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Marathon 2: Durandal

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Xbox 360
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Following the events of the original game, the Pfhor aliens have been defeated and the A.I. known as Durandral has been freed from it's containment. 17 years have passed and Durandral has assembled his own army from the colonists of Tau Ceti, including the Security Officer. Traveling across the galaxy, Durandral finds the home world of the S'pht, a Pfhor slave race, who Durandal liberates and who now worship Durandral as their Messiah. Durandal is searching for the location of a legendary lost tribe of S'pht who may hold the key to his mad quest for... well, whatever he's madly questing for. Unfortunately, the Pfhor dislike Durandral's presence and begin attacking his army.

Marathon 2: Durandal is the sequel to the first Marathon. Although the engine is similar to Doom in most respects (2.5D maps, bitmap sprites instead of polygons, etc.), Marathon 2 distinguishes itself with such features such as: a rudimentary inventory system, ambient sound, multiple fire modes for each weapon, allies who aid the player, enemies belonging to different factions which will attack each other, a more developed plot (gradually narrated to the player at various computer terminals scattered throughout the levels (much like System Shock's e-mail transmissions)).

The game's engine has gained a number of improvements over the original Marathon. It now displays in a much larger portion of the screen, supports maps with four times the complexity and adds support for liquids and swimming. All liquids use oxygen when the player is submerged and some also do damage. Many levels have mechanisms allowing areas to be flooded or drained, changing the depth of the liquid.

The other major new feature is a bunch of new multiplayer modes. The entire single-player portion can be played cooperatively with up to eight players and the game adjusts weapon and monster placement accordingly. In addition to "Every Man for Himself" mode (essentially deathmatch), it now includes "Kill of the Hill" where the object is to occupy a designated spot on the map more than anyone else, and "Kill the Guy with the Ball" where the object is to hold a skull the longest, the player holding it being unable to fire weapons.


Marathon 2: Durandal Xbox 360 Punching a sentry robot to death.
Marathon 2: Durandal Xbox 360 Loading screens have trivia and tips.
Marathon 2: Durandal Windows Fighting two troopers on Ex Cathedra. Not the best time to reload.
Marathon 2: Durandal Xbox 360 "Survival" mode pits you against waves of teleporting foes.

Alternate Titles

  • "Marathon: Durandal" -- Xbox 360 title

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User Reviews

A classic finally comes to a platform people actually own and play games on Xbox 360 Ace of Sevens (4225)
A forgotten FPS classic (that actually works under windows xp today!) Windows Andreas SJ (22)
Atmospheric, terrific, amazing...who needed DOOM when you had Marathon? Windows Michael McKinlay (5)

Critic Reviews

PC Games Windows Dec, 1996 B+ 83
GameSpot Windows Sep 06, 1996 8.2 out of 10 82
Gamezilla Windows Nov 20, 2000 80 out of 100 80
TeamXbox Xbox 360 Aug 01, 2007 7.9 out of 10 79
Computer Games Magazine Windows 1996 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
PAL Gaming Network (PALGN) Xbox 360 Aug 28, 2007 7 out of 10 70
FileFactory Games / Gameworld Network Xbox 360 Aug 08, 2007 65 out of 100 65
UOL Jogos Xbox 360 Aug 02, 2007 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Boomtown Xbox 360 Aug 09, 2007 6 out of 10 60
PC Player (Germany) Windows Apr, 1997 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 40


Topic # Posts Last Post
Kids these days 2 Zovni (9321)
Aug 06, 2007
Coming to XBLA 5 Ace of Sevens (4225)
Jul 18, 2007


Halo can in many ways be seen as a spiritual successor to the Marathon series; a way of bringing their Marathon innovations to a bigger crowd. The following Halo features stem directly from the Marathon series:

- Dual wielded weapons with dual firing modes - Weapon clips - The alien pistol, SPNKR rocket launcher, Needler, magnum megaclass and assault rifle are all direct descendants of Marathon weapons, right down to the names. - Rogue/Rampant AI constructs - Alien technology not even the aliens know what is (The Forerunner in Halo; The Jjaro in Marathon) - "Releasing an ancient terror from the stars upon the universe by activation of ancient alien artifact" (The Wr'knkacnter for Marathon, the Flood for Halo) - The UNSC in Halo is a redux of the UESC of Marathon: United Earth Space Council / United Nations Space Council

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Contributed to by Alan Chan (3479), Cor 13 (174226) and Ace of Sevens (4225)