While I’ve been taking pretty much every possible opportunity to play Forza 2, I did set aside some time yesterday morning to finish off Halo 2. As it turns out, I was up to the final part of the game anyway, so I was done in less than an hour. Gameplay-wise, it was basically more of the same, with a few tweaks that weren’t necessarily for the best, but it was still good fun. It’s clear that they had more time to invest in the level design, and the game looks a lot better for it, though overall it didn’t seem to improve the gameplay a lot over the more repetitive designs in the original Halo. The beauty of Halo 2 though, like Halo, is in those defining moments where everything just comes together, and it’s definitely worth playing through some of the less exciting parts to get to those key moments.
I don’t really want to comment much on the story, which I’m interested in but not blown away by, but I do have to say that I really would have been pissed if I’d played Halo 2 back in 2004, and not in 2007-8 with a copy of Halo 3 in the shelf beside it. At first it seems to wrap up the events of the game, but it quickly sways in to massive cliffhanger territory, with far more questions asked than answered. I probably won’t go straight on to playing Halo 3 though, unless I can round up some people for a co-op play-through.