Halo Wars Reviews

  • Panda360xPanda360x243,287
    15 Apr 2009 15 Apr 2009
    87 5 14
    As a huge fan of Halo and the Real-Time Strategy genre I was thrilled to hear about Halo Wars, so after playing and beating the game I decided to give my lowdown of it.

    Story - 4/5
    Unless you're a huge fan of Halo and are fully aware of the backstory and pay alot of attention to the other games - the Story in Halo Wars I personally find - isn't exactly engrossing as I was itching to get into the fight and skipped some of the story leaving me somewhat bewildered towards the end.

    Visuals - 4/5
    The cinematics in the game are fantastic. Probably the best I've ever seen in a video game. Period. (That's a big statement for someone who plays ALOT of RPG games.)

    *Spoiler* Watch the beginning cutscene to Mission 15 and tell me it's not badass.*/Spoiler*

    The (very colourful :)) ingame graphics are as good as they need to be really. The animation is really well done; for example zooming in close and watching armies fighting made me think of how it well would work in Halo 3 aswell.

    Audio - 5/5
    From the frivilous sounds of Grunts to the mighty beam of the Scarab, any Halo fan will feel welcomed into this game perhaps from the sounds alone. They are very well done and the soundtrack accompanying the missions work just as well.

    Playability 5/5
    This IS the "Love it or Hate it" side to the game - the controls. For any gamer playing this - whether beginner or adept the controls are perfect. Beginners will find it easy to control armies and build bases. Adepts will find it easy to micro manage and the like.

    Especially for a console RTS, the controls are so well done that anybody can pick up and play.

    Longevity - 4/5
    There is so much variation in the game for example - the vast amount of units and ways to play (6 leaders each with their own unique units and abilities) that you will always find new strats and different ways to play. The campaign IS pretty short but with alot of collectables. (Skulls, Black boxes, Par times, Medals, Secondary Objectives etc.)

    The Online Multiplayer is perhaps, another "Love it or Hate it" side to the game as many people tend to rush (as with most RTS games) so most of the time you'll have to play in a certain way to counter-rush but other than that, it does bring variation to the game as a whole.

    This game is SO MUCH FUN IN CO-OP!

    Achievements - 4/5 - Won't affect the final score.
    There are alot of fun achievements in this. For each mission in the campaign there are mini objectives for achievements such as Ram 50 Grunts. There are collectable skulls and black boxes - these are for fulfilling the optionary timeline (additional story which can be read.)

    A pretty easy 800 maybe 900G with guides. Every collectable, Gold Medals, Par Times, the side achievements for every level (5G achievements) and beating on at least Heroic in Co-Op should net you about 700G. Then doing every skirmish mission with every leader picking the odd achievements such as Titan and Empire builder should eventually get you "Ready for the Sequel" which is 100% completion. Without playing online - 800G is easily achievable before 24 hours.

    The only achievement which prevents this from being an easy 1k is getting the General Rank. This would take months of solid play and currently, the online isn't solid enough for it at least until the next promised Title Update..

    Summary 4.5/5
    Overall, Halo Wars is an excellent addition to the Halo franchise. The Campaign is short but great fun (especially with a friend!) and another Halo Wars does look promising! Definately a Buy for any kind of gamer.
  • Cid OniCid Oni178,916
    17 Aug 2013
    17 1 2
    Halo Wars - when spartans need to think instead of "shoot till they stop? then shoot some more xD"

    Campaign: 4/5

    The campaign is most enjoyable bacause of the story and cutscenes, I was truly amazed when watched it for the first time. The main Plot of the Halo shooters didn't catch my attention that much and i rather focused on gameplay, while in Halo Wars and Halo: Reach, watching the cutscenes is something i will never tire of.

    The playability in the campaign is well matched between 4 difficulties, if you are Halo Wars fan but new to the RTS games you should probably consider playing at Normal/Easy difficulty.
    Veteran RTS players will most likely find more fun playing the multiplayer, because the A.I. isn't very hard to beat even on harder difficulties - they build everything at once without considering what is effective against you or what isn't.

