Review: Halo Wars

Although Halo Wars has had a mixed reaction from critics due to its simplistic and casual gameplay, its approach to RTS is a refreshing perspective to an aging genre. And in the end, it might just spur a new breed of enthusiasts.

Real Time Strategy games’ disposition in the industry has generally been stuck on the annals of geekiness and the hardcore. Hardly can you find an RTS in the hands of a console gamer as the genre has relatively been home to the PC where a mouse and a keyboard offer the flexibility and free-reign movement console gamers sorely lack.

Revered RTS franchises the likes of Red Alert, Age of Empires, Starcraft, and Warcraft have all sold millions of copies. And some have even spawned spin-offs that later on became living and breathing cash cows (World of Warcraft). Just recently have we seen ported PC RTS games grace the current gen of consoles, Command & Conquer and Battlefield Middle Earth 2 have both seen the light of day on the 360 and PS3. Fairly good reviews, however, the cry for a more streamlined and simplified control scheme intensified… until, Halo Wars.

Halo Wars’ control scheme is quite revolutionary. The now defunct Ensemble Studios has done an exquisite job with how the game smoothly throws you into the heart of battle. The delicate approach to details is likewise a worthy mention. As a big fan of Halo, to witness the fluidity and precise depiction of vehicle stalwarts makes me drop a tear or two. Amazing on how faithful Ensemble was with regard to the nose-bleed accuracy of animations, audio, and aesthetics of the Halo universe which Bungie so originally and passionately conceived.

Furthermore, the cinematic cut scenes are just stunning, incredibly entertaining, and epic in nature. The visual orgasm is unequivocal, it’s that good (kudos to Blur Studio).

You’d be hard pressed not to appreciate the quality and production value this title offers. Halo Wars easily outshines any other console RTS before it and will serve as a benchmark for future titles in the genre. If you have an unflinching fascination of the Halo universe, invested hours reading the novels, and playing through the FPS trilogy, then this magnum opus deserves an outright purchase.


gino said...

sayang brad walang pang-pc.

fan pa naman ako ng strat games.