to it quickly.


Assault Rifle: In Bungie's opinion the Assault Rifle was the most disappointing
weapon in the original Halo. Remixed for the sequel, the weak and inaccurate
spread fire of the original has been replaced with a far more direct and powerful
semi-automatic three shot volley. You can't just hold down the trigger and spray
an enemy with bullets, but taking time to properly aim your shots will pay
greater dividends. A scope with double magnification has been added too, so you
can zoom in and nail the headshot. The result is a Rifle that's not ideal in
close quarters combat, but great for precision defence of strategic points.


Needler: In the original Halo the Needler was the ugly acne-addled minger of the
weapons selection - you'd only touch it if you were really desperate. In Halo 2
it's far more potent. While the needles subtly homed in on their prey before,
they now descend onto their victim like a swarm of angry wasps. They're faster
and more accurate, and they make a much more audible fizzing noise as they close
in on you, which, coupled with Halo 2's amazing new surround sound coding, can be
quite terrifying if they're heading your way. Not only that, they drain your
shields much more effectively when they stick you and if you get punctured by
more than a couple, death is almost guaranteed when they pop.


Shotgun: Everyone's favourite rib-splitter is back and it's even more evil than
ever. From about ten to twenty metres the Shotgun will spread deadly buckshot
across an opponent's body and cause much more damage than before, and at point
blank range it won't just kill them with one shot - it'll spread their guts
across the level in a beautiful shower of misty blood. Lovely.


Rocket Launcher: Love 'em or hate 'em, you're going to have to master the art of
rocket launching if you want to rule Halo 2 online. It's still a one-hit-kill
weapon, but this time around, as we've reported before, the rockets have a slight
homing tweak, so the projectile will subtly follow its prey. This is especially
useful against vehicles; Bungie wanted to stop players squashing everyone like a
turbo-charged steamroller, and homing rockets certainly help.


New Toys


SMG: Bungie told us that the SMG is the gun Halo's Assault Rifle should have
been. It's small, but it spits out bullets at such a phenomenal rate that it's
extremely satisfying to use and undoubtedly effective. It also makes a seriously
cool 'BRAAAAAAAP' sound effect and floods most of the screen with muzzle flash
when you squeeze the trigger, which we like. Powerful and accurate, the SMG's a
serious little blood-spiller. Use two at once and you'll spray guts all over the
place!


Covenant Carbine: The Covenant force's answer to the human Assault Rifle, the
Carbine is a high-powered, semi-automatic rifle and a double magnification scope
for sniping. It makes a brilliant 'CRACK' noise when you fire and the bolts of
energy seem even more powerful than the Assault Rifle's bullets. The Carbine
doesn't fire as quickly as the Plasma Rifle, but never overheats and comes with
unlimited ammo.


Brute Shot: The name suggests this massive beast of a gun will be wielded by one
of Master Chief's new enemies, the gorilla-like Brute we saw in last year's E3
demo movie. It's bloody huge and it'll slow your movement considerably, but
you'll be rewarded with the chance to launch explosive charges that nail anyone
in their path. Think of it as a high velocity grenade launcher. We managed to
inflict one-hit-kills on enemies by shooting a projectile through their body and
then watched in delight as it exploded, throwing their corpse in the air and
damaging anyone in the vicinity. Oh, and it's got a ruddy great axe on the back
for killer melee moves!


Beam Rifle: A Covenant-engineered sniper rifle, this long-range weapon brings
death from afar with unstoppable bolts of energy. Another weapon of choice for
players with eagle eyes, the Beam Rifle is equipped with staggering levels of
super-zoom and a faster rate of fire than the human Sniper Rifle. When you fire
it the beam leaves a glowing trail of energy in its wake, kind of like the Sniper
Rifle's tracer, so it looks cool when you're trading shots with someone halfway
across the map and the sky is streaked with energy. Seems to come with unlimited
ammo, too.


Plasma Sword: It's going to be terrifying coming up against a troop of Elites
armed with these. The Plasma Sword is shockingly effective when used to slice and
dice up close, but if you lock onto an enemy from a distance of about five metres
one squeeze of the right trigger busts out a one-hit-kill uppercut! Trust us,
Plasma Sword-only Slayer matches are going to become a cult event.


