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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Carefully crafted console RTS set in the critically acclaimed Halo universe
On paper, Halo Wars doesn't quite look like it should work. This only adds to the surprise that this vibrant, fast-paced RTS really does deliver - despite depriving you of your beloved mouse and keyboard! Ensemble Studios set aside a whole year finetuning the controls alone for the Xbox, and it shows in the gameplay.

Skimming across the map is hardly needed...
Published on 7 May 2009 by J.J.P

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars what happened....!
I have just spent some time in reading these reviews.....Im beginning too thnk Bungie is writing them. I have played this game and all of the Halo series along with many other genres games, and tho its OK, its not spell binding as your previous reviewers are saying, in fact it was pretty boring as far as Halo games go.
May I suggest that Bungie lower the viewing...
Published on 4 Nov. 2012 by robsanuk


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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Carefully crafted console RTS set in the critically acclaimed Halo universe, 7 May 2009
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo Wars (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
On paper, Halo Wars doesn't quite look like it should work. This only adds to the surprise that this vibrant, fast-paced RTS really does deliver - despite depriving you of your beloved mouse and keyboard! Ensemble Studios set aside a whole year finetuning the controls alone for the Xbox, and it shows in the gameplay.

Skimming across the map is hardly needed most of the time, due to the simplistic shortcuts bound to the D-pad. Left cycles through your bases, up opens up the circle menu for aerial support (as the humans) or focuses the camera on your leader (as the covenant), and down toggles between unit groups. Pressing right on the D-pad showcases an innovative feature that scrolls through any new developments - such as completed upgrades, incoming attacks, and more.

Controlling the units themselves is also refreshingly straightforward. Holding down the A button causes a transparent "paintbrush" circle tool to blossom on-screen, allowing you to glide it around and group units together accordingly. Getting them from A to B is carried out by panning the camera to whereever you want them to go (or whatever you want them to shoot at/claw at/ram into/etc), and tapping X - there's support for queueing commands too, squaring up to the advanced controls boasted by PC RTS's.

The game has a slick, stylish graphics scheme, which neatly complements the manic scenes of battle it can put out. While it's not as powerful visually as its shooter cousin, it's hardly noticeable when the screen is lit up by hundreds of marines and covenant. I've yet to see the engine get bogged down or choppy, even in larger skirmishes. Which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for most PC RTS's in my experiences!

Halo Wars is, as you'd expect, fully compatible with Microsoft's premium online service Xbox Live, sporting three brackets ranging from 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3. From the week or so I've spent getting my arse handed to me on it (damn you matchmaking, damn you), I've had a great time - it really sucks you in when you've got two team mates yelping themselves hoarse with cries for aerial support, or the inevitable cheery trashtalk at the end of each game, as the other team audibly wonders where in god's name your fleet of tanks sprung up out of the ground. Or the occasional covie grunt impression that everybody has a go at, at some point in their life. Or at least, I hope it's not just me.

Overall, this is one heck of an enjoyable buy for the 360, especially if you're a fan of RTS or Halo (if you're a fan of both, jackpot!), and I heartily recommend you pick it up sometime!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Why not 5 stars?, 26 July 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo Wars (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Halo wars is a good game, made by ensemble studios their mission was to make an "rts" title work on the xbox360, did it pay off?
First of all, for an "rts" game the graphics are of a high quality, there is no slow down during big battles and the cutscenes that bookmark the campaign mode are visually stunning!
The controls are simple, with a hold of the "A" button u can drag a circle cursor over units to select them. A tap of "LB" will select all units in your army and )" select the units only on the screen. Moving units is as easy as selecting them, moveing the camera nd pressing the "X" button where u want them.
Base building is simplified and may not be to everyones taste. Bases start with 5 free space that can be filled with building and generators and 4 turret spaces! The building spaces can be upgraded to 7 but the turrets can not but ther are various bases to be takem around the map.
Ther are 2 factions, "U.N.S.C" and the "covenant", both containing 3 leaders each. There isn't much variety in the units leaders of the same faction can produce except for 1 or 2 but all leaders have different abilites and thus have different tactics.
The most dissapointing area of this game is the unit cap, only 40 units per player. With most units taking up more than one of your 40 permitted, armies tend to remain small which is a shame as there is always that desire to crush your opponent with the biggest army possible.
The story mode feels like one gian training mission, the cutscenes are amazing and fill in sum backstory in the halo mythology but most missions are forgettable and the only replay value is in finding the hidden skulls or going through on a higher difficulty.
Online play involves 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3 and 2 game types, standard and deathmatch that starts all players with max upgrades and high resources so the battle can begin instantly. There is also an offline skirmish mode where bots fill the roles of the online human players.
THE VERDICT
Halo wars is an extremly accomplished console RTS with amazing graphics and a simplified interface and control scheme that make it a good pick up and play, easy to master game. But the simplified controls and base building along with the low unit count won't keep hardcore RTS fans attention for long.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Swan Song, 11 July 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo Wars (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Halo Wars is an RTS that serves as the swan song of Ensemble Studios before they were absorbed and de-atomised by the giant slimy corporate ooze creature known as Microsoft. The plot centres around the UNSC cruiser The Spirit of Fire and her crew 20 years before Halo1, they are assigned to protect and monitor the recently retaken planet of Harvest, however the after a total of 3 short missions on the planet that its our job to protect from hordes of aliens the captain thinks its a good idea to abandon his post and go gallivanting off to some far off planet to smash up the series timeline a bit thankfully what should have ended with the removal of the captain from the UNSC, ends up with him stopping the Covenant from gaining an ancient weapon that could turn the tide of the war......Hmmm. The presentation in the cutscences look amazing rendered in stunning HD like graphics, characters have realistic expressions, and the landscapes are beautiful and have many memorable areas one in particular that I wished that Id thought of before was a battle that takes place inside a planet where there is an entirely different landscape than on the barren surface! However the in-game graphics leave something to be desired with some textures looking unbalanced or unfinished but lots of detail is shown if you look closer and in this case the detail saves the presentation here.

