Bungie: "We screwed up" on Halo 2

Iconic studio's staffers admit to British magazine that 2004 shooter wasn't all it could have been, promise vast improvements in Halo 3.

When it went on sale in November 2004, Halo 2 was a runaway hit. The subject of nearly unprecedented interest, the sequel to the Xbox shooter would eventually sell upward of 6.5 million copies worldwide. To this day, it remains one of the most played games on Xbox Live, and a PC version is due later this year.

However, unlike the first Halo, Halo 2 was the subject of a significant backlash. Though its introduction of online multiplayer was hailed by critics, many critiqued its short single-player campaign. One subject of particular ire was the game's lackluster ending, which featured a not-so-climactic duel with a Brute chief before an abrupt final cinematic that all but screamed "sequel."

As it turns out, many staffers at Halo 2 developer Bungie agree with the criticisms leveled at the game. Writer and Bungie.net weekly update author Frank O'Connor admitted that Halo 2's finale was lackluster. "We drove off [a cliff] Thelma & Louise style," he told the British game magazine Edge. "The trick is to avoid...writing by committee."

Bungie engineer Chris Butcher was blunter in his assessment. "We had about four to five weeks to polish Halo at the end...[but] we had none of that for Halo 2," he told the magazine. "We miscalculated, we screwed up, we came down to the wire and we just lost all of that. So Halo 2 is far less than it could and should be in many ways because of that. It kills me to think of it."

Butcher was even critical of Halo 2's multiplayer element. "Even the multiplayer experience for Halo 2 is a pale shadow of what it could and should have been if we had gotten the timing of our schedule right," he said "I ****ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it."

Luckily, according to all those that Edge interviewed, Bungie is taking much more care with the final installment in the Halo trilogy. "I know Halo 3 is going to be so much better," said Butcher, referring to the less-pressured production schedule for the game, which is due out sometime later this year.

Design lead Jaime Griesemer concurred, citing a new development structure that allows for more flexibility and faster implementation of ideas. "We now have a system for when I want to come in and do something crazy, for making it all work," he told the magazine. "Now I feel like we've got this incredible framework and we can just go nuts and do anything we want to with this really solid foundation."

Written By

Want the latest news about Halo 2?

Halo 2

Halo 2

Follow

Discussion

1059 comments
pikachu896
pikachu896

there's no proof that Bungie said that, Bungie wouldn't say something like that, gamespot is gay

Lutari12
Lutari12

wow, i had no idea that bunge could say that they screwed up. they have too much pride.

Mokenatale
Mokenatale

zomg did bungie just admit the biggest screw up in the history of mankind....

popdude338
popdude338

@ JudgeRedemption i had come here with the express intent to ask the same question :/

JudgeRedemption
JudgeRedemption

Why is this still in the Gamespot email every single week? It's been over 7 months now since it was actually written and every week it's in the email like it's some breaking news. Enough already.

masterchief463
masterchief463

I never expected that Bungie would admit it. Halo 2 had problems. I missed the points where you are looking to find for example survivors. (like the first objectives on the halo.) Halo 1 had a ending wich left you satisfied. Halo 2 was over before you knew it.

spencdiamonds
spencdiamonds

WOW I am surprised that we agree on many aspects. Truthfully I cannot play halo 2 aswell its total crap and the multiplayer is terible if someone gets one more shot on you before them ur dead while halo 3 beta the chances were limitless because there was less grenade ammo and was less strong also the melee is like lunging which is awsome so halo 3 will be awsome.

Pupaluppa
Pupaluppa

Halo 2 was vastly inferior to its predecessor. The campaign was short, superficial, and buggy. The multiplayer was watered-down and completely different from the original's. To flappyjackjoe on the "where u walk around for 5 mins" thing: That was the whole point. Halo 1's campaign was epic and huge. I guess some retards like you who have short attention spans want constant barrages of bullets with no story or immersion whatsoever.

