Eight years it has been and yet it feels like the original Halo Wars released only yesterday. It does take a unique experience to be able to stay away from the mainstream market for such a long time and still stay relevant. The recently released Halo Wars 2 proves that the name ‘Halo’ isn’t entirely dependent on Master Chief to be successful.
Available on both Xbox One and Microsoft Windows 10 as an Xbox Play Anywhere title, Halo Wars 2 is developed by The Creative Assembly – a development team that can be regarded as maestros of the RTS genre and is known for titles like Total War. This change is prominent from the very onset of the campaign and is witnessed through and through.
Halo Wars 2 Review – A Worthy Successor
Halo Wars 2 takes place 28 years after the events of the original game which saw the crew of the UNSC’s Spirit of Fire fall into an extended cyrosleep, letting the UNSC to presume them dead. The crew eventually discovers itself at The Ark, the massive facility behind the creation of Halos. It’s also discovered that the seemingly endless Human-Covenant