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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  Gaming  |  But is it Fun?  |  Topic: Halo Wars - Ensemble Studios - Xbox 2 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Halo Wars - Ensemble Studios - Xbox 2  (Read 4033 times)
Posts: 20799

on: February 24, 2009, 07:23:42 AM

Submitted by Itto

Ensemble's goal was to make a fun RTS for beginners.
They succeeded.

The controls:
A selects units and opens the radial menu if it's a building, holding A creates a blob that will select any unit under it, X gives them orders to move or attack if on top of an enemy, Y activates the special ability some units, B cancels. Left bumper selects all units, Right bumper selects local units. Right trigger cycles through individual units in your current selection, and Left trigger makes the camera move faster. Digital pad is used for shortcuts to base and to units (left and down), and d-pad up opens the commander menu, which gives access to repairs and stuff like orbital strikes, paid with cash at the moment you want it delivered.  This scheme works, and works very well.

There are 2 resources in the game, cash and energy. Energy is permanent, you build a reactor, it'll give you 1 energy, and if you choose to update it, it'll give two. No unit or upgrade requires more than 4 energy. Cash comes continuously through structures you can build in your base and from boxes around the map. That's it.

HW has a very short tutorial, divided in basic and advanced, that will teach you... well, nearly everything about the game in less than 20 minutes. This game has very little micro, doesn't mess around with base and building locations (predetermined), and uses a very well designed radial menu for constructions and unit queueing. Your base can have up to 7 building slots, and 4 turret points. Since you'll need 2 slots for energy, 1 slot for an intelligence building, and at least 2 slots for cash, that leaves you with a choice of 2 kinds of units out of 3, infantry, vehicles, or air units. All of them have several upgrades, and can counter each other. No matter which way you choose to go, you'll feel that your units can deliver the pain.

Hero units are, as expected, stronger than usual and can be revived if killed. Spartans have the ability to hijack almost any covenant vehicle, and are rare.

The single player campaign is comprised of 15 missions dealing with the events after Harvest. Manages to be better than Halo 2 and 3. Mind you, that doesn't mean a lot. Takes about 10 hours to beat, and has a fancy FMV after every mission.

While playing it becomes very clear that Ensemble really took a lot of care in tuning the campaign to the average joe in normal. It always feels challenging if you rush head on, but also allows you to just build to the pop cap and shred the opposition. Every map has a skull to find, several optional bonus objectives, and boxes to unlock bonus content. If you don't like RTS's, you should give this a shot. If you do like, you should play it anyway, just to see that it indeed is possible to play an RTS in a console without missing the mouse and keyboard.
Rating: Buy It

Terracotta Army
Posts: 6615

Reply #1 on: February 24, 2009, 08:16:51 AM

Sadly the only reason I'm tempted by this is to fill in more of the Halo backstory. I kind of enjoy this game universe.

"We live in a country, where John Lennon takes six bullets in the chest, Yoko Ono was standing right next to him and not one fucking bullet! Explain that to me! Explain that to me, God! Explain it to me, God!" - Denis Leary summing up my feelings about the nature of the universe.
Posts: 56690

Reply #2 on: February 24, 2009, 01:31:21 PM

Tee-hee. Xbox 2.

Unlike Riggswolfe, the only reason I want to play this is because it's the last title from Ensemble, bless their souls.
Posts: 20799

Reply #3 on: February 24, 2009, 03:33:10 PM

Tee-hee. Xbox 2.
awesome, for real

I thought it was cute.
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Posts: 10570

Reply #4 on: February 26, 2009, 11:41:30 PM

When I saw the commercial on TV for this, it really gave no indication as to what the game play was like, in fact I was pretty shocked to hear you say it was basically an RTS.  Doesn't bother me anyway, I've never really liked Halo, nor do I own an XBOX "2", but I am wondering what the average Halo player console gamer reaction to this will be, seeing as I get the impression that those players aren't not well versed in lots of different types of games on averages, and might get blind sided by an RTS game.
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Posts: 1015

Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 06:04:19 PM

The demo was a lot of fun. Definitely picking this up once it drops in price a bit.

Maybe I will buy it used just to spite Microsoft for closing Ensemble.

Owls are an example of evolution showing off. -Shannow

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Posts: 1163

Reply #6 on: March 03, 2009, 01:28:20 PM

Is there a reason one would play this at $69 (Canadian) over Red Alert 3 which is less than half as much ($29)??
Posts: 1712

Reply #7 on: March 03, 2009, 04:00:49 PM

Is there a reason one would play this at $69 (Canadian) over Red Alert 3 which is less than half as much ($29)??

Master Chief

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Reply #8 on: March 03, 2009, 05:29:42 PM


"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Posts: 1712

Reply #9 on: March 03, 2009, 06:21:15 PM

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Reply #10 on: March 03, 2009, 06:50:47 PM


It's like calling shenanigans.  But you say "jihad" instead. - Llava
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Reply #11 on: March 03, 2009, 10:12:35 PM

Was RA2 on the 360?

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Reply #12 on: March 03, 2009, 11:16:22 PM

The little I played of C&C/RA back in the day made me want to stab myself with a spork.

Has that series improved much?

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Reply #13 on: March 03, 2009, 11:37:04 PM

I agree with most of what Itto said except that unless you play on playing on live, rent it. The campaign isn't long enough nor is the depth or breath there to justify buying the game. Unless you really want to support a company... that doesn't exist anymore.
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