Now I know this site isn't about opinions on games as much as it is mods/questions but I gotta say this. You know how Microsoft has taken quite possibly THE worst route in software creating since Halo 2 was released? No? Well how about H2 (period), H2 PC (WOW that sucked), Vista (obviously), Xbox Live (very limited choices, kinda like Vista), All Vista-based software (Office, WMP, OneCare), Bioshock (still v1.0 on the PC, no patches, and it's unplayable for at least 50% of machines out there with the no sound issue), Halo 3...they're all flawed in some critical way. Somehow they take tried and true interfaces and give them complete redesigns for no reason whatsoever. Vista's unusably slow, incompatible, and for guys like most of you on TPU, the worst and most unstable platform for overclocking, benchmarking, gaming and modding. Taking away the standard File,Edit,View toolbar in all applications is a joke too. Then with how many "new features" they added, the OS just looks soo cluttered with all the gay different-colored buttons and gadgets in every window and desktop. I instantly adopt new software, it's how I am, and with XP when it first came out, everyone hated it for no reason, I loved it. No one says much about Vista, but it's a joke. I tried it for a full 9 months and I have NEVER gone to an older version of software before but that OS left me no choice. In 9 months I never found a single redeeming thing in it. Okay enough Microsoft-bashing, time to review. Halo 2, I assume nobody agrees with me it was a perfect example of what the company would do later on with everything (halo is to halo 2 as xp is to vista), take a wonderful interface (lifebars maybe), universally liked and easy to understand yet intelligent storyline, sweet driving/weapon/physics engines, great bright graphics, clean environments, and everything else that made the first a hit, and change it. That sounds logical. Go from brightly lighted areas in h1 to near-sunset (even when the sun's up) lit areas EVERYWHERE in h2. Take sweet multiplayer levels that require tactics and visibility and totally remake them (blood gulch especially). Take a manly Marines vs tough Aliens story and turn it into a bitchass Star Wars remake with aliens that have human thoughts like religion and politics, and somehow grasp the english language better than any human, all talking like Mr. Feeney from boy meets world, then make the big mean Elites that used to just be the well-trained brawn of the covenant in H1 and make them smart-as-they-are-strong in the next halos. Make driving vehicles a skill-taking task with physics in H1 and just give it the Grand Theft Auto easy-driving cheat in H2, making it unbelievably simple and unfun to get around. Take the narrow and realistic hitboxes from H1 that again, required skill to take people out, and just turn it into "if there's a person on your screen, pull the trigger. you'll get him, don't worry". Take sweet weapons with great sound effects from H1 and take every single one of them out, making them all way-too-easy and unfun to kill with, along with horrible sound effects. There's no nice, full feeling (prolly cause of the brightness and big lighting effects H1 had) in weapons anymore. The funniest part is they took out the scoped pistol in H2 like that would even out the weapons, while turning around and making every OTHER weapon require no skill at all to use. The unorganized story was a problem too, with a retarded, N64 3d model plant that talks to the Arbiter and Chief for a minute in the game, that made sense. And the fact that you had to fight as that bitch Elite through more than half the game. AND the worst part is, you never even fight in a civilized place even though you're on earth the whole time. One level had roads. The multiplayer, how did that make sense? Everyone wins easily, is that why it's popular? Take unreal tournament, reskin everything, and make it easy enough for 5 year olds to kick a hardcore player's ass with the 2-second fights that depend on who pulled the trigger first (literally with the gay sword), and requiring no accuracy at all since the hitbox is as big as the screen. Character models, the Xbox was pushed pretty well with H1, it didn't have much more headroom to look better. So shine up all the models, give them very primitive and obvious bump-mapped textures, and darken everything in the game so it looks more detailed. Now take everything I just said from halo 2, port it to halo 3, then put the assault rifle back and kinda loosen up the driving controls like that'll help. The graphics, disguisting. The worst part is, even on an HD set you have trouble telling if it's Halo 2 or 3 you're watching. The jaggies of the graphics are disguisting, character models sick, the only good things are the special effects and if you zoom in, the cool blur feature when you move, and the very nicely done bump-mapping that every once in a while, at the right angle, give scenes cinematic looks. Don't even bother trying to reclaim the storyline for all the normal people that like the game, just keep putting it in the direction of the nerds with your "arbiter" and light sword thing. Oh and another great idea, give them MORE hand-to-hand specific weapons (that stupid, although fun, shock making staff thing you hold) 500 years in the future. Sure bullets and slow-moving plasma/battery powered weapons dont' seem practical either, but hand-to-hand? We don't even use that stuff nowadays, except bayonets, which are KNIVES. I would know, I'm a Marine. The sound effects and music, of course are bad, why wouldn't they be? The assault rifle sounds like popcorn in a microwave, which are what the SMG's sound like too, but the assault rifle is just bigger kernels. Has anyone noticed they never get hyped up to fight or help their marines out in the campaign anymore? The music went from sweet mean-sounding violins to a bitch piano that makes everything seem meaningful and wimpy. No more looking around at the guys next to you, then jumping from a dropship and sweeping it clear of some aliens with them with awesome music going the whole time (Silent cartographer was a pretty good one at doing that). And the levels, each and every one I've gone through so far is another Re-skinned version of Halo 1's levels, just darker and less interesting now. So all-in-all, I'm rushing through another horribly made Microsoft-endorsed piece of software again. Them I understand, they've become idiots in recent years, but the main company responsible for these games, Bungie, seems like some smart people. They admitted H2 sucked, even when the fans don't, admitted they rushed it, and admitted some of the clutter in the story is cause things were added at the last minute (like Brutes). Sounds good, now you at least realize where you sucked. Nope, just kidding, it was a hit so let's make another half-assed poorly put together game and as long as we make the Chief look cooler, everything'll be fine. Great job Bungie, great job Microsoft, I hope you both change your ways, especially microsoft. EDIT: Reading through this, I realize it looks like a 15 year old wrote this but I just woke up so forgive the horribly put together paragraphs.