Halo 2: Breaking up is hard to do
February 12, 2010
Halo 2: Breaking up is hard to do
By Adam Brown
When Microsoft discontinues support for the original Xbox, there are other options for the online multiplayer gaming fix
We’ve all likely heard these familiar statements before: "It’s not you, it’s me," "This just isn’t working out anymore," "I think it’s time we see other people." Of course, this kind of talk usually comes from a significant other trying to break off a relationship. However, on February 5th it was essentially the same message that Microsoft delivered to dedicated Halo 2 fans everywhere when it made the announcement that it would be discontinuing Xbox Live support for the original Xbox and all its titles.
Even though the company has long since abandoned the original Xbox in favor of the considerably more successful Xbox 360, some people have continued to enjoy their favorite last-generation titles over Xbox Live. More specifically, as one of the most popular Xbox Live compatible titles ever, Halo 2 still enjoys a vast collection of players who enjoy nothing more than BXRing their way through a few matches. But as with anything else, all good things must eventually come to an end.
So what is a diehard Halo 2 fan to do after April 15th when their longtime partner walks out the door that final time, never to return? It may not be something you’re willing to contemplate just yet, but perhaps someday you’ll realize that there are plenty more fish in the sea. Now I’ve never considered myself much of a matchmaker, but in this instance, I think I may just be able to help alleviate some of these soon-to-be-singled Halo 2 fans’ need for a new partner. Below I’ve compiled a list of multiplayer-centric titles that may just contain the perfect match for you, or at the very least, may provide you with a rebound game to help deal with the pain and loneliness.
Halo 3: ODST
One of the most common reactions to a long-term relationship breakup is to go after one of their relatives, making Halo 3: ODST an obvious alternative. I mean it’s prettier, more experienced, and still around - unlike your last love. Plus, this one has some new tricks up its sleeve that Halo 2 never did, such as usable equipment and the new cooperative Firefight mode. While there are some new experiences to be had throughout, make no mistake - things will definitely still seem awfully familiar with this one.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Giving up your access to futuristic weapons and vehicles may seem like a step backward, but if you give this one a chance I’m sure you’ll find something that you enjoy. With all the different competitive online modes available and people playing in them, you’ll always be able find someone to take any newly found anger from your current situation out on. Plus, this relationship will be all about you since there are a ton of personal customization options just waiting to be unlocked through countless hours of play. And if you find that you just need a shoulder to cry on, the two-player cooperative special ops mode will also there for you.
Left 4 Dead 2
This game will surely be able to help you through these troubled times since it comes equipped with its very own support group. Listening to the constant banter between teammates, especially from Ellis, during four-player co-op matches is sure to bring a smile to your face. You may even glean some really useful tips on personal hygiene such as that brains will come out a white suit in the wash but swamp water won’t. The competitive Versus and Scavenge modes will also provide you with a much-needed outlet for griefing other players in the form of attacking them with all sorts of special infected, if you’re feeling up to it.
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With the recent loss of one so close to you, continuing to use Xbox Live service on the Xbox 360 may just drudge up more painful memories of the past. Perhaps then it might just be time to try something completely new. If you’re looking for a change of location as well as a new partner, then be sure to check out these PS3 exclusives. The change of scenery might be just what you’ve been looking for.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Perhaps the prettiest alternative of the bunch, this one surely is a looker. Of course, Drake and company have plenty of substance to go with their undeniable beauty. Whether you feel like working together with others in order to complete objectives or just want to spray bullets at everything moving, you’ll find an outlet here. You’ll also discover an excellent source for personal development in the form of earning experience and cash in order to buy better weapons, more multiplayer skins, and useful ability boosts to help keep this new relationship feeling fresh.
Those looking for a drastic change of pace to get themselves out of this rut should definitely take notice of this title. With its class-based character system and constantly shifting objectives, you’ll find it much harder to focus on the past. Plus, although it’s about a year old now and the oldest option on this list, it still looks mighty fine for its age.
If you’re just looking to lose yourself in a crowd to help fill the void left by Halo 2, then MAG is definitely the choice for you. With matches that include up to 256 players simultaneously, you’ll certainly never run out of new people to talk to or shoot. Of course, you will still be forced to follow someone else’s orders much of the time, but I suppose every relationship seems to come with a price.
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I know this was some pretty bad news to receive for many dedicated fans out there, especially so close to Valentine’s Day, but hopefully you’ll be able to find new love in one of these, or the plethora of other online titles out there just waiting to be played. And remember, although things always look darkest before the dawn and if you still wind up failing, you can always respawn.