I decided to pick up Halo Wars, especially since it is an RTS and I like a new RTS from time to time. I am not a huge Halo fan but here it can easily be ignored. If you do not know if it has a story to it or not, it does when playing campaign mode and so far it seems to be great as well as they did a great job with the videos. From what I understand it takes 20 years before Master Chief.
After putting about 5 hours into it already and nearly done with ACT 2. I decided to take a break and write a review on it. This is a cut down RTS in my opinion compared to the Command and Conquer series on Xbox 360 and Civilization Revolution on Xbox 360. But if this scares you, it should not, there is little worrying to do here unlike in both of those games (I know there are a few more RTS on 360 but I have yet to play them) where you have a lot to do, control, build, defend, etc.
There is a lot here not only in Single Player but in Multiplayer as well, so if you are worried about putting this game away on the shelf after becoming bored of it, you should not worry unless you are that type of person then maybe you will just want to rent it. Online will give you many more hours to play out of this once you are finished with playing Campaign. You obviously can play Campaign further more on the harder difficulties like Legendary.
You also have Skirmish mode as well, very popular in RTS’s so nothing new there, I have yet to try that mode though, still playing through the Campaign. As long as people buy and continue to play online, online should be fun for those people that are into it. I doubt I will venture off into it yet alone play it a lot, I have many other games to play before this online anyways.
The menus and online (matchmaking) is just like Halo 3, so those that are coming from the Halo series to this, especially to try out this RTS because remember, Halo 3 is a FPS and this is an RTS. Totally different games if you did not know this yet.
Controls are and work great. I have no problems with them as I know many people always are fearful about how the controls for an RTS are on a console. They are much better and not as many either compared to the Command and Conquer series and others. You have your simple controls here like LB to select all units anywhere on the map and RB to select only units shown on screen. You press A or hold A to select a number of units, I am not too happy with when you hold A to select units as it creates a large circle after holding it more than about 2 seconds. Press B to not select anything, move your units with X and Y to use the units special ability.
There are not many problems I have come across except that sometimes your units block your path, I have had this happen a lot especially when you set down Cobras and clearly other units would be able to get past but they do not. They sometimes eventually find an alternative (takes a while) if there even is one. There is not much else I have run into that bugs me.
I love when you are given Spartans to control, they are awesome to have especially when you have a large group of them. They can not, they will go down as will Forge but as long as you have other units to go by him when his health is halfway again then you will never fail a mission unless you are trying to protect or accomplish something or whatever else going on.
To end this now, I am really enjoying the game. I think if you are new to RTS games and really want to try one out, this is definitely the game for you. I give it 4/5 stars.