007-wolfenstein
007-wolfenstein

Halo 1 is good on pc i dont mind halo 2 on xbox but yes way too short and crummy ending left me hanging. flappy is right, Halo 1 made u walk for 5 mins and most of the time openin doors n stuff but no enemies in sight for 5 minutes! i wish they improved it so u had to be on edge the whole time.

jakass505
jakass505

i love halo 1 and 2 but i must admit i got a bit bored in halo2's main game but the multiplayer made up for it

flappyjackjoe
flappyjackjoe

halo 2 was better than halo one and everybody knows it. even though the campaign was short it had way more action and none of those stupid parts where u walk around for 5 mins before there are any enemies.

Mr_eZ
Mr_eZ

Can someone please stop putting this in the news letter. Its been running for weeks now and I would rather get other news then be told this again and again.

GLhardcore24
GLhardcore24

Finally someone agrees with me! Halo 1 was better than 2.

Ampersan5340
Ampersan5340

halo 3 will be the best game ever. On online with it's four person multiplayer, if you were to kill like 20 elites it would raise your stats or make your online level go up. Anyway the maps look way better and the flamethrowe! Awesome and that fourth grenade will rock the warthog to it's core. I found out all this at bungie.net

josh984
josh984

im hardcore halo fan and ya i did like playing halo 1 better even to this day i still love hearin cortana yell at that **** 343 guilty spark, i have to say halo 2 campaign kinda sucked and i really REALLY hated playing as arbiter not to fun...at all but the multiplayer is freakin awesome i play that so much with me friends hopefully halo 3 with be fun and replayable like halo 1 campaign

muthsera666
muthsera666

Honestly, I prefer Halo: CE on almost every facet. Maybe for the above reasons, or maybe because it's hard to make a sequal as good as or better than the first.

Hyousetsu
Hyousetsu

I was extremely dissapointed with the Halo 2 campaign. In fact I was looking forward to the campaign twice as much as the multiplayer because I remember how much fun I had with my friends playing co op through the halo 1 campaign. It was terrible. The story sucked and there was only 1 or 2 levels that were fun enough to play through again co op. But the multiplayer was awesome and justified the purchase. But yes even the multiplayer couldve been better. It seems bungie knew what they did wrong now though.

dthlord
dthlord

Yes, the Halo 1 campaign was longer, and overall better, but it wasn't too challenging really. The Halo 2 campaign was pretty difficult, a bit too difficult, but I enjoy a challenge, though I do agree that it was rather short, and unsatisfying. I have much more fun with the Halo 2 multiplayer though, and can't really play Halo 1 anymore, it's just not that fun really. You can't rate a game for one of it's features, especially when it's not the most used. I have played several hundred, if not thousands of multiplayer matches on XBox Live, but I played through Halo 1 on Easy, Normal, Heroic, and Legendary, and didn't touch it after that, and I played though Halo 2 on Normal, Heroic, and Legendary (with a friend) twice, then Legendary solo. I haven't touched it since, but I played it more than once since it wasn't just a walk in the park. I still agree that as a story, it wasn't as good as Halo 1, but you only really play it for the story once, right? After a few times, you know everything that is going to happen. It's like watching the same movie twice in a row. If you are doing that, it's not for the story, and it's probably porn or something, which is why you would play through the campaign more than once, because there's something else keeping you there. All I'm saying is that you shouldn't judge a game by it's story mode alone. You should search deeper within, and find other great qualities it might have.

