Halo 2 Anniversary, Why the Time is Right

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Halo 2 released almost nine years ago. Ten, next year. At the time of release it was one of the biggest multiplayer shooters of all time. Having sold more than 6.3 million copies, it is also the best-selling game for the original Xbox.

And it’s time for a rerelease.

With the coming release of the Xbox One and the ten years it’s been since the release of Halo 2, a large majority of players never experienced Halo 2’s online abilities, and without a rerelease, they most likely never will. Halo 2 is popularly heralded as being the best Halo games ever released, with many players swearing by that fact. Obviously, the world wants Halo 2 back, so why wouldn’t 343 give it to us?

In a recent interview with IGN, 343’s Phil Spencer stated that ““We have discussions about it. It’s more about the right time and making sure that we really would do the right thing for the franchise.”

Whether a Halo 2 Anniversary may or may not be coming to us soon, we don’t know, but let’s talk about why it should.

It’ll have been ten years since the release of Halo 2 on the original Xbox next November, which is conveniently the same amount of time between and Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. Ten years is a long time in the gaming world, and the upgrades in technology have been humongous since then. With the Xbox One’s amazing graphic capabilities along with the new smart match system for multiplayer, Halo 2 Anniversary would be the definitive version of the game.

halo-2-anniversary

The significant improvements to hardware will also allow for the game to be improved much more than Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary was on the Xbox 360. Halo 2 Anniversary, if done right, could have the best multiplayer experience on all of Xbox Live, while Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary used a watered down custom version of Halo: Reach’s multiplayer. Halo 2 Anniversary would hopefully feature its own dedicated multiplayer with all of the original maps remade.

The Xbox One’s digital downloads could also allow Halo 2 Anniversary to be put into the hands of many more gamers. Halo: CEA was priced at $49.99 at launch. That’s a steep price to pay for a simple reskinning of an original Xbox game and a small map pack. With Xbox One’s digital games library, Halo 2 Anniversary could be sold at a much more affordable price (think $29.99) by cutting out the price for shipping, producing discs and boxes, etc, and going to completely digital sales. This would be putting Halo 2 Anniversary into many more hands right off the bat, because a new Halo game for only $30 is sure to sell like hotcakes.

There’s also the case of Halo 2’s current PC situation. Halo 2 PC’s servers were going to be shut down in February of this year, which was further extended until June of this year. With only a few days of Halo 2 PC support left, fans are going to be clamoring for Halo 2 multiplayer a lot more than they are now once that gets taken away. Announcing an Xbox One version of Halo 2 would be just what those fans need.

There’s also the potential for a surprise release, however unlikely that is. How amazing would it be for 343 to come out and announce that Halo 2 Anniversary was going to be hitting store shelves this November, along with the release of the Xbox One? Imagine an event where Don Mattrick takes the stage along with Bonnie Ross (343’s General Manager) and Frank O’Connor (the Franchise Development Director) to announce that Halo 2 Anniversary will be releasing this November alongside the Xbox One. A surprise like that would take the world by storm. That would be a system seller that could certainly bring them back from the DRM mess they’re still desperately trying to recover from.

Halo 2 Anniversary would be a great move for both Microsoft, 343 Industries, and fans alike. How likely do you think it is that we see Halo 2 Anniversary any time soon? Let us know in the comments.


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Author: Austin Griffith View all posts by
Austin Griffith is LevelSave.com's Reviews Editor. He began gaming young with Pokemon Silver and Banjo-Tooie and hasn't stopped since. You can find him on Twitter @AustinG909 and on Xbox Live at iKarmakazi. You can email him directly at AustinGriffith@LevelSave.com
  • bob

    Give…Back…Halo…2…

  • Nicholas Deuel

    Sorry but most of this article is wishful thinking. Halo 4 is already coming out in a repacked addition. It is way to late in the year for Halo 2 to be announced. Microsoft likes to get out early and market these things. Next year will be Halo 5 so we wont even see it then. It looks like Microsoft has jumped on the yearly schedule for these games (AC & COD) so look for 2015 to be the year.

    I also dont think they are going to go digital only at a cheaper price. The industry is driven by physical purchases right now. I loved what MS was trying to do with this next gen but it blew up in their faces. A lot of that was an uneducated knee jerk reaction by the consumer but the writing is on the wall. Plus part of the fun with the original fun was brining your disk to a friends house to play.

    There were some great ideas in this post. I enjoyed it. MS should listen but they wont.

    Good work

  • Ken Hadouken Ryu

    You mention that a cheaper Halo 2 would sell like hotcakes, but if 343 is going to take the time to redo the game using Xbox One hardware, it would be prudent for the company to charge full price, especially if they are going to take the time and resources to practically remake the game. That being said, I love this idea. Halo 2 was an amazing experience and I would love to play it again and see what next-gen Halo would look like. I could see them using it as a test for how Halo plays on an Xbox One controller and see how the public reacts.