Halo 2 Vista
|Halo 2 Vista|
PC - Windows Vista or 7
May 31, 2007
Halo 2 Vista is a ported PC version of Halo 2 by Hired Gun for use on the Windows Vista operating system exclusively and as a release title for the "Games for Windows" category. The release date was originally planned for May 8, 2007. However, the release date had been delayed to May 22, 2007 because the team needed "to make some improvements to the install experience and address other technical issues." However, release dates had been erratic, as Australia had publicly available copies, and some stores in the United States were selling copies as well. Microsoft had stated that the release date had been pushed back one final time, due to partial nudity found in the Halo 2 Vista Map Editing Kit, making the release date May 31st for the United States.
Halo 2 Vista has been reworked graphically for the PC, including high-resolution textures and support for very high resolutions. While the single player campaign does not differ from the Xbox version, they can earn firstly tried and all new single- and multiplayer achievements. One of the selling points of Halo 2 Vista is an included map editor. It has include the same programs as previously used in the Halo Editing Kit and also includes a pre-made "custom" map by default, named Example, which was made for players to observe as an example for making their own custom maps.
A new ability pushed by the Microsoft team is a feature called "Tray and Play". It is an attempt to emulate the ability of consoles to instantly play new discs in a DVD Drive without installing them. It allows the end-user to play the game as it is installing.
 Multiplayer Additions
Halo 2 Vista, being a release title of Games for Windows, includes support for the Live for Windows system. It intertwines with the Xbox Live system, allowing communication with someone who has an Xbox. However, cross-platform play is not supported (this feature was planned). The interface is similar to that of the Xbox 360 dashboard. Instead of using peer to peer matchmaking, players are able to create dedicated servers, which are created with a program that comes with the disc.
Gamertags, which are used on Xbox Live, are also used on Live for Windows. If a player were to have an Xbox Live gamertag, they would be able to log on using that. Otherwise, a free account can be registered for a player. Players can also match up in parties, and the party leader can specify maps and game types to play on the go.
Exclusive to Halo 2 Vista are 2 new maps, District and Uplift. However, Halo 2 Vista does not include the maps Desolation or Tombstone. Modders have managed to port Desolation & Tombstone to Halo 2 Windows Vista.
On January 16, 2013, citing declining online population (consistently 20 players or fewer) 343 Industries announced that online multiplayer for Halo 2 Vista would be discontinued February 15, 2013. Although players will still be able to play custom LAN multiplayer matches, network services will cease to operate, ending online matchmaking.
 System Requirements
The minimum system requirements to run Halo 2 on Windows Vista is a Windows Experience Index of 3.0. The recommended system requirements is a WEI of 5.0. Users can play the game with a rating of less than 3.0 but they will have to reduce graphics quality in order to run the game smoothly. The game can be set on different levels of detail (low, medium, or high) to change performance and appearance. Anti-Aliasing and resolution can be changed, as well.
- Requires Windows Vista or 7
- 2GHz Pentium 4 Class Processor (or x64)
- 1GB of RAM
- 7GB of hard drive space
- Nvidia 6100/ATI x700 video card or above
- DVD-ROM drive
Halo 2 Vista was considerably less popular than the Xbox version of the game. Besides selling incredibly low due to the negative reception of Windows Vista, it also was far less highly rated than the Xbox version. The game netted a mere 72% from Metacritic, a site which regulates and moderates reviews from other websites. Game Informer cited the outdated graphics and lack of innovation, which they said made the game feel "too outdated for a next-generation PC game, especially compared with how stunning Halo 2 had been on Xbox".
Halo 2 Vista was made to be even more unpopular, when it lacked basic features like online co-operative gameplay or other game modes, which were to be included in Halo 3 for Xbox 360. Halo 2 Vista's Dedicated Server had been severely stripped down of it's important features which were part of Halo: Combat Evolved's Dedicated Server commands.
Halo 2 Vista comes with DRM which has an installation limit of 3 computers. The DRM is non removable and Microsoft has given no revoke tools.
- Achievements were included with the PC version of Halo 2, though they can only unlock while you are logged into Games for Windows-Live. These Achievements are shown on your Live profile and go towards your Gamerscore, just like Xbox 360 games.
- Halo 2 Vista is the first and only Halo game thus far to feature Tray and Play. In addition, no other Games for Windows-Live title has implemented this feature.
- It is suspected that the Halo 2 Editing Kit has had many features disabled or deleted, which would disallow all types of custom tag creation. As of April 2011 there has been no custom map that has been created with custom player models, vehicles, scenery/objects, scripts.
- Halo 2 Vista is the only Halo game that is able to truly run at 60 frames per second in all game modes, not just including the menus (which also ran at 60 FPS in the Xbox version). Halo PC is also technically capable of running at 60 FPS, but all animations for characters, vehicles, effects, etc. are locked at 30 FPS, like most of the other titles in the series.
- Halo 2 Vista was rated M for Violence, Language, Blood and Gore, and also Partial Nudity, which the Xbox version lacked. It turns out that a bug in a .ass error appeared to show the butt of a naked man. This can be removed simply with a patch downloadable from the Halo 2 Vista website.
- This is the only Halo game that gives achievements that are not tracked on Halo Waypoint.
- It has been reported to work on certain versions of Microsoft Windows XP.
- Bungie's Announcement
- Halo 2 for Windows Vista: The Inside Scoop
- Modacity (formerly h2vista.net), a fansite dedicated to modding Halo 1 CE
- Rework3d (formerly halomods.com), Modding Wiki for Halo 2 Vista
- Halo Maps, an archive of Halo 2 Vista maps and tools