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112 of 131 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You need a WEI of 5 to run it! (Plus, the technical specs that are missing...)
Until a really stable and easy to install patch comes out, this will only work with Vista, and a really good video card. (I'm sure that sometime this year we will see a true patch that will allow you to use it on XP, but then...)

According to the cover box and Microsoft website, your video card must be "NVIDIA 6100, ATI X700 or above." That leaves a lot to...
Published on June 22, 2007 by T. Denyer

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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusually High Requirements
The PC adaptation of 2004's phenomenally successful Xbox game, "Halo 2 for Windows Vista" comes 3 years later, right before the release of Halo 3 for the Xbox 360. Despite this gap and apparent poor planning on the part of Microsoft's release department, does Halo 2 for Vista stand up even with the test of time?

The first difference comes with the transition...
Published on January 3, 2008 by Lisa Shea


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112 of 131 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You need a WEI of 5 to run it! (Plus, the technical specs that are missing...), June 22, 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo 2 - PC (Video Game)
Until a really stable and easy to install patch comes out, this will only work with Vista, and a really good video card. (I'm sure that sometime this year we will see a true patch that will allow you to use it on XP, but then...)

According to the cover box and Microsoft website, your video card must be "NVIDIA 6100, ATI X700 or above." That leaves a lot to interpretation, and nowhere does it state the minimum technical specs required to run the game. So, here it is:

Video memory: 128 Megabytes or higher required
Supported pixel shader version: 2 or higher required
Supported vertex shader version: 2 or higher required

Copied from the game install warning screen:
"Halo 2 for Windows Vista is designed for computers running Microsoft Windows Vista with an overall Windows Experience Index of 5 or higher." Hmmmm, one would think that the requirement of a 5-rating would be in bold type somewhere on the box, especially since the majority of the mass-market computers sold off the shelf are well below 5.

I have the minimum requirements for the video card and 2Gig of RAM (in my Gateway MX6453 laptop)and it runs HORRIBLY, and, at times, not at all.

Make sure you have a really good video card, or else you will suffer.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected..., August 25, 2007
By 
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo 2 - PC (Video Game)
From all the negative reviews I've heard, I was hesitant on picking this title up. I never played the original Xbox version as I still have not gotten used to first person shooters using a control pad; I still prefer a mouse and keyboard. It installed without a problem and plays flawlessly. I do have a rather high end system, running a Pentium D 3.0GHz, two ATI x1800 cards in Crossfire mode, and Vista x64. The mouse and keyboard controls work almost the same as the original Halo version for the PC; there are some differences for dual-wielding of weapons as expected. On-screen hints tell you which keyboard keys to hit in order to pick up weapons or perform actions as did the original Halo for PC so it's not a direct console port just showing the handheld controller buttons as I may have feared. However, my two biggest complaints are:

1. The graphics are slightly worse than the original Halo for PC. They look a little more "cartoonish" and the colors are somewhat washed out in places. I'm not sure if it's meant to be this way, or something with my video card drivers is causing this. But overall a step down in realistic quality from the original Halo for PC.

2. Screen resolution selection only has a few fixed modes to choose from. Again, the original Halo for PC allowed me to choose most any video mode my card would support, including several 16:10 widescreen modes. Halo 2 supports just a handful of standard modes, such as 800 x 600, 1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024, and the only widescreen mode I have access to is a 16:9 resolution of 1280 x 720. On my 19" widescreen monitor which supports a 16:10 resolution of 1440 x 900, this "blows up" the picture to fill the screen, causing some pixelation, and also leaves me with a "letterboxed" view, with black bars above and below the visible playing field.

Overall, it's not a bad effort. I wouldn't recommend it if you have an Xbox console to play the original version, but if all you have access to is a PC, or you still haven't gotten used to handheld controllers like myself and prefer the mouse and keyboard, it's worth taking a look at.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusually High Requirements, January 3, 2008
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo 2 - PC (Video Game)
The PC adaptation of 2004's phenomenally successful Xbox game, "Halo 2 for Windows Vista" comes 3 years later, right before the release of Halo 3 for the Xbox 360. Despite this gap and apparent poor planning on the part of Microsoft's release department, does Halo 2 for Vista stand up even with the test of time?

The first difference comes with the transition from the uniform, high-end console to the more variable PC, with regards to graphics and computing power. While even at "high" settings I did not notice a marked improvement from the Xbox's graphics (though opinions tend to differ on this point), Halo 2 still commands a hefty "5.0 Recommended" rating on Vista's new gaming rating system. To put that in perspective, my current system is a "5.3", and newer games like Company of Heroes, World in Conflict, and Command and Conquer 3 top off at "4.1 Recommended". Apart from its variability with regards to graphic quality, Halo 2's only other new technical feature is the option for a widescreen Heads Up Display (instead of the stretched-out one used in the Xbox version).