The gameplay (though PC veterans might sneer) is simple and built for the console up. The simple combat layout is a rock paper scissors affair with infantry beating air units, vehicle units beating infantry and air units beating vehicles it's this style that offers a unique combat experience as you play. The campaign can be beaten in roughly 6-8 hours on easy most of it will be gathering resources and building your army as RTS fans expect but for a true challenge crank the difficulty up to legendary where the slightest error means a lethal counter attack can right up to about 20 hours also it bring an online friend it's a blast!!!

The online scene makes me sad however you see at time of writing there are only 5000+ people playing the game, which is tiny compared to the 10s of thousands of players that logg onto halo 3 everyday. Online you can play 1v1 2v2 or 3v3 although online will work best if you're playing with friends you know and have mics but there is a lack of game modes so don't expect to be living off the online features also there is online co-op as mentioned earlier which is a ton of fun. I really hope that 343 industries are quick to make a sequel with the former Ensemble team of course.

Overall Halo Wars is well made game with only minor faults so if your not 1 of those master race PC gamers Id recommend a look.

-FIREDAQUAZARZ
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great distraction, 11 Nov. 2009
By 
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo Wars (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Halo wars is a real time stratergy game out for Xbox 360.

Over the years halo has created a massive fan base, Halo ODST out sold Killzone 2 in one day simply for the demand for more in this series. But Halo Wars was treated with some scepticism by the hardcore halo fans. They wondered whether it would fit in, being a stratergy, into a FP universe.

Some people even started to bash the game before it came out and had a chance to prove itself. They couldn't have been more wrong. Having played the demo I fell in love with it having never touched a Stratergy in my life. I bought it and it is enjoyable.

The game apeals to the hardcore and casual. I love having my army roll, charge, fly, run across my TV, the game has scale and good graphics.

I would recomend you try the demo before you buy the game because it may not be your thing, which is fine, its just haters I don't like, who are predujice.

Good points: Career- Great story and characters, cutscenes you'll love them, good voice acting.
Skirmish- Great for long battles or quick skirmishs adds to the game like zombies to Cod5.
Multiplayer- 3v3 combat
Halo timeline- Shows all main halo events, nice feature.
Gameplay- Lots of units and varied missions, loads of tactics.
.
Bad points: Multiplayer- plagued by quitters and noobs, only two online modes.
Campaign- A couple of pointless missions
Gameplay- On Standard mode it can get a bit boring waiting for things to upgrade and produce(not a massive problem).
Downladable content- Expensive for just new game modes, not made by Ensemble (cry).

