|Publisher(s)||Microsoft Game Studios|
|Release date(s)||November, 9 2004|
Halo 2 is the second game in the Halo series, that was realesed on November, 9 2004.
The story begins at the UNSC Orbital Defense Platform "Cairo Station", over Earth in October 2552. The Master Chief, and Sergeant Major Avery Johnson are awarded medals for their bravery during the battle of Installation 04, but are interrupted when a small Covenant armada appeared. The fleet, consisting of two Assault Carriers and a large amount of Class-CCS battlecruisers, begins an invasion on Earth. Despite the Covenant's previous history of being able to dominate entire colonies with that amount of ships, on Earth, the fleet was almost immediately destroyed. The Master Chief finds a bomb sent from a boarding party on Cairo Station, and decides to free-fall with the bomb towards an Assault Carrier. With the help of Longsword interceptors and several capital ships in the fleet, the Assault Carriers shields are disabled, and the hull is breached. The bomb destroyed the ship, and the Chief was picked up by the UNSC Frigate "In Amber Clad", commanded by Miranda Keyes.
The Frigate heads to the surface of Earth, in the Kenyan city New Mombasa. Here, the UNSC struggles to eliminate the Covenant's remaining Assault Carrier, which happens to be carrying a valuable Covenant religious leader. After a lengthy battle with a Type-47 Scarab walker tank, the tank is defeated. Soon after, the religious Covenant leader, "the Prophet of Regret", decides to hastily flee from the city. Three UNSC frigates attempt to pursue the behemoth ship, but only the In Amber Clad succeeds, with the Master Chief, Commander Miranda Keyes, Sergeant Major Avery Johnson and countless marines on board.
The story switches to the Arbiter; a Covenant commander blamed for the loss of Alpha Halo (Halo Combat Evolved) who is given a second chance to regain his honor by the Covenant political leaders, the Prophets. He is sent on a mission to silence heretics who were originally under his command at Alpha Halo, until they learned the truth about the Halos. The majority of the Covenant Armada appears at a gas giant next door to the now derelict Installation 04. After a lengthy battle in a gas mine located in a gas giant, and the untimely discovery of another outbreak of the parasitic flood, the heretic leader is killed and the tether to the mine is cut, which leaves all heretics still on the station to their slow demise into the gas giant below before the Arbiter himself is saved by his rival Covenant officer Tartarus, along with the monitor of Installation 04, 343 Guilty Spark.
When both the assault carrier and the frigate exit the portal, the crew of the In Amber Clad discover Delta Halo; another ringworld similar to the one found mere weeks before. The assault carrier heads to the surface where Regret hastily attempts to fire the ring, which he believes will make all believers to the Covenant religion gods. The humans knew better; the Halos were designed to wipe the galaxy clean of all sentient life. Seeing of the Prophet of Regrets misguided suicide attempt, the Master Chief and a detachment of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers stage an assault against him.
Eventually, the assaulting forces find Regret, and kill him. Immediately following his assassination, the Covenant mobile capital city "High Charity", and her lengthy escort fleet begin to bombard Regrets former citadel. None of the ODST's survive the assault, and only the Master Chief finds refuge in the ocean below.
Back on High Charity, it is made well clear that yet another outbreak of the flood was set loose on Installation 05 approximately 300 years prior to the arrival of the Covenant. After realizing that the activation index for the installations primary weapon is within a fortress of containment walls, several teams of Covenant try and fail to punch through the amassing flood army. Finally, the Arbiter is sent to traverse the lengthy containment wall, fighting fallen comrades that have turned against him. The Arbiter navigates the quarantine zone successfully, finds the index, and soon following the rescue of the device is betrayed by Tartarus as well as the Prophets.
In addition to the single player mode, Halo 2 also features a redesigned multiplayer mode. While the first game limited players to LAN connectivity, Halo 2 takes multiplayer online by way of Xbox Live. The player can play the campaign alone on a single-player mode or on a split-screen co-operative mode. The game follows a linear series of episodes that differ from Halo: Combat Evolved. The player will play as both John-117 and a new character, a troubled Covenant Sangheili named Thel Vadamee, but known only as The Arbiter in game. The player has an adjusted arsenal of weapons, some of which have been altered or removed from Halo: Combat Evolved, and new weapons being introduced.
One of the biggest alteration to game-play is perhaps the ability to Dual Wield small weapons; this allows for twice the firepower at the expense of being unable to throw grenades or melee without dropping the left weapon. In terms of vehicles, all vehicles from the first game remain except the M12A1 Warthog LAAV (Rocket Warthog) from the PC version, and the Spirit Dropship. Also, a few new vehicles are introduced. In Halo 2, however, the previously indestructible vehicles can now be destroyed and the player is able to "board" an enemy vehicle by climbing on and knocking the driver out or, in the case of tanks, punching the driver to death to claim the vehicle, or shoving a grenade into the cockpit to destroy it outright. The same can be done by an enemy to the player when driving.