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Halo 2is one of those rare video games that garnishes attention from regular folk who wouldn't know which direction to point a game controller. With more than 1.5 million pre-orders and a massive release party in Times Square, the game enjoys the sort of buzz, and sales, generally reserved for boy wizards. But does it merit the hype?
Halo 2 opens with a cut scene in the Covenant Holy City of High Charity. Much has happened since Master Chief (that's you) created so much havoc for the Covenant in the first Halo, and the Arbiter has much atoning to do for his failures. This first cut scene is long, but the lush graphics, orchestral sound, and polished voice talent for both this and other cut scenes as well as the game itself put most animated television shows to shame.
Much has happened since Master Chief created so much havoc for the Covenant in the first Halo, and the Arbiter has much atoning to do.
In the end, though, Halo 2 is unabashedly a first-person shooter. It has a Mature rating and is not meant for kids. Gameplay is constant and intense. No sooner is one bunch of aliens taken care of than another descends. The controls are identical to the first game so those familiar with it will be up and blasting in no time. And the sound and graphics have been beefed up so that Halo 2 is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful console games available.
Most of the weapons from the first game return, although ...