You've probably heard about the new ability to dual-wield smaller weapons. It’s exactly as cool as you've hoped it is, and it's perfect for fighting in close quarters, when grenades are too risky to use. You will also find new tools of the trade, like the Battle Rifle, and tweaks to classics like the Pistol and Needler.
Old friends like Slayer are joined by new varieties, such as Assault, where you need to plant a bomb in the enemy base, and one-flag Capture the Flag (CTF). Factor in downloadable content, and Halo 2 is going to have some serious legs!
Quality maps are the backbone of any shooter, and the maps in Halo 2 are positively sublime. This time, there is a greater emphasis on asymmetrical team-play maps, like the amazing Zanzibar map that Bungie debuted at E3.
Halo 2 has full Xbox Live support, including some of its own online features you won’t find in any other Xbox Live game. "Parties" of Friends make it easy to stick together from game to game, and the matchmaking features ensure you'll find the best possible opponents, according to skill and connection speed. As Bungie told us, matchmaking can be a "real nail-biter" because you'll always be playing against people who are close to your skill level.