Halo 2's connectivity to Xbox Live is the other major new system added in the PC transition, and this is simultaneously well-done and irritating. It is well-done because, like a console, the live system integrates itself almost seamlessly into the game and adds features such as online play, unlockable achievements (the first "Games for Windows" title to feature them), and friend lists. However, there is also a step back from Halo 1 for the PC; while Halo 1 had free, no-strings-attached online multiplayer, Halo 2 requires at least a silver account to play even the single player game. Thus, as with Valve's "Steam" software for Half Life 2, one must be online in order to play the game. However, unlike Steam, one need only log on to make an account and then transfer the account to one's computer; after the first time, there is no requirement for online connectivity for single player. The free account also allows access to Halo 2's online play, though many of the features (including matchmaking services and private rooms) are reserved for people with paid "Gold Accounts". Finally, Halo 2 for Vista features 2 new official maps for multiplayer, as well as a map editor. However, said editor is mostly intended for hardcore designers, not casual fans. Despite this, it is a fairly welcome addition and allows for a community effort in creating new and exciting arenas.

Overall, this game is done reasonably well by itself. However, when counting in its status as a ported version of a 3-year-old game, and adding the further frustrations of "Live" play and its unusually high requirements, I would not recommend this game to anyone who has already played it. This game is a last resort, meant exclusively for people who only have a PC, and who have not played Halo 2 prior. I rate it a 3/5.
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40 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost too little, too late, May 29, 2007
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo 2 - PC (Video Game)
Halo 2 is considered to be one of the best games ever made for Microsoft's original XBox, and became a smash hit back in 2004. Now, after numerous delays, Halo 2 has finally made it to the PC for Windows Vista, and it's nearly identical to Bungie's original game. However, this is both good and bad, and if you've never played Halo 2 before, playing it now may make you wonder what all the fuss was about. First off, Halo 2 on the XBox is what helped make XBox Live what it is today thanks to it's fantastic multiplayer options. Halo 2 for Vista shines in this department, offering great multiplayer variety and a welcome map editor to allow players to get creative with the battlegrounds. The 23 included maps are a smash as well. The single player mode was the console version's biggest flaw, and not much has changed in the translation to Vista. The single player campaign is incredibly short and concludes on a hair pulling cliffhanger and features a storyline that, looking back on it now, is rather lackluster. Not to mention that the visuals, while still good, have been outshined by more modern PC shooters to come out in recent memory as well. The game also features support for the XBox 360 controller as well as the standard mouse and keyboard, which can lead to some unbalanced moments of advantage in multiplayer as well. All the flaws aside though, Halo 2 for Vista is a more than solid shooter for the PC that manages to deliver most of the goods that it did so notably three years ago on the original XBox. However, if you've played at great length any recent shooters like Stalker or Half-Life 2: Episode One, you may be left wondering what all the fuss over Halo 2 was about in the first place.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Halo 2 Multiplayer Lives On the PC, April 16, 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo 2 - PC (Video Game)
Xbox Live ended support for original system Xbox games including the popular Halo 2. That made some fans sad. Well, if you really miss it you can still play it using the PC version of Halo 2. When this version came out, the system requirements and price were a little out of whack with what fans were expecting. Time has changed things. Now it's relatively cheap. It required Windows Vista when it came out, which a lot of PC gamers didn't have. (It works just fine using Windows 7.) Pretty much any Windows 7 computer can run this, even lowly laptops.

The game even supports Xbox 360 gamepads if you have the wired controllers or use that dongle thing for the wireless ones. Even better for cheapskates, online PC play over Xbox Live doesn't require a Gold membership. It's free!
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57 of 74 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Never Again, June 9, 2008
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo 2 - PC (Video Game)
UPDATE, 2010: This review is pretty old, and now that we're in 2010 and I'm on even better hardware, I've had a chance to revisit Halo 2. I still ran into DRM issues with the re-install, and if you already have Games for Windows Live you're going to find installing Halo 2 nearly impossible (I'll post details in the comments)...but if you can get it going in Windows 7, things do get better. In the past month or so, I only lost my savegames on the Live server twice and have only had it crash itself once. That said, here is the original review. I hope it is helpful for you.

I bought Halo 2 for the PC excited about trying it on my brand-new Vista machine. I have had it for over a year now and have yet to be able to actually play the game all the way through.
I went through the agony of having to create a Live account, and then having the game not "see" the account (but not let me log in because I'm "already logged in"). I experienced the unfun joys of having Halo 2 randomly tell me my savegame file is corrupted and I have to start again. I had updates crash the game, my license key invalidate itself, and after unanswered support e-mails, it took me multiple calls and over 3 hours on the phone to get someone to fix the problem. They had to do this by removing my license key, issuing me a new one, and telling me I'd lose all my "achievements" and account info. That wasn't a great loss, since the program would regularly log me into Live, then say, "You are not logged into Live. You will not be able to have any Achievements. Sorry about that." A lot of the messages I get in Halo 2 say, "Sorry about that." Sorry, indeed.

