Game Review: Halo Wars

halo-wars-boxThe time has come for Ensemble Studios final game to hit the shelves. How does it stack up against its monster awesome game Age Of Empires? Check the other side and find out.

Obviously, the first thing you see is the menu system which looks like it was stolen straight out of Halo 3, but that’s no real big deal.

Next, starting the game puts you into a cinematic.  The cut scenes are absolutely amazing, I thought I was watching a CG movie.

But enough of all that, into the game.  You have the choice of doing the tutorial if you want or you can skip it. There is also an advanced tutorial that you can do that goes into great detail on how the buildings work.  You have a main base and you start with the ability to put 5 other smaller buildings that let you make vehicles or troops.  This is one thing I don’t like about the way RTS games are headed and have been for a while. I like old school RTS where I can build where I want to, not be constricted to 5 buildings and they “must be in this spot”.

In selecting troops it is very easy and I like the way they have worked that out.  There are 4 different ways to select troops depending on what you are doing determines how you pick them.  One thing I noticed with troops movement is that in the old games you have big bulky troops that move slow, and you have the fast ones.  The problem in prior games, at least I think, is that when you picked all your troops at once and sent them somewhere they would all go at a pre-determined speed for that troop.  So your foot troops would get there first and get killed because they have no heavy back up. In Halo Wars you will not have that happen, when you choose a mass of troops, they all move at the slowest troop’s speed. This means that your warthogs don’t fly into a fight with no tanks or infantry and get destroyed, unless you just send in the warthogs.

The standard Halo difficulty settings are in this game and it keeps the replay value up because of the stats on what you have completed on what difficulty

All in all, I think the controls work very well for a console. Command and Conquer 3 was supposed to be the best implementation of RTS to console but I think Halo Wars has taken that title away.

The way they did the co-op in this game was amazing. When I say co-op I don’t mean like when you would boot up Age of Empires and play multi-player together on the same team.  You actually get to play co-op through the main story line.  When you get to the point of taking control of your troops the game divides them between the two players.  The Resources and energy are shared between the players and both players are allowed to build the base up.  When you train a unit you get control of that unit but you can transfer control of your units at anytime to the other player.  Nice thing about that is you can have one player control the army while the other player takes care of the base operations.  Make sure you have a head set so that you can talk to the other player because this way of playing requires good communication.

The story of the game is fairly short and can be played through in about two sittings,  but the replay value is high with the co-op and multi-player

For the story line Halo nuts this is a must.

For the FPS Halo multi-player deathmatch fiend you might want to rent or grab the demo to see if you like it.

For the RTS fans out there this is a very good console only RTS and you should give it a try.

Buy Halo Wars Limited
Buy Halo Wars Regular
Buy Halo Wars: Prima Official Game Guide


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