MasterSarge117
MasterSarge117

im a hardcore bungie fan and all but yea they did f**k up in halo dos campaing in 1 was better bigger funner yea u could have glitches and skulls but wheres the nice long challenging levels not a short one to defend a space station or wait till a brutes shields r down to hit him. I could take halo 2 and beat it in about 1 hr but wit 1 takes a while cuz nice long story. well im ready for Tres! so lets hope this isnt as dissapointing as 2

SpazH3d
SpazH3d

Why did i get this old page in my daily gamespot email? ....And yes, the singleplayer in Halo 1 was much better. We want big BiG BIG environments, not some stupid small cities.

disasterchief17
disasterchief17

I myself was a little disappointed with the Halo 2 Campign mode. I had never gotten a chance to play the online multiplayer but now I have a 360 and I'm getting Xbox Live. Halo 3 will be the game to hopefully last me until GTA IV

scottwilkins
scottwilkins

So, why didn't they fix it on the PC version???!!!! I agree, Halo 2 was good, but disappointing when compared to Halo 1. Halo 1 was just simply fantastic. Fun, playable, re-playable, and playable again. I couldn't wait to finish Halo 2 just to get it over with. Bah! Too repetitive IMHO. Maultiplayer? I can live without that. Playing against everyone, even in teams gets old after a while. Though I can't wait for 4 player coop story play in Halo 3. I find that much more fun than the carnage from mass orgy play.

ccstrauss94
ccstrauss94

i dont really think you screwed up it just that there were some ups and downs

ThemasteratHalo
ThemasteratHalo

how old? this subject has been going on since jan this year. halo 2 wasnt that messed up. it beats halo 1 multiplayer, change back weps and redo story line and bam, its gunna rock. change of subject, maybe somnew stuff about halo 3 :D

starbattle226
starbattle226

crual buay is rite. the game is over rated. it soudns terrrible. needs more animations 2 knock the arcade cr@p off of it. and it is way 2 jsumpy and stuff it is jsut a arcade game. it isnt a console frnachise at all jsut crap

mienhboy503
mienhboy503

i just think that every1 and myself are totally gay and stupid for obsessing with games and to even think games have a purpose in life

flappyjackjoe
flappyjackjoe

i think that halo 2 was way better than halo one cuz in campaign there was way more action and u didnt have to do that stupid thing where u had to go look for survivours. its just better when u get to just kill stuff

BarkLikeADog
BarkLikeADog

Lol...yea halo 2 blew. halo 3 i thought made me feel like masterchief was just too fragile. Didnt really make sense because in halo 2 you can take more damage...In addition, they made game types which were ranked that featured battle rifles as the main weapon. Was stupid because everyone used it for its glitchyness. The game also had no sense of community although they promised a lot.

kittykiller897
kittykiller897

Halo 2 was alright, but halo was better. I think halo 3 will be the best, its almost guaranteed to be best just because its on the 360.

Barcode711
Barcode711

KingShade, Halo 2 was awful. I think the only reason why I bought it was to play with people I knew because, for some reason, they had an obsession with the damn game.

Kingshade6666
Kingshade6666

Halo2 ROCKED ONE OF THE MOST BEUTIFUL GAMES TO HIT THE XBOX CONSUL. A GAME THAT WAS DISSAPOINTING WAS HALO BECAUSE OF FALLING DAMAGE

creolbuay
creolbuay

Why is this still making headlines in your newsletters???? We have enough new stuff to publish and this article from January keeps showing.... How about sending our fresh stuff... Old news gets "OLD" after a while you know...

Great_Ragnarok
Great_Ragnarok

I really enjoyed Halo 2 aye. especialy the multi player.Theres nothing like having a 8 player lan party with your mates. and I dont think the story or the single player was that bad.Its that so many people were expecting so much that it felt short of the hype. but I for one has stopped serching for too much info about halo3.I dont want to get too hyped up this time.lol.

