review
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POSTED 2/3/17


HALO WARS 2

343 Industries/Creative Assembly/Microsoft Studios



Calling occupants of interplanetary craft...

It’s 2559, 28 years on from the events of the first Halo Wars and not long after those of Halo 5: Guardians. As part of the Spirit of Fire crew (assuming you don’t wish to be a baddie, natch), you awake from cryosleep to discover that the UNSC has your ship down as MIA, presumed dead. Bummer.

Obviously, being all kinds of not actually dead, you need to do something about this. But there’s also this rather big thing that requires dealing with – the Covenant’s nasty successors, the Banished, who are led by a big brute named Atriox.

Such is the setup for this visually vivacious sequel. It takes all manner of fabby Halo law, but eschews the typical shooterrific Halo vibe for a rare beast on consoles – an RTS (with a shooterrific Halo vibe).

As such it’s stacked with options. From a 13 level solo or co-op campaign mode through to all of the expected multiplayer stuff. Up to six players can battle online in anything from the card-influenced sorties of ‘Blitz’ (warning, microtransactions) to ‘Deathmatch’, ‘Skirmish’ ‘Strongholds’ and ‘Domination’.

Real time strategy outings are rare on consoles, typically because there just aren’t enough buttons to suitably emulate a keyboard and mouse combo. Sure some compromises have been made here, but tackle the boot campy tutorials – and take notice - and you’ll realise that it isn’t super-hard collecting and managing your many resources via well thought-out wheels which spring forth at a mere button press.

Whether you approach Halo Wars 2 as an RTS fan looking for some action, or a Halo fan wishing to get more into nuts and bolts play (and to get off on the incredible movie-drenched cutscenes), you win.

Yo, Banished dudes. We’re not your friends.

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.