Reviewed on Xbox

Halo 2

Reviewed By: Eric

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

Overall Rating:
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 2 of 5
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.

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.


Halo 2
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.

In terms of content, Halo 2 defiantly has its share of violence and blood. This is not a game for homophobic. 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.

Year of Release—2004

No more comments are needed for this game.

Neutral—This is the most awesome game to hit Xbox yet. I bought an Xbox just to play the halo series. If you are looking at an Xbox don't count out halo 2. Sure it's a little gory but nothing compared to some of the movies out today. There is no dismemberment, you are fighting a mutant race and you never kill humans, you are always fighting aliens. This game is one of the best of the best. My Ratings: [5 / 5]
   —Cameron, age 14

Neutral—This I would have to admit was very disappointing considering how short the game is and playing 2 people isn't exactly that fun. Comparing it to the first one it is not fun. Sometimes its not even worth killing all the guys in each level. My Ratings: [4 / 5]
   —Chris Abetkoff , age 11

Positive—I think this game was a very good game,and I agree with your thoughts. My Ratings: [3 / 5]
   —Joshua, age 13

Positive—As any Video Game, Halo is not attempting to recreate our real universe in any way. it is simply conveying an interesting, involving story, in which you play a major role.

I read a few comments on the possible offensiveness of the name of the Alien Alliance, the Covenant, who are bent on human destruction. I think we're missing the point. They could just as easily have been “The Alliance” or "The Powers".

As far as blood and violence, I agree, if you find these things offensive, then you should not play this game. However, realistically, an accurate movie of the bible would be more graphic than a few hours playing Halo (overlooking the Flood, whose graphics aren't great, so you intentionally can't see everything that happens). Besides, Master Cheif is trying to save the Human Race, and is ready to give his life if that is necessary (Who does that remind us of…

Where swearing is concerned, those who don't want to hear it shouldn't play the game. I agree that it should have been put on the packaging, the level of swearing. My Ratings: [4 / 5]
   —Kaleb Havens, age 16

Positive—Alrighty then, the Halo world just got unbelievably more complex and realistic (as close as one can achieve in a sci-fi, anyway.) thanks to the Team-up with microsoft, your Xbox will be getting put to the limit in terms of graphics, AI, and physics. Not to even touch on the workout your brain will be getting trying to survive this second encounter with the Covenant. Nice all around.

The only downside here would really be multiplayer. As it can utilize the Xbox Live network, the nice relatively clean tone of the game can be taken down to manure trench. This is thanks to the nice headsets that let you chat. Be careful who you play with. in fact, it would be safer to just turn the voices off (unless you know who they are).

The rest of the objectionable elements from Halo are back, but some of the human commentary comes very close to making me avoid the game altogether. the humans ARE soldiers, I suppose. and even John 117 is not immune to the effects.

Altogether, the story mode is a continuation of the first. Multiplayer gets scary (thanks to those headsets) and everyone gets a major mental workout. have fun. My Ratings: [3 / 5]
   —Seth Britton, age 16

Positive—Awesome game. Great graphics great controls great everything. The only thing i'm mad at is the amount language. the only cursing is from fellow marines that quickly die and grunts that also quickly die. My Ratings: [3 / 5]
   —Seth Dawang, age 14

Positive—Personally, I think that Halo's storyline can vary depending on how you look at it.

Bungie, the creator of the Halo games, originally intended for it to be heavily based on the Bible. For Example, in the bible, the humans were sinning against God at a high scale, therefore God sent a flood and destroyed everyone and everything except for Noah.

In Halo & Halo 2, the Forerunners made the Halos, and with it, came the flood (nasty aliens that consume other species).

In halo 2, it also showed the Prophets of the Covenant as False Prophets at the end, and Master Chief (who can be seen as Jesus), reveals their deceitful way.