Fang_lord
Fang_lord

When i first loaded Halo 2, i was like woo, earth missions, woo sequal to Halo(which still rocks), but on the first cutscene, i was like, wow...look at the faulty textures, look at the sluggish frame...hey graphics arent eveything... Then i played it, i was interested until the most annoying thing ever happened...you leave earth by lvl 2-3 or something, and i was like "wtf...whats the point, ooo look another halo, bet that took you 5 seconds to think of!" and then the story was totally screwed up from there. So after the disaster of Halo 2 i REFUSE to buy Halo 3, i think it is a completely ruined franchise, and Halo fan boys need to actually look at the crap they are going to play, and think to them selves "is it really worth playing this pile of excriment all over again?" And personally, the Halo 3 Beta, although near flawless and looked good, wasnt really THAT good, its over rated(like gears of war), the actual graphics werent that good over all, but the thing i really like was the lighting, it was pretty awesome, but who buys a game cos of lighting? Well, im gonna stop complaining now...and get on with my life, cyas :P

persian_guy_69r
persian_guy_69r

reponding to JJChalupa2000: When the first time i saw halo 2 at ma friends house.. i was pretty excited to see halo 2 was out.. but after like an hour or two... i fully disagree with halo 2... i jst told maself "wat a waste"... u kno wat i mean... i've hated and disagree with halo2 sinse the first time i lay ma eyes on it... and i ma pretty sure its the same for most ppl... but i am pretty sure that Frank O'Connor wont have to say that they screwd up on halo3 on 2008-9... well all the best of lucks for halo3.. cant wait till i get ma hands on it =D

monty_4256
monty_4256

I agree with TG7777 for the most part (since I'm really sure what he's talking about with the lives thing), Halo 1 would have had FAR more people playing it online that Halo 2, if the xbox version was online it was just... better, all together. hopefullly Halo 3 does make it right again, gears of Ware never sparked anything with me, this game might actually get me to buy a 360... unlikely tho

TG7777
TG7777

well i think halo 2 is a bunch of bull sh@t i know a lot of people play halo2 online but it well be better if they just put halo 1 online see wich one has the most people on it the lives that you have on halo 2 they suck you just get shot and you die but on halo 1 you have more lives then ever im just going to wait till halo 3 comes out

lunchbox182
lunchbox182

i honestly cant wait until halo 3 but i honestly love the halo 2 multiplayer

durial117
durial117

JJChalupa2000: What? Quakes multiplayer better than Halo 2's? You need to get your head checked son. Its funny how Halo 2 is one of the most played games on Xbox Live. Try again.

gamer4ever1
gamer4ever1

my 360 broke and it wont be back in time for the release for halo 3. *sigh*

peterferrif
peterferrif

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

gamerbane
gamerbane

i want halo 3 but i need a 360 first.

snickerfatty
snickerfatty

CHILD ABUSE BUNGIE STOP SpANKING UR CHILD

JJChalupa2000
JJChalupa2000

Yay.... (heavy sarcasm) now that the developers say that halo 2 wasnt all that it was cracked up to be everyone agrees that it wasnt a great game either. I hope some people in these comments knew that before the developer said something. The first one was by far a superior game, and the multiplayer still doesnt compare to Unreal, Quake, or even counterstrike.

loic54
loic54

i just bought a PS3 so im gonna wait a year or more and then im gonna buy a used 360 so i can play halo 3 and fable or ill just play it at my friend's house

Arch-l
Arch-l

halo...nah i think what you mean is HAZE...yea BEST GAME EVER MADE..wait a min......this game not even finished yet?!?!?! @.@

13lackfriday
13lackfriday

Halo 2 was good, but not great. campaign was kinda short and the story a little flat. multiplayer didnt introduce anything really new except upped graphics. lookin' forward to the mines and bubble shield drops in Halo 3.

fototoestel
fototoestel

borncold1989 I must say: I play halo 2 and I had played the halo3 beta and it was 100,000,00 times better than halo2 realy halo 3 will be the FPS you must have if you like FPSers of if you have a xbox360.realy its worth the money

Yensog
Yensog

I'm still holding on to my PS3 at the moment (no comments please), but I think because this game may be the best FPS ever, I will gladly shell out $600 for getting the 360 along with Halo 3. Better than Halo 2 and 1? Holy Crap.