As many have seen from various E3 clips rampant throughout the internet Zanzibar is located seaside in a tropical setting reminiscent of the Silent Cartographer level in Halo 1. The mode we played was Single Flag CTF which involves one team defending a single flag for a set time (three minutes in our games) and the second team trying to bring it back to their base. The first team to cap three flags wins. This new game mode is a real blast to play and with the three minute time limit kept everyone glued to the action which, of course, was non-stop. The gameplay was classic Halo with some tweaks thrown in to give the game an even tighter balance as well as some refreshing changes that will clearly effect team strategy. Here now are the highlights of Halo 2:

Flag Carrier Speed - In our build the flag carrier was slowed to approximately two thirds normal movement rate. The player who nabbed the flag in our first session was audibly dumbfounded by the hampered movement. Teamates were screaming for the carrier to follow as they sped off without him. His only reply was "I'm trying! Wait up!" Great stuff and a real stresser for Halo flag carriers everywhere. Did we forget to mention you now must hold the X button to pick up the flag? At last, there will be no more weapon-flag juggling while trying to pop your pursuers.

Go Ahead And Jump - The jump maneuver in Halo 2 is actually worth using. A SPARTAN can now jump over charging ghosts with ease and the added height also comes in handy for map shortcuts, especially when obstacles block clean movement. Cappers can avoid the speed reduction by jumping and tossing the flag ahead of them, but beware of the ever present sniper.

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