Death Multiplied

Dual-wielding weapons was one of the promised features we were most excited about
and it's amazing. All you need to do is pick up a second weapon by pressing X.
Each weapon is now assigned to the corresponding shoulder button, so if you pull
the left trigger you'll fire the gun in your left hand and vice versa. Of course,
if you squeeze both triggers you'll open up both weapons. It's a violently
sublime sensation that makes you feel like a total guru of gunplay.


It also adds a whole new dimension of tactics. If you dual-wield you can't chuck
grenades, you'll move slower depending on the size and weight of the weapons, and
your melee attacks are less effective. On the plus side you'll spew out pain on
your opponents far quicker and can mix-and-match weapons to maximise damage.


Part of the fun's working out effective combos, but we got a kick out of a Plasma
Rifle and a Needler for some instant sizzle and slow-burning fizzle - the plasma
dropped our target's shields then the Needles exploded to take him out!


Can I Get a Recoil?

You'll have to think about how much recoil you can handle, though. Unload a
weapon like a mentalist in Halo 2 and it'll kick harder than a mule with an
elastic band round its balls. You can actually feel your aim being pushed up by a
rattling gun, but it's not irritating - you instinctively start to push down on
the right stick when you fire to combat the kickback.


Of course, when you're handling two weapons you'll have to deal with double the
recoil. We unleashed two SMGs simultaneously and when we stopped firing we were
gazing straight up at the sky!


Hail Melee

Every true Halo multiplayer master knows up close melee attacks are the ultimate
beat down. In Halo 2 they're even more important - as Bungie studio manager Pete
Parsons told us right after he smashed an Assault Rifle into our face.


The one-hit-kills remain if you catch an enemy up close, and now every weapon has
more than one melee attack depending on how close you are to your enemy. The
standard butt-smash is still going strong, but we also saw some cool moves where
you lash out with your weapon in a two-handed pushing motion.


Some weapons even have awesome new signature attacks like the Plasma Rifle -
little blades pop up from the muzzle as you stuff the weapon into an enemy's face
so hard you can see your arm quivering with the force!


Okay that should be enough weaponry to satisfy even the most gung-ho Halo 2 arms
merchant but check back tomorrow for the final part of our unmissable Halo 2
coverage: an exclusive Q&A session with Bungie's studio manager, Pete Parsons!
Posted: Thu, 16th Sep 2004, 3:23pm

Post 34 of 40

sidewinder

Force: 4937 | Joined: 5th Aug 2001 | Posts: 2453

FXhome Movie Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

Xcession, did you play Halo on Easy, PC, or both?


You're list had a few errors, let me fix 'em.

Gameplay - great.
Longevity - greater.
Graphics - nice, but not the best they could be.
AI - unique, especially on legendary..
Level design - intriguing.
Variety - lots, especially with so-op and multi-player?
Plot - well done.

And you left out

Multiplayer: Incredibly awesome.

Yeah, just thought I'd fix a few things.
Posted: Thu, 16th Sep 2004, 3:58pm

Post 35 of 40

Klut

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Gold Member

I love halo, and I'm going to love halo2
Posted: Thu, 16th Sep 2004, 4:02pm

Post 36 of 40

Xog2

Force: 20 | Joined: 3rd Jun 2004 | Posts: 167

Member

Halo 1 was not about the campaign at all. It was alright but kind of was repetive at some parts. Having LAN parties with your friends is what it is about and sidewinder pretty much sumed it up when he said Multiplayer: Incredibly awesome.


Lets leave it at that
Posted: Fri, 17th Sep 2004, 3:32pm

Post 37 of 40

Vega70

Force: 280 | Joined: 9th Apr 2001 | Posts: 295

Gold Member

Fourth and final part.. some of you will be pleased to hear...

17:24 In the fourth and final part of our essential Halo 2 coverage we take a
tour of Bungie's offices and grab studio manager Pete Parsons for an EXCLUSIVE
interview!

Here's the usual itinerary for a journalist's visit to a developer: arrive, eat
croissants, drink pulpy orange juice. Get shepherded into room, sit down, listen
to speech telling you things you already know. Get game demoed to you, chuckle
like a cynical hack when something goes wrong. Sit down with game while someone
tells you which button to press and when. Get dragged away too quickly.


Don't get us wrong. We absolutely love going to see developers in their natural
habitat. It's just that sometimes the whole affair is a little... patronising.