By the time I actually got the game to work (with shuddering framerate and random dropouts in sound), I was just angry. Angry at all the "Sorry" messages, angry at the hassle I have to click through just to load a saved game, and angry at the constant savegame level resets. I see new Microsoft Games for Windows titles, and I feel I'd be stupid to put risk putting myself through that again.
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32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A huge let down, June 5, 2007
By 
Jason Nowicki "Revenger" (Elizabethtown, KY, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo 2 - PC (Video Game)
My wife originally ordered two copies of Halo 2 from Amazon for me and my son for fathers day. However, while at Walmart I decided to get a copy of the game instead of that power washer I've been wanting. :) I got home and we (my son and I) started to install the game. First there is not option for custom install. You can only play the game while installing. I don't really care for this as I like to install my games to one folder, not all over my hard drive. So okay, we waited a little, while it was doing it's thing. I tried signing up for live using my account and had a hard time getting it to log me in... or even finding the place to log into live. The buttons on screen for navigating the menus are the A,B,X,Y buttons you'll find on the XBox controller. Not very good if you ask me. I like PC games and steer away from consoles. This game definately has a console feel to it. So we move on.... Videos are good, graphics are pretty good... game play.. well it feels like a console. The aiming system has too much compensation built in. Here's the short story, I was let down as this game feels like a console game and the menus are hard to navigate. Bungie and M$ didn't do much in the way of making this a fun game for the PC. Rather just made the console game play on the PC. I will be returning my two copies already in shipping to Amazon for a refund and I'll stick to playing the original Halo.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment, July 3, 2007
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo 2 - PC (Video Game)
There was a lot of excitement about this game. I was excited too. Unfortunately the game is mostly a disappointment. I guess I thought because Vista was required that there might be something new in here. This is not the case. This is simply a port of the Xbox version. The graphics are years out of date and look pretty clunky. It is not DX10. The highly touted "Game for Windows" that was supposed to let us play with Xbox users does not. You can only play with PC users, and there aren't many of those. Maybe "Games for Windows" will be fixed in the future, but as it is now I find it very disappointing too.

This whole experience has been a disappointment all the way around.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Version of Halo 2, May 3, 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Halo 2 - PC (Video Game)
I'm not the biggest Halo fan, and even though I had already played through the game and it's sequel (Halo 3) I decided that for $20 the PC version of Halo 2 was worth a look; especially since I could trade the Xbox version in for credit on Amazon. Let me sum it up, if you have a fairly powerful computer, let's say dual core, 2GB of RAM, and Windows Vista or higher (required), this game looks better and runs smoother than its Xbox counterpart, gives PC gamers the added benefit of the mouse and keyboard (which I find myself liking more than the controller) as well as the option to use an Xbox 360 controller, and for the achievement whores out there 40+ accomplishments to add to your gamerscore. Whether Halo fanatic or someone with a passing interest, this version of Halo 2 is worth the money if you have the specs to run it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible performance, horrible install experience, worst game experience ever, December 16, 2008
By 
J. Waugh (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo 2 - PC (Video Game)
Well, I'd just gotten a Vista machine finally - been looking forward to being able to play this on it in my office (instead of the xbox). The experience has been horrible. Instead of making a great port, Microsoft used this to try and sell Vista and jam their ill thought out Windows Live service (where they want more of your money) down your throat - and you feel it throughout.

Put the DVD in and installed the game, I don't care about Live, I just want to play local, but the damn thing forces me to link with Live to play at all and create an account. Then it forces me to download two patches on Live for Live (two different reboots - yeah reboots for a frickin game that's already installed - and the patches aren't for the game per se, they're for the live service) for god knows what, again from Live that I want no part of, but I have to login to just to get to play local.

What happens when MS decides to deep six Windows Live gaming - will my Halo game just not play anymore (since it won't connect to Live to login for local play)? Remember MS Play for Sure?

Finally after an hour of connecting to Live, which I'm not interested in, but I have to be logged into just to play local I can start the game - extremely pissed off at this point. Now, I've got a Core 2 (3Ghz), 2GB and an ATI 3870 512MB - I should be able to do whatever I want with this old game...but the performance is terrible, stuttering frame rates at 1280x1024 - you'd think I was running Far Cry, not a game with a code base from 5 years ago on a P4 (it should be flying unless they recoded it this way). Really a horrible experience. Just as with Vista, MS has forgotten who their customer is, jamming things down their customers throats to suit their own ends (have to have Vista and have to be in Live). Do yourself a favor and get a used version (~$15 or so) - it is not worth spending full price, at all.

Its too bad they could have made a great port if they had their priorities straight (i.e. remembered who their customer was).
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Halo 2 - PC
Halo 2 - PC by Microsoft (Windows Vista)
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