- Release Date:2009-02-26
- In-universe Date:2531 AD
- Series:Halo Wars
In campaign mode, command the armies of the UNSC warship Spirit of Fire, with familiar and new UNSC units in its initial encounters against the Covenant, an alien coalition threatening to obliterate mankind. Halo Wars will immerses you in an early period of the storied Halo universe, allowing you to experience events leading up to the first Halo title for Xbox.
Halo Wars is the first game to be released in the Halo franchise that is not a first-person-shooter. Instead it takes an ambitious stop trying to adapt third-person-strategy games for the Xbox 360, a genre that has generally been exclusive to the PC, and with good reason seeing as the Xbox controls are much more cumbersome than the mouse and keyboard which is more suitable to the genre. However, although it may have been simplified too much, the developers did a good job of making that transition.
So first, the good. The gameplay is simplified enough to make it easy to use the Xbox 360 controller. It’s challenging enough to make strategy necessary, especially on the offline and online skirmishes which can get addicting. The cinematic are fantastic, good enough to be a theatrical animated movie.
If you are familiar with any of the books or Halo chronology then the story will make a lot more sense. However, the first time I played this the plot was very confusing and it took a small amount of research to figure things out. But between the action and the beautiful cinematics you might not be paying much attention to the plot anyway.
Additionally the gameplay may have been dumbed down a bit too much. There are very limited options for expansion, gathering resources, hero benefits, etc. For example, the army can only be grown to a certain size (not very big) which takes the fun out of wiping out the enemy with a colossal army.
However, on the whole this game did a good job of what it intended to. You can’t really compare it to the core Halo games because of the difference in genre, but it is still a fun, addicting, game that in no way embarrasses the franchise.