Which is why we were stunned when we strolled into Bungie's Seattle HQ. There
were no protracted speeches or introductions, just Pete Parsons, studio manager
and genuinely nice bloke, saying hello and telling us to sit down and play Halo 2.


Bear in mind this isn't some D-list developer hawking some crap-on-a-stick game.
This is Bungie, possibly Microsoft's most important developer, and they're
showing us Halo 2, one of the biggest videogame sequels in history. Like we said,
stunning.


And it got better. Pete and a huge selection of other influential Bungie staffers
wandered around the floor while we played, chatting with us, offering respectful
tips and information on new features, and joining in whenever someone got up for
a pee or a slice of pizza.


Later we got taken on a tour around Bungie's actual office and rather than our
guide very politely asked us not to look at certain things. For the record we saw
lots of monitors showing an Earth-like environment under a blood-red sky that
could be scenes from the Campaign Mode, some concept art showing off an
absolutely huge enemy that looked a bit like a Brute but was about five times the
size of a scale Master Chief, and lots of whiteboards saying stuff like 'Mike is
a tool'.


Back downstairs we cornered Bungie studio manager Pete Parsons and wrestled him
away from a Slayer match for a chat in the sunshine:


Could you tell us the whole storyline of the Campaign Mode and let us in on the
twist?


Pete Parsons: Yeah, no problem! So Master Chief... no, seriously, we're not
talking about the storyline at all. We've let people know that the Covenant have
reached Earth and that's as far as we're going at the moment. We spend a lot of
time telling the story and fleshing out the characters and we want to give every
Halo fan the opportunity to discover the storyline for themselves. That's why we
want to keep it quiet.


Okay so without any specifics, the first game had a genuinely strong storyline
and a really atmospheric sense of narrative. Is that something you always set out
to achieve?


Pete Parsons: Yes, and in Halo 2 we've worked a lot harder to do that. One of the
coolest things to come out of the game is this really well thought-out Halo
universe that runs through the first game, into the novels, and continues in Halo 2.


How excited are you about where the storyline of Halo 2 is taking the series?


Pete Parsons: Well, I see the game every day and I'm really excited about the
storyline. I love it. I know people are going to like it. There are a few things
that will blow people away. The primary thing for us was to expand the Halo
universe, tell this rich story, add in a lot of new features, but still let
people just jump in and become the Chief again, like they're getting reacquainted
with an old friend.


How intimidating was it returning to Halo and figuring out how you were going to
push the game on?


Pete Parsons: Well, we're hoping that all the little things we've added and
tweaked come together to be one big orgy of love. We basically avoid questions
like "how many weapons are there?" or "how many levels are there?" because we've
done so many things across the board. The number one thing we want to do is have
all these changes come together and tell the story in the best possible way.


The storyline and Campaign Mode are obviously areas you see as being essential.
How important is the multiplayer aspect of Halo 2?


Pete Parsons: We spend most of our time working on the single player because
we're trying to tell the story first and foremost, but the multiplayer's really
important to us too. We were really surprised with how the multiplayer aspect of
the first Halo took off and we wanted to make sure that when we took it to Live
we recreated that same kind of living room experience but all around the world.
So we've been working on it - and playing it - a lot.


How do you think the hardcore Halo community will react to the Live multiplayer
component?


Pete Parsons: It's been nuts seeing these guys hauling their Xboxes and TVs
around to play multiplayer Halo and that's something we're really proud of.
Hopefully Live will be a reward for these guys and we're really excited about the
ways Halo 2 communities might spring up. That's why we've worked so hard on the
Clan and Party systems so you can still have that social experience with your
friends and teammates. Of course, you can just get on there yourself and have a
great time with other Halo fans.


Will newcomers to Halo multiplayer be able to get on there and have fun straight
away, or do you think they'll find it intimidating?


Pete Parsons: Definitely not. People who haven't played too much multiplayer Halo
in the past will be able to go on there and have a blast. The thing we're all
most pleased with about our ranking system is that newcomers will be able to get
a really competitive game and still go onto Bungie.net to study their stats,
while the experts will be able to rely on getting a really tough challenge every
time they play.


Any plans for tournaments, national leagues, world championships, that kind of thing?


Pete Parsons: That's something we're looking at down the road. We're already
doing that kind of thing with system link Halo and the Live infrastructure will
make it so much easier to arrange stuff like that.


