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DescriptionIn the sequel to Halo, Spartan-117, better known as the Master Chief, has returned to Earth, where he is promptly needed: despite all precautions taken, the Covenant have discovered the location of humanity's homeworld and are launching their attack. For some reason, however, their fleet is much smaller than expected. To solve this mystery, the Chief must return to the stars, learning more about the mysterious Halo rings and their constructors.
Meanwhile, the Covenant Elite who commanded the fleet at the Halo construct is blamed for the destruction of the ring and branded a heretic. The High Prophets grant him another chance, however: he is made the Arbiter, a special operative for the Prophets, ordered to carry out impossible missions. He will be dealing with dissent and rebellion among the Covenant - a conflict where he might find himself to be on the wrong side.
The player controls both the Chief and the Arbiter in Halo 2, a first-person-shooter in the same style as the first game. Its main gameplay characteristics are the same: only two weapons can be carried at a time (leading to a tactical choice as to which are to be taken), instead of a standard health points system there is the recharging energy shield (leading to an emphasis on finding cover during firefights), AI-controlled teammates will fight along the protagonist, and there are lots of sections involving vehicles.
New features include the ability to double-wield certain weapons, doubling the firing rate at the expense of accuracy and the ability to execute melee attacks or throw grenades. Part of the weapon arsenal is unchanged from the first game, but there are also some additions. The human projectile weapons are mostly new and include a pistol, shotgun, SMG and battle rifle. Returning are the sniper rifle and the rocket launcher. The Covenant energy-based weapons (still prone to overheating) from Halo all return, and new additions include several heavy hitters like the Brute Shot and Fuel Rod Gun along with the projectile-based Carbine and the Beam Rifle, both useful for sniping. The Energy Sword is a powerful melee weapon, able to kill most enemies with a single strike.
All vehicles from the original game also return: Warthog jeeps and Scorpion tanks for the Humans, Banshee fliers, Ghost gliders and Wraith tanks for the Covenant. A new addition is the Covenant Spectre, which with its rear-mounted cannon wielded by a dedicated gunner is comparable to the Warthog. A new player ability concerning vehicles is to board them while in use and either kick off the driver and take over, or in the case of heavy tanks, throwing in a grenade.
The multiplayer component of the game has been greatly expanded. On the Xbox, Xbox Live is now supported in addition to split screen and system link. The campaign can be played by two players in split screen. Competitive game types include Slayer and Team Slayer (standard free-for-all deathmatch), Capture the Flag, Assault (planting a bomb in the enemy base), Territories (controlling sections of a map for a certain amount of time), Oddball (finding a skull on the map and then holding on to it as long as possible) and more. All types have several built-in variants and can also be customized further. Players can choose from Spartan and Covenant Elite skins. The PC version comes with a map editor.
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CheatsSince its release in November of 2004 Halo 2 has been plagued with many forms of cheating. It started with gamers discovering that if they pushed the "standby" button on their modem it would allow them to move about the game doing anything while everything else was frozen. Later on the "Dummy Glitch" was discovered where players could turn invisible and capture a flag without the opposing team even knowing. In April 2005 Bungie released a patch that completely got rid of the Dummy Glitch and made it so that using standby was much harder and only a small percentage of modems can still use it to manipulate the game. All seemed well but unfortunately in June 2005 people with Mod Chips in their Xbox found out that because the downloaded content maps were stored on the Xbox hard drive rather than the disc that it was possible to hack them and use special cheats in the game. Examples of these cheats are the "Super bounce", Super speed, Rapid fire, Needlers that act as rockets, auto aim snipers, and many others. Most of these issues were eventually dealt with through patches.
Leaked CopyOn Wednesday, 13 October 2004, a pirated copy of of the game leaked out to the public, and quickly spread on peer-to-peer networks and IRC.
SoundtrackThe game's soundtrack includes contributions from legendary guitar legend and G3 member Steve Vai, who performs most guitar riffs in the game and did the main theme. You can find his work in the Halo 2 , Vol. 1 Soundtrack CD, which includes all of the orchestral and incidental music in the game.
SecretsRight at the end of the game there's a grunt that doesn't do anything, its just like the grunt from the first game except it says: "I wish that food nipple was waiting for me at the starship, cos man have I worked up a big grunty thirst"
TrailerThe largest trailer for this game was released in movie theaters. Near the end of this trailer, the usual www.xbox.com URL is replaced with "www.ilovebees.com" for a moment. If someone goes to the website, they encountered a website which seemed to be under the control of a Halo-type artificial intelligence. This website continues to be changed, telling a multifaceted story which many believe explain how the Covenant find Earth in Halo 2.
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Bazajt (1888) added Halo 2 (Xbox) on Nov 08, 2004
Other platforms contributed by Terok Nor (17661)
Hao Chen, Bernie Freidin, Bart House, Dàmiàn Isla, Jason Major, Eamon McKenzie, Mat Noguchi, Adrian Perez, Stefan Sinclair