    Co-op: 5/5

    While the Legendary difficulty could be somewhat difficult to someone, in coop mode it's very easy, I personally played it in coop first time with my brother and we cleared most mission in our first try. But putting aside the A.I. capability the cooperation in this game is amazing, there is not many good RTS nowadays, and for sure not with coop mode.
    The Base is controlled by both players and their funds are shared, but they control different units, and can trade those too. With this you can come up with many strategies to atack both or one is building while other focusing on attack.

    Multiplayer: 5/5!!!

    Dear God i don't even know from what I should start xD.
    It is possible to spent a hundred of hours playing RTS, the same game type and still wishing for more? - YES! with Halo Wars it is possible!

    The achievement hunters will probably hate these part because to get to Rank of "General",
    you must spent 15 hours+ doing the same thing. I personally obtained this achievement whithout a single boosting session, when you get used to the play system it's possible and it's FUN!

    The begginers should try Campaign first to learn the controls, then the First mode to play i suggest 1v1 standard mode (I really dislike deathmaches), there is a Skill level determining with which player you will be matched, you can be matched to player with rank +/-15
    (if i remember correctly), and veteran players should have skill 30+ so you don't have to worry to be smashed that badly from the start xD.

    there are 6 factors total (3 humans and 3 covenants), every factor got their own super units and special powers so player can choose what suit him best, with these can be created countless strategies, from my experience the humans are more powerful and easier to play than covenant (Covenant mostly using Counter-units than normal ones)

    The best fights are 3v3 standard mode, this is where most players will be ;)
    When i first played this i was smashed to pieces really easy i thought ( lol? i lost? i' ma Pro i finished campaign on legendary easiely?) and this is when the fun begins the more you play the better tactics you can create to defend against something that was destroying your forces earlier ;)
    Depending on team cooperation is possible coordinate atack in the same place, and helping each other out while in need COOP is the key - be good to other and they will return the favor ;p
  • SpazCoolSpazCool72,094
    23 Jul 2011
    18 7 2
    Yeah, it’s not a shooter and many don’t even consider this part of the “Halo” franchise but, I gave it a go and it’s not bad. Be warned, however, if you’re a hardcore FPS gamer that happens to like “Halo” this isn’t for you; on the other hand, if you’re a hardcore “Halo” gamer you might just enjoy “Wars.”

    Is it Halo-y enough?

    Short answer- Yes.

    Long answer- Ensemble Studios really did a good job in the design of the levels, sound effects of the vehicles, weapons, characters, and the color scheme. If you love “Halo” the campaign in “Wars” should feel right at home. There are some noticeable differences in the Spartans but, I’ll forgive Ensemble their trespasses in the name of character exploration.


    The plot felt like home; the Covenant attempting to access Forerunner tech that holds the potential to destroy the human race that is only to be found on a physically impossible planet that both species stumble upon at the same time. Not original but, it makes for some cool cutscenes and its easy enough to follow plus it is exactly the same plot as the original “Halo: CE” so, it shouldn’t alienate too many of the fanboys.


    If you’re looking for character development and the ability to identify with some of the key players in the game I would suggest you look elsewhere. The characters in “Wars” can be classified into two distinct categories; semi-interesting and cannon fodder. The semi-interesting category includes four stereotypical characters that, while more interesting than the other category aren’t particularly lovable. The warmonger, the nerd, the pretentious bitch, and the knowing grandfather; they all make their appearance and they’re all so tiring to listen to.

    On a related note, during the cutscenes I couldn’t help but, stare at the female characters’ breasts. I’m a guy, my brain is wired that way but, the developers had a choice to either create characters with personalities that gamers can care about or create objects that gamers can ogle at; Ensemble went with the second option, too bad.

    The other category, cannon fodder, is those little men and critters that one finds under one’s control. While I have to give Ensemble Studios props for the little details they gave the Grunts and the Marines, staying true to the “Halo” banter we’ve become so accustomed to. Ultimately, though, I just don’t find myself caring what happens to those little fellas on the ground. Sending 50 Marines to their slaughter only prompts me to send 60 Marines the next time, so much for the band of brothers.


    The graphics were alright but, honestly I think that the original “StarCraft” has comparable in-game graphics. Where the pixels may betray the game the animation of the characters helps out. Not being familiar with contemporary RTS games (i.e. I can only compare “Wars” with the original “StarCraft”), it was refreshing to see the little characters move about. Watching Spartans punch pilots out of their Banshees or the Marines throw their grenades all added to that “Halo” atmosphere.

    The cut-scenes, however, showed what Ensemble is capable of. The graphics and the action scenes are superb—though, like the breasts, I found myself staring at the curiously absent gluteus muscles of the Marines—just watch the second to last video with the three Spartans kicking ass to understand what I’m raving about. There are some beautifully rendered scenes that are comparable to Hollywood production CGI.


    The campaign does suffer from some repetition and can quickly become boring, especially if you try to complete the story in one sitting. The co-op feature for the game is a nice touch but, like many other online games with a small fan-base one should be prepared to wait for quite a while for other like-minded players to show.

    The simplified controls that one uses also are in need of praise. The RTS genre has never really been easy to adapt to a console due to the amount of commands one needs to issue to one’s minions to successfully control an attack or defense. The radial dial command of “Wars” is both innovative and simple to use which makes this game very playable, even for those unfamiliar with RTS games.


    This is where, I found, “Halo Wars” to fail. Perhaps, it is because I didn’t pick up the game back when it was popular but, there’s no one on here except for boosters—nothing wrong with that—and, for all intents and purposes, professionals. I fall into the camp of RTS players that love to build up my little fortress, watching my men go about their routines and, when I’m good and ready, I’ll stage an attack. Unfortunately, that type of gamer is easy pickings for the vast majority of “Wars” gamers that hunt the multiplayer waters. I cannot find the words to describe how annoying it is to be beaten by my enemy’s single Warthog that comes strolling in behind my defenses…every time; a feat that I can’t seem to mimic with a modicum of success. As a result of my inabilities in the multiplayer I quickly lost interest, maybe playing a total of 5 matches.

    All in All:

    In short, the plot is welcoming to the “Halo” fan base but, the gameplay isn’t anything that would attract either FPS fans or hardcore RTS fans, for that matter. Tough spot to be in but, the game does have its moments. The campaign is where the meat is at and if the multiplayer had a decent (read: varied) player base it might have had a chance at being fun but, alas, the MP battleground is littered with mostly Generals that take no pity on lowly recruits. I wouldn’t tell everyone to go rent this game because it isn’t for everyone. But, if you like the “Halo” universe and you happen to have played and enjoyed some RTS games in your past I would suggest at least a rental. I would, however, caution that if you’re looking to 100% the achievements you should be prepared to boost because there’s no way you’re getting them on your own unless you’re really into RTSs.
  • Skaffa NLSkaffa NL40,962
    28 Apr 2009 28 Apr 2009
    24 16 0
    When I heard about Halo Wars I wasn't really thrilled because never were the controls in a console RTS game good or playable. But, after I played the demo of Halo Wars I decided to buy it right away.
    I first started in campaign, and though I haven't finished it yet (second-last mission), I can say the campaign offers alot of diversity. It's not just building your base and destroy the enemy's one, it's different every mission. It diverses from saving Marines to surviving an amount of time to destroying your enemy. I just think sometimes the missions take a little too long and starts to bore me. But the cutscenes made my day. It's like a reward. Awesome cutscenes..
    The maps you play on are also stunning, what I really thought was awesome was playing on the Spirit of Fire's hull. That was just amazing, the sides of the map moving to show the ship was floating forwards. Totally amazing.
    Getting back to the controls, I thought they worked out pretty well. Selecting local units, all units and units of the same kind is very useful and it works quite well. Using special abillities doesn't seem a problem and moving around the map (which is most important) goes smoothly.
    The online PvP also worked out just fine. You select your hero, start the matchmaking and you just play a game. Too bad hardly anyone ever wears a headset. But that's okay because you have special 2v2 and 3v3 party matchmaking so that you're sure of playing with your friends. What I didn't like is that I sometimes get partied up with a recruit just like me and I have to fight against Generals, who totally own my ass.

    Overall, a nice game which is a must buy for fans of the RTS genre or fans of the Halo series. It follows the storyline fine and you'll feel bad-ass with all the Spartans hijacking vehicles.

  • HitMwitDaRythmHitMwitDaRythm224,671
    04 Jul 2010 04 Jul 2010
    7 10 4
    Excellent game. Halo Wars was my first exposure to RTS games and my love of the Halo Series allowed a smooth transition! Campaign is very fun but only showcases part of the wide spectrum of gameplay options so i would recommend playing thru the campaign to familiarize yourself with the button layout and counter units. Multiplayer is where the real fun begins it is nonstop chaos and carnage. The online experience allows for rank and points tracking as well as a service record to follow your progress as you advance into your Halo Wars career. Gameplay graphics could be better but the cut scenes are amazing in HD. Cheah!!!
  • shoot1st85shoot1st8545,382
    19 Dec 2010 19 Dec 2010
    1 7 0
    Ensemble studios did a great job of building a RTS clap

    Overall I give this game a solid 4 stars its no First person Shooter but to be able to play as the Covenant more than makes up for that. Its Not a pc RTS but on a console you don’t need all those bells and whistles to worry about.
    This game is very addictive with its in depth game features and prequel storyline that fills you in on a ton of halo history. Ensemble studios did a great job of building a RTS for a console. You have pre determined base locations and base slots that can be upgraded to allow for more building basically a cookie cutter base but on a console you don’t have the buttons to micro manage a huge base so this works out very well. The controls are a blast to work with simply press the Left trigger and you select All of your units you have. The right trigger will select only the units on your screen in front of you. Tap A for a single unit or hold for a paint brush effect to get as many men as you need. Or double tap A and select all units of that type. I loved that they included Skulls to find (each mission has a Skull hidden in it) along with Black boxes that unlock more story timeline segments and the Xbox Achievements means you will play this game again and again one achievement is to have played Halo wars for 24hrs with breaks of course (No need to burn the system up) so go out there at win one for the UNSC or Take over everything with the Covenant just watch out for the Flood.
  • ultimag17ultimag1766,483
    04 Apr 2009
    7 13 4
    I thought this game was very plesant to play through. I'll start with the positives. First, the cutscenes are beautiful. They are very well done and are the best cutscenes I have seen on a system. Second, the controls play very nicley for an rts on a console, which I know is a problem for most people. Third, the story is very compelling. I have beaten it for a friend so don't complain that I didn't finish it myself yet. Fourth, the ending was very entertaining. *SPOILER* the way the ending makes you think that sargent forge may be Spartan-117 makes you think a lot *END SPOILER*. Now, on to the cons. I felt the UNSC to be a bit overpowered to the Covenant in skirmish. The Cov. take to long to become powerful and the warthog rush seems to be an unfair advantage. Other than that, their arn't any more cons. to talk about. So, if you like Halo I would suggest giving this game a shot. PC rts players may also want to try it if they have a 360.
  • mado260mado260128,320
    20 Apr 2009 30 Oct 2009
    2 9 0
    A very good game, good graphics i think it just need to be alittle bit longer but it dosnt matter i like all the little detail they put into it, the music is very good most of the vehicals are from the halo triligy but they have added some bigger and better ones eg the grizzly, and the vultur you can also play as the covanent for once which makes a differants. the campeign you can play single player or multiplayer but only over xbox live there are four main characters stg forge, prof anders, captn cutter, and the arbitor. the cutscenes are much better than halo 3 but i dont really want to ruin it for you so ill shut up now but, and i must stress this it is NOT a first person shooter game like halo 1, 2 and 3 so if you perfer them you must get halo 3. (if you dont have it)wave
  • 2 14 0
    I liked it as it was a good rts game for the 360 but i got bored and cant be bothrd to play but ill give it a 5/5 cos its good in all areas. anyway its got a good campaign considering its a rts. it has a very intersting storyline and has very good co-op and its multiplayer is the best for 360 (in its genre). every unit has its own unique abilities. the only downside is warthog rushingand other such nooby techniques used by noobs. also i hate people who resign!angryangrylaughIGNORE
    i swear this is 100 words, why cant i post it, is there something wrong with my post!!?? aslo aslo aslo aslo i want my post to be posted!!