At E3 one of the most anticipated previews was Halo 2. Halo, the most successful title of the young Xbox's life, garnered critical acclaim and has earned dozens of awards. Years after the release of the game there is still a strong fanbase of Halo players, so Halo 2 has some rather large shoes to fill.

The multiplayer features of the game were showcased during the preview, including some new weapons and attacks. The environment and vehicles are destructable to a degree, and you can shoot the tires of a warthog and see the hubcap fly off. Also, you can jump on vehicles and kick the opposing player out of the vehicle if they are moving slow enough. One of the new weapons, the Covenant plasma sword allows for one hit kills if you can get close enough to your opponent. Rockets can now lock onto targets if you zoom in, and the multiplayer is fast and frenetic.

Visually, the preview is stunning, utilizing every trick and tweak to get the most out of the Nvidia graphics core. Bump mapping on the rocks was superb and it is amazing that this level of detail can be acheived on the aging Xbox architecture.

Single player was not demonstrated, however Bungie indicated that the premise of the game is that the Covenant has invaded earth and wiped out most of the defenders. Bungie is striving for an entertaining and engaging story line, and defending earth from rampaging invaders always stirs the blood.

- Burt Carver


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