It’s a cold and frosty morning in South-West London and I’m preparing for war, I’m put onto a shuttle bus and driven to the location of the operation, I think I’m ready (I’m not really) but there is no going back now.
I’m excited, I’m nervous but I’m all set to fight, with an Xbox One controller in my hand I begin my Halo Wars 2 experience.
It’s been 8 years since Halo Wars graced the Xbox 360 and at a time when there isn’t much competition about, this is a great time to jump back into this exciting Genre.
As I sat down to play some of the campaign I was immediately impressed with the visuals, obviously they were going to be better 8 years on, but everything was so vibrant and the detail on all the characters was incredible. Having only spent a small amount of time playing the original I was intrigued to find out how well the 343 Industries and Creative Assembly had managed to get an RTS game working well with a controller within a few minutes I was comfortably controlling my teams and leading the charge. I’m looking forward to creating an Elite controller setup to take advantage of the paddles.
A few campaign missions later we got to try our hand at some 3v3 multiplayer, this is where, for Halo Wars 2 is going to be awesome. As with any RTS there is a learning curve when it comes to building your base, managing your power and supply points, the first match was over in 25 minutes, my team were too conservative and didn’t upgrade efficiently so we were overwhelmed and had no way to respond. Teamwork is key, it’s important to know your role and talk to your team.
We then got to try our hand at Blitz the card based RTS mode, if you are short on time then this is the mode for you. Choose a leader, build your deck and prepare to fight, the aim is to capture the different zones and score 200 points before your opponents, using cards to deploy different allies and equipment uses power which regularly drops during a match, so there is always a race on to grab some extra to deploy more powerful tactics. The matches last between 7-12 minutes so it’s a perfect pick up and play mode.
I got to talk to some of the developers who were on hand, they were really please at the feedback they were getting from the people there, they seemed have got the perfect balance between those who really want to dig deep into the multiplayer and those who don’t have as much time but will find Blitz as their go to mode. With a campaign to get trough too, Halo fans are in for a real treat in February.