Halo 2 - PC

3.5 out of 5 stars 388 customer reviews
| 36 answered questions
Rated: Mature
Metascore: 72 / 100
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About the Product

  • Microsoft telephone technical support ended in October 9, 2012 for this game. For technical issue, please contact Microsoft through their official website.

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Product Description

Platform: PC | Edition: Standard

Product Description



The entertainment phenomenon that conquered the digital universe is once again out to save the planet as the award-winning, best-selling Halo 2 is coming to the Windows Vista platform. Optimized for the advanced gaming features in Windows Vista, Halo 2 promises to revolutionize the first-person shooter experience for Windows gamers, as it did for consoles. With its classic story, enhanced visual presentation, multiplayer excitement and all-new Map Editor, Halo 2 for Windows Vista offers more game customization and new content than ever before.

Windows Vista gamers will be able to experience the epic story of Halo 2 as Master Chief delves further into the mystery of the Covenant in the aftermath of Halo’s destruction. What he discovers will soon threaten the fate not only of Earth, but of the Universe itself.


  • Epic Narrative: The saga continues with Halo 2, the international award-winning sequel to the highly successful and critically acclaimed Halo: Combat Evolved. In this sequel, the battle comes to Earth, and Master Chief, a genetically enhanced super soldier, is the only thing standing between the relentless alien Covenant and the destruction of all humankind.
  • Exciting Single-Player Gameplay: Experience first hand the epic struggle between Master Chief and the Covenant armada. Brandish dual-wield weapons Covenant arms and pilot human and non-human vehicles and aircraft to battle intelligent AI alien enemies.
  • Unmatched Online Gaming: Halo 2 for Windows Vista will tap into the power of Live Anywhere, a service similar to Xbox Live, to deliver online matchmaking for PC gamers. The service will enable Windows Vista gamers all over the globe to connect via their PCs and play on an innovative and competitive online forum.
  • New Multiplayer Map Editor: The game will also feature the all-new new Map Editor, guaranteeing additional new, fan-generated content in the future. The Halo 2 community can now tap their endless creative potential to develop an unlimited number of user-created multiplayer levels.
  • Complete Community Freedom: Halo 2 for Windows Vista offers gamers the freedom to host their own dedicated servers for maximum multiplayer action.
  • Superior Presentation and Cinematic Excellence: Bring the vast, imaginative world of Halo 2 to life on the Windows Vista platform through higher-resolution textures and improved lighting effects. Experience the unmatched cinematic quality of Halo 2 through the power of Windows Vista.
  • Unprecedented Pedigree: The Halo franchise is one of the best selling and monumental entertainment experiences in history with more than 14.5 million units sold worldwide, more than 18 Game-of-the-Year awards, 750 million hours and 500 million matches logged over Xbox Live. Halo 2 was also one of the most successful entertainment launches of all time – including books, films, graphic novels, games and music. Halo 2 for Windows Vista brings this incredible experience to Windows Vista gamers everywhere.

Product Information

Platform:PC  |  Edition:Standard
Release date May 31, 2007
Customer Reviews
3.5 out of 5 stars 388 customer reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #2,931 in videogames
#140 in Video Games > PC Games > PC Games
Pricing The strikethrough price is the List Price. Savings represents a discount off the List Price.
Product Dimensions 7.5 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
Media: Video Game
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Platform for Display: PCEdition: Standard
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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Platform for Display: PCEdition: Standard
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.
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Platform for Display: PCEdition: Standard
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.
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Platform for Display: PCEdition: Standard
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.
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