Overall, Halo 2 is an extremely well made video game. The only heavy concern for content is when you go into online play. Unfortunately, the Ratio of a Good Person and a Some Jerk is heavily balanced towards the Jerks. My Ratings: [4 / 5]
   —CJ, age 18

Positive—The only reason I bought an Xbox was for Halo. This is the best FPS that I have seen in a long time. The weapons have advanced quite a bit, and you don't have to be a Spartan all the time in multiplayer if you don't want to. The Energy Sword is the best weapon, and the Banshee is the best vehicle. I suggest this game to anyone with an Xbox. My Ratings: [3 / 5]
   —Lexie Klooster, age 13

Positive—This game rocked my world. The first Halo was amazing enough, but Halo 2 was like a movie. The characters are likable or dislikable, respectively. The graphics are astounding in depth, and for a M rated game, the Halo series is quite mild. The language rarely strays from a mild level, and the violence is rather tame (people don't even blow apart when hit with a grenade.) But as the original review said, its not for the hemophobic. Blood comes in large quantities. But its mostly alien blood. My Ratings: [4 / 5]
   —Tim, age 17

Positive—If you have ever played Halo you notice there is an great sum of swearing on the first level which you can not turn off. Not so on Halo 2 the swearing is here and there not constant like Halo. The graphics are better and the game is all around a much better game filled with so many upgrades new levels and new vehicles and the story line is even better oh did I mention new weapons this game is amazing and is worth the price every penny I love this game and it is so much fun. Not like other games where you pass it and then its no fun anymore this game is so much fun with so many maps and game variations this game never gets boring. Multi player is so much better and fun on Halo. The violence and slight swearing give this game a M rating. This is my favorite game of all time by far and cannot wait for Halo 3 to come out. My Ratings: [4 / 5]
   —Daniel Foltz, age 14

Positive— This is simply the greatest game to hit Xbox. The graphics are better than any other game that came out around the same time. The game play is nearly flawless, but the controls do take some getting used to. The game is very realistic, so there is plenty of blood. The violence is realistic, and graphic. However, it doesn't cross the boundaries of being sadistic, or too offensive. Since your enemies are aliens, the gore does not seem so real. The characters are just as good as Halo part 1. The game isn't as in-depth or gripping as the first. To most Halo fans, the ending was extremely disappointing and seemed like a cop-out because the producers ran out of time. But, it left the door wide open for Halo 3. I recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a good FPS (first person shooter). ENJOY!! My Ratings: [3 / 5]
   —Taylor Zook, age 15

Positive—This is, without question, one of the very best First Person Shooter video games that's ever been released. The gameplay and graphics are some of the finest in a game, the campaign has a rather compelling storyline (albeit with a disappointing cliffhanger ending, but that makes one even more eager for “Halo 3” when it's released), and the multiplayer is the best part of the game. You and your friends will have hours upon hours of fun, exciting times and hilarious moments in the multiplayer matches.

Overall, “Halo 2” is rather tame. Some profanity and, of course, violence and blood are present, but not in excessive amounts. Once, when I was on the single player mode, I heard one of the soldiers fighting with me say, "Please Lord, let me get out of this alive," a remark which I found very encouraging in the midst of combat. If you think you can take the violence and slight language problems, this is most definitely a video game that you'll remember and play for years to come, and is an experience I'd highly recommend My Ratings: [4 / 5]
   —John, age 18

Positive—This is pretty much the best game I have ever played. The A.I. are even better in this one then in the first. If you board an enemy vehicle, they take it back. While there is blood, there isn't that much. And anyway, that's how war is. Blood is in beings and if you shoot them, it comes out. The only thing that I am disappointed in is that the campaign is repeated. You find another Halo, you again find the flood, (which, by the way, are more scary because of the graphics), and you blow it up the EXACT same way that you did in Halo 1, except Cortana does it. The multiplayer is fantastic. The duel wielding makes it more fun and Xbox-Live enabled makes it superb. I would recommend this game to anyone who has an Xbox if they don't mind blood. Also, there is hardly any profanity. So, I would ignore the Language rating on the back of the box. My Ratings: [5 / 5]
   — Wes Peters, age 13

Positive—Its a VERY good game though I don't like the Cursing like when Sarget Johnson says we regret beating alien Bas***** overall its good for ages 10 and up+. My Ratings: [4 / 5]
   —Kevin, age 10

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

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