Video game history holds tales of many-a-title full of promises that will never get their due because they failed to realize their potential for one reason (or many). Halo 2 is not one such case because, well, it's a masterful game, duh, but especially because it's about to get its biggest flaw corrected: they're finally giving us Halo 2's best level. Yeah, a lot of Halo 2 fans aren't even aware that Halo 2 was even better at some point, but it's time everyone knows the truth about a dream that the devs took from us all 20 goddang years ago.

Halo 2's reveal at E3 2003 was probably the most pivotal moment in the history of the Xbox because it didn't just make people realize the Xbox could rival the PC when it comes to shooters – it made people believe the Xbox could outdo it. It's essential to note that Half-Life 2 was out of the picture because a hacker had bared the game's entire code, and the game was taking a vacation to get all confident for his triumphant return. At that point, Doom 3 was the most impressive-looking game in the world, but, despite its graphics, it was a hallway demon shooting simulator. Meanwhile, Halo 2 was legally recruiting players to all-out war inside a big city. It was like the goddamn battle from the original Avengers only 10 years earlier (and without being helmed by a creep.)

That might not look very impressive now, but let's take a look at what the previous Halo looked like.

graphics from the original 'Halo: Combat Evolved'

Bungie, Microsoft

And it was still one of the best-looking games of its time.

Not only did it promise action of a never-before-seen caliber, but there were also a lot of NPCs in the background making everything look like the real deal. If looking a this made PC enthusiasts jealous, it probably made the people behind the PS2 tremble in fear because the PS2 couldn't even dream of pulling anything of the sort. Sadly, it turned out that neither could the Xbox, and the level we ended up playing was a seriously watered-down version of what we'd been promised. To put matters in perspective, this is the look of the “EarthCity” aka New Mombasa we got to play in:

The 'Halo 2' that we got

Bungie, Microsoft

It doesn't look bad, sure, but this is what they promised it would look like:

The 'Halo 2' that we were promised

Bungie, Microsoft

We know it's good sci-fi when we have no idea how it would work but it still looks cool as hell.

Now, we don't know if 343 is doing this just because they're trying to make up for some pretty bad mistakes, but they have announced we'll soon be able to finally play the “EarthCity” level as it was originally meant to be played – and that a lot more cut content is soon to follow. Our nostalgia bone just couldn't be more hyped about it all.

 

Top Image: Microsoft

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