Developed by Bungie
Published by Microsoft
This is going to be a brief review. I thought the first Halo was a fantastic shooter that aged pretty well, and once I'd upgraded to Windows 8, I looked forward to playing the record-sales-smashing Halo 2.
I was incredibly disappointed.
Graphically, Halo 2 could have come out any time after 1998. This might not mean anything to console players, but for the PC, 2004 was a golden year. Halo 2 is way behind both the Source engine and id Tech 4, and arguably, worse even than the Unreal 2k4 engine.
Plot was poor. Initially, the Covenant attacks Earth! And that's pretty exciting, but a few hours later the game is more or less the first one again. After ANOTHER hyperspace mystery jump, humanity and the Covenant fight across ANOTHER Halo, the Flood is released AGAIN, and there's a faction that wants to fire the Halo array AGAIN.
Halo introduced some great characters, but there is almost no dialogue in Halo 2.
A few new weapons and enemies are introduced, but on the downside, mouse sensitivity went all to hell and the vehicles are a real chore to maneuver.
I suppose that Halo 2 might have some merit as extending the story of an on-going franchise. I would appreciate that more if all games after Halo 2 were not Xbox exclusive. Even if Halo 2 is an adequate stepping-stone for a series, it is by itself a completely inferior, half-ass repeat of the first game, and compared to the other fare in that year, nothing I would highly recommend.
I have no idea how this set records.