Overall 8/10 £20 is a very reasonable price, just don't be eating crisps while your waiting for your units, there could be a suprise attack at any moment. ;)
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3.0 out of 5 stars what happened....!, 4 Nov. 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo Wars (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I have just spent some time in reading these reviews.....Im beginning too thnk Bungie is writing them. I have played this game and all of the Halo series along with many other genres games, and tho its OK, its not spell binding as your previous reviewers are saying, in fact it was pretty boring as far as Halo games go.
May I suggest that Bungie lower the viewing ratings on this game to 10-14 year olds, if you have played Halo Reach and Halo 3 and all the other halo games you will notice the vast difference in game play and interaction of weapons an alien forces...., sorry guys you either have not played other Halo games, or, Bungie has written these reviews themselves.
As we speak.ok, type !, I wil be playing Halo 4 as of Monday, I am nearly 80 years old and I am fanatic gamer known too many other gamers, theres not many games I have NOT played, so gamers please before you comment on games be sure you have played more than the one genre, no disrespect meant by that.
Enjoy your games and remember gaming is not all about youngsters, its for all ages and groups,and all games are not too every ones taste, for me its a great way of keeping my head straight......The GameMiester.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of the actual game not the demo, 26 Feb. 2009
By 
I love New York (Not in New York) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo Wars (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Just received my version in the post a day early and after spending the last few hours zoned in on the TV all I can say is, it's a great little game.

Please note i've never played the Halo games so my review is from a Gamer point of view.

It looks great, works perfectly with the 360 Control pad unlike C&C. It is easy to pick up and play and can be mastered in a very short time. It is the pick up and play game of RTS.

The basic idea (as always but even more so) is build a small army as quick as possible and head off to attack before your enemy has chance to. Doesn't seem to be too time consuming on the first few levels anyway.

One thing I will note is that while it is enjoyable I am unsure as to what the long term enjoyment level will be as I don't think it will have too much replay value on the missions.

Overall 4 stars for this easy to pick up and fun to play game.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the game that most of us wanted?, 18 Jun. 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo Wars (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
halo wars is a game i think is fantastic. i liked C&C3 but you can really tell as other reviews say this was made for 360.
the visuals are strong and sharp and despite some things such as base presentation being pre-determined, there is a suprising amount of depth in the upgrades to units and buildings alike.
pretty cut scenes tell a worthwhile addition to the existing halo mythology and most importantly... good fun gameplay and missions. i have rated this game 5 stars for being better than i expected it to be. i at time of writing have not looked too much at the online options but with online coop, team and single player death matches, it as a package appears to have what most will desire and expect in place.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Game, 29 April 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo Wars (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I was sceptical about this game, and have had virtually no experience with other more complex RTS games. However, ever since my purchase back in 2010, this has been one of my favourite games of all time.

Pros:
-Fantastically satisying to play, easy to control
-Story may not be anything special, but the cinematic value is off the scales
-Co-op campaign is great fun
-Really great multiplayer that actually requires some kind of skill, (and I usually hate competitive multiplayer)
-Believe it or not it still has quite an active fanbase that play it regularly, so the multiplayer still works well
-Balanced units

Cons:
-Campaign might be a bit too short for some
-Might be considered a bit too 'dumbed down', especially for veteran RTS fans

Conclusion:
It might not be everyones cup of tea, but I absolutely adore this game. I hope that one day a Halo Wars 2 will be made...
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Halo Wars so close!, 27 Feb. 2009
By 
Jwharris - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo Wars (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I got this game a day early from PC World, don't know why it was on the shelf, but anyway what a great game. Online play can be more traditional with the slow build up of your resources (standard), or it can be fast and furious in the Deathmatch mode. This game gets better and better with the more people that play, i.e. 3v3.

One disappointing thing is that you can't really build defenses around your base or choke points on the map. The game-play is more about strategy with the units, not too much on the layout of the bases. Another bad point is the fact that you can't split your army into groups which is annoying but not that important. The small unit count is not really to my liking, however, playing online with friends cancels that point out because you co-ordinate attacks with your combined armies, which is more than enough.

Overall, this is a great game and would have been the best RTS on the console if it had been tweaked slightly. The addition of another faction would have made the game amazing, with a 2v2 2v2 2v2 option. Also, a bit more fluidity with the base building and defenses and this game would have been incredible!

Graphics-9
Gameplay-8.5
Sound-9
Online-9
Campain-8.5
overall-9

But it could have been better! Shame.
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4.0 out of 5 stars real time tactical sim-light but bloody good fun, 5 Feb. 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Halo Wars (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Take control the entire UNSC army in their life or death struggle against the covenant.
Its like they were listening to my prayers and someone other than bungie answered them.
The action is intense ,the graphic are sweet its not as over simplified as some have made out.But it is quite easy for a seasoned star crafter like myself.
But mostly the game feels like a halo game with flood & forerunners and a interesting plot set at the start of the war.
Annoyingly some of the levels end a little early when their are still enemies on the map but the objective is achieved .And i was kind of hoping for some warship levels (ala star trek armada)
but aside from the minor gripes there nothing wrong with this halo game shame i cannot make the same claim about the awful ODST really
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Halo Wars (Xbox 360)
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