Halo was a hugely important launch title for Xbox. Are you guys involved with
whatever Microsoft has coming in the next generation of consoles?


Pete Parsons: We're 100% committed to Halo 2 at the moment. We haven't decided
what we're going to do next and we're not going to think about it until we're done.


Do you have any desires to do a totally different kind of game?


Pete Parsons: Oh yeah, definitely. Whenever you have a lot of talented guys
working together like we've got here at Bungie there's always lots of different
influences and ideas floating around. There are a lot of different games we'd
like to look at.


What do you play at home?


Pete Parsons: I really like Knights of the Old Republic; I think the guys over at
BioWare are awesome. I had a lot of fun with Project Gotham Racing 2 and Pandora
Tomorrow. Other than that it's been solid Halo 2. We've been playing system link
multiplayer for a long time now and we got the Live alpha code in January so
we've been playing online with about 1,000 Microsoft employees. Now we've got the
beta code it just keeps getting better and we can't wait until everyone out there
gets their hands on it.


You must have guys in the office who are phenomenal at Halo 2 multiplayer?


Pete Parsons: We've got some guys who are just amazing. I'm not one of them - I'm
middle of the road at best! Even within the Microsoft employees on our beta test,
we've got some of the best players in the world who give us great feedback, but
we're all constantly amazed at how good the real players out there are. I really
think Halo 2, with all the new features and Live support, will really give them
the chance to show off their skills.


So what's down the road for Bungie?


Pete Parsons:We're all going to get some sleep for a start, but because we're
involved with Xbox Live now and Bungie.net is a much richer site than it was
before we are going to make sure we're keeping that universe alive and fun and
fresh. Then we'll come back after taking a break and figure out what we're going
to do next.


Halo 2 ...The final word!


So what does all this disarming openness and overwhelming access mean? Well, the
lasting impression of the day is that Bungie is assured. Not arrogant. Assured.
They seem extremely confident that they don't have to pull the wool over anyone's
eyes, and extremely confident that they're working on a phenomenal game.


That confidence applies to the continuing elusiveness of any Campaign Mode
storyline details. As the day progressed attempts to gleam any nugget of
information became increasingly surreal as the whole Bungie team ducked the topic
with admirable dexterity.


This is not a cause for concern. We sincerely doubt there is any conspiracy at
work here, just an honest desire to keep the storyline boxfresh for every player
to enjoy in its entirety.


And our verdict on the multiplayer stuff? Like we said back in part one of our
coverage, at first glance it's not all that different. It looks just as good as
the original, and feels just as good as the original. After a while, though, we
realised that Halo 2 was evolving something amazing into something...
unbelievable. How does it feel? Perfect. Sublime. It feels like you were born to
play it. The multiplayer, especially online, is going to take over your life, and
we've got a feeling that the secretive Campaign Mode will hold surprises we
couldn't even dream of.
Posted: Sat, 18th Sep 2004, 2:40am

Post 38 of 40

Xog2

Force: 20 | Joined: 3rd Jun 2004 | Posts: 167

Member

SWEET!!!!!
Posted: Sat, 18th Sep 2004, 2:45am

Post 39 of 40

xbreaka

Force: 490 | Joined: 8th Jul 2004 | Posts: 525

EffectsLab Lite User Windows User

Gold Member

Hybrid-Halo wrote:

aaron 99 wrote:

Halo 2 will be owned and will blow...




OWNED BY ME AND ALL OF MY FRIENDS AND BLOW ALL OTHER GAMES OUT OF THE WATER!!!
Halo 2 will no doubt be a console epic, but compared to the pc gaming market which is already miles and miles ahead of the console gaming tech it won't be anything special. As er-no previously stated.

But things like this are nothing new, Goldeneye was a console blast and games on the PC outdid it in every aspect. So I'm quite sure the game will be a big hit. As if that wasn't obvious.
goldeneye still pwns all the new james bond games, i still play it wiff my lil bro and own him on it
Posted: Sat, 18th Sep 2004, 3:54am

Post 40 of 40

Serpent

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Gold Member

I play that with my friends everyday, literally. I love Golden Eye, multiplayer owns your babies. It is one of my favorite multiplayer games of all time. The sequel may suck, and I hope the DS version is a remake or a port. (Probably wont.)