Halo 2

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Content at a glance:

GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: Xbox (Microsoft)
Produced by: Bungie
Price Range: $41-50
Learning curve time: 31-60 min.
Age level: Teen to Adult
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
Patches / Upgrades:
System Requirements: Xbox live required for online play

Reviewed By: Eric
VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER

Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Christian Rating: 3 of 5 (average)
Gameplay: 5 of 5 (excellent)
Violence: 2 of 5 (heavy)
Adult Content: 4 of 5 (barely present)


Halo 2. Illustration copyrighted.

In 2001, Microsoft released its much-vaunted Xbox gaming console into the world. To add another incentive to buy the system, the corporation also released Halo: Combat Evolved. The first-person shooter earned the praise of many for its graphics, original story line, and clever gameplay elements. Naturally, the folks at Bungie (the production company) decided to craft a sequel. Now, three years later, the finished product, Halo 2, is now out.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the story-line, I will keep it short. It is 500 years in the future, and humans have expanded throughout the galaxy. However, just as they start thinking they're alone in the universe, a strange alien coalition known as the Covenant declares the human race to be unclean, unholy, and an insult to their gods. The Covenant is now engaged in a genocidal campaign to exterminate mankind. Naturally, the humans are losing. To fight the advanced alien hordes, humans develop the Spartan program, which basically trains super-soldiers and equips them with powered armor. You are one of the cyborgs, named Master Chief and its your job to save the human race. In Halo 2, the Covenant has found Earth, and is now employing all of its power to make it a lifeless rock. However, you don't spend all of your precious gaming time here. You travel the universe aboard star ships and on other worlds, defending the human race all the way.

GAMEPLAY:
Halo 2 includes several new weapons, elements, and other goodies which add on to the experience. Several new weapons, like the Battle Rifle and the Brute Shot (a grenade launcher) augment the player's arsenal. However, my favorite weapon is the energy sword. The name explains itself. Also, the player can double-wield weapons. What this means is that you can hold, lets say a pistol, in one hand while the other hand holds another weapon. You can't throw grenades, but if you have a thing for Rambo, go for it.

GRAPHICS:

Superb in every way. The water looks like water, and the animation is almost life-like. The aliens are a diverse group of different species. These range from aptly named Grunts (little thorn-shaped creatures which ?????? ?????? turn tail and run whenever you are winning a battle) to Brutes (enormous beasts with armor). Every creature is very well drawn and animated, which is a far cry from some other FPS's.

Halo 2. Illustration copyrighted. In terms of content, Halo 2 defiantly has its share of violence and blood. This is not a game for hemophobic . Purple, neon, red; the blood comes in all different colors but regardless of its appearance, it's blood. (If you wish, you can turn the blood off) Things blow up, and bullets/plasma flies through the air in Halo 2, which explains the M rating. However, there is no sex/nudity/suggestive content, unlike Vice City. Your fellow Marines curse colorfully, but it is restricted to mostly d-words, a-words, and h-words. However, the Lord's name is taken in vain in many lines of dialogue. Since the game is at the “low” end of the M-rating scale, I would recommend the game to those who are no younger than 15 years old.

Halo 2 has definite religious overtones, such as the Covenants' holy war. However, there are no specific offensive reference to the True Faith. If you have reservations about killing God's creation, then you shouldn't buy this game or any other FPS for that matter.

In summary, Halo 2 is a recommended buy for Xbox. Its gameplay, although lacking in wholesome content, is excellent, and the graphics are as well. For more information, read the review for the first Halo on this site.

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Year of Release — 2004

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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