The X-Box has been promoted as having stellar gameplay, and Halo is just the game to prove how incredible this system truly is. It shines in just about every aspect - graphics, replayability, enjoyability, intelligence of your in-game friends and enemies, even plot!
You´re working with the humans against the Covenant, on a ringworld much like many other ringworlds in Sci-fi. You often work with a team of marines against the enemies, and the marines actually work like a unit! They´ll run down halls with you, laying covering fire. If the group is up against nasty odds, some marines will start worrying. If you´re doing well and you snipe someone a marine was aiming at, they´ll complain!
There are lots of different weapons, each with its own fun attributes. When you´re holding a weapon in your hand, you can see by its counter or the needles sticking out of it how much ammo is left in it. There are jeeps and other vehicles you can drive, and if you get near a marine, they´ll jump in to help you out! Jeeps climb over terrain quite realistically, and if you flip one, you can even try to flip it back over.
The graphics are just amazing. From the way the different missile types fly over the terrain, to the terrain itself, to night vision and zoom-in-sniper-rifles to the details on the enemies, it´s truly like watching an animated feature come alive. The water ripples. The drop ships fly overhead - complete with shadow rippling over the landscape - and when they set down, you can watch as they open and the aliens inside come out. And start shooting you immediately :)
The whole interplay of plot and characters is great. One alien type is a little creature that runs around laughing, unless it feels threatened, in which case it waves its arms over its head and runs away yelling "help! help!". When a marine shoots one, sometimes he´ll call out "Who´s laughing now?" or other such jibes. Very little is "contrived" in this game. You really get a sense that you´re moving forward with a purpose, and that your team is THERE with you.
And, even better, you can multiplay in a way which is REALLY fun! With two players you still get a lot of screen space, and you can easily work as a team - flanking an enemy, coordinating attacks. Your marines will see this and help out. If one person jumps into the driver seat of a vehicle, the other can hop in back and man the machine gun. There is a rainbow of colors for your suit, too. When they get Broadband set up for this next summer, a whole new addiction will be spawned.
Definitely a MUST HAVE!