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Halo 2 came out yesterday. I spent a great deal of time playing perfect strangers in multi-player matches on Xbox Live. So I have some first impressions.

Awesome.

Spectacular.

Wonderful.

Complex.

Halo 2 is to Halo 1 as Empire Strikes Back is to Star Wars, at least so far. I’ve only played the first level of single player (I was online that much last night), but it was a great level. And the intro for the second level was quite massive in and of itself. There were a lot of snippets from the E3 Single Player Demo that has been out for a couple of years, but with enough differences to show that we were just being teased.

Online is smooth as silk, in my opinion. It takes a couple of minutes for the matching system to get you hooked up, but that is prefereable to searching through a list of servers. Once the game is going, it’s just like a System Link or Split Screen game. I experienced no slow-down or dropping during peak Pacific Time hours (with upwards of 25,000 people online at once). Voice chat will take getting used to, I think. Some folks know already that you have to communicate with your team, others don’t. And the matching isn’t balanced yet as the best of the best are still at the same levels as everyone else. That will work itself out over time, but it’s made for some interesting games.

In all, I am very pleased so far. Campaign mode won’t suck, but if it did, Multi-Player is everything I hoped it would be anyway.

On another note, I’ve required registration with TypeKey in order to comment on this blog. I’ve gotten hit with comment spam pretty hard in the last week, though no one saw it because there is a system to moderate it, but it’s taken enough of my time to clear out. So, if you want to comment, there should be a registration link at the bottom of an individual entry.

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