Just got back from a 20 hour Halo 2 play session with some friends. Most of the time we played multiplayer, because Campaign got boring. It's alright, and the graphics are pretty good. There are some issues however. During Campaign, I noticed some of the backgrounds are horrible, flat textures. One was just downright awful. The only other graphical problem I've noted (besides the fact that people look very ugly on HD 480p) is that sometimes a rocket explosion is pixelated. Not just pixelated, but downright orange blocks. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, you're agasp at how awful it looks. Real-time explosions in PS1 games look better than it. Otherwise, the gaem is solid visually, although not the prettiest game I've ever seen (Doom 3, Ninja Gaiden, etc. beat it).
Anyway, it appears that the first Halo was not a fluke and that Bungie really is bad at level design. Zanzibar, Waterworks, and Blood Gultch Coagulation (and maybe Headlong) are the only levels worth playing. Campaign modes level design failed to impress either.
Other issues with the game:
- After about two hours of multiplayer, I was successful in making vehicle boarding an act of suicide. It's quite simple, when you see the opposing character begin the boarding animation, press X to get out of the vehicle. You won't take any damage and as soon as you're out, just blast the vehicle with whatever weapons you might have. Unless it's a tank, it'll either blow up before they're finished boarding or as they're just driving away.
- Automatically dropping a weapon when you pistol whip while dual weilding is annoying.
- The A.I. seems to be about as dumb as it was in the first Halo.
- Grenade physics have been altered and now can't be throw as far. Plus they bounce oddly. Pistol whipping has also be limited, as now you have be extremely close to them for it to hit. Both have also been reduced in power.
Anyway, I enjoy the game, but only for multiplayer. I expect lots of great times.