‘Halo 2’ release delayed one more time

September seems so far away for those anxiously awaiting Bungie Studio’s release of “Halo 2: Combat Evolved.”

Some Xbox gamers are starting to wonder if the first-person shooter will ever come out.

With earlier release dates such as March 2003, June and August 2004, and, now, September 2004, some video game enthusiasts are becoming a bit agitated.

However, it seems that the wait will be worth it.

Halo 2 continues the adventure of Master Chief and Cortana after they escape the first game and return home, only to find that an entire Covenant fleet is attacking Earth.

As the story develops, Master Chief will take the fight back to the Covenant forces, (showing the player new worlds, including the Covenant home world.)

Here, the player meets the Brutes and the Prophets – a new race that is part of the pact between the Elites (featured in the original).

Along with new levels and enemies, the game play has improved. Master Chief will be able to interact with the environment. The gamer will be able to use objects as cover and even shoot out lights to cloak the enemy in darkness.

While on the moon, the low gravity will let Master Chief move in slow motion and jump far distances.

Adding to the surroundings, Bungie Studios has mentioned the thought of using ambient life (bugs, birds, etc.) to enhance the visuals and give the game a richer environment.

However, this addition is not definite and could be cut from the game if it conflicts with scheduling purposes.

Included in the sequel will be new ATVs, new Warthogs, and a motorbike. The driving controls will be a bit different and perhaps more difficult to maneuver.

Three different models of the Warthog are available and used for different environments. For example, the Jungle Hog has modified wheels and camouflaged cover, while the Snow Hog is equipped with snow treads. And the Transporter Hog is the largest Warthog and can hold up to six passengers.

While the game may seem amazing, Bungie Studios wants the consumer to keep in mind that “Halo 2” is still a game in the works. All the previously released information may be subject to change before the final release.

However, what Bungie can promise is that “Halo 2” will be an online game supporting multiplayer games through XBox Live. In fact, Bungie foresees large-scale, squad-based online games. Some gamers have even predicted that “Halo 2” will be the biggest online multi-player game ever.

Anticipation of the Xbox game is mounting. Now that Bungie has officially announced the September release date, gamers are foaming at the mouth, ready to shell out 50 bucks for the game.

With many stores offering pre-orders, the game is almost sold out before it’s even hit the selves.

Retailers are already to the limit on reservations and beginning to turn away prospective buyers.

So Halo gamers beware: hurry to your local store to reserve a copy. Otherwise, you may be empty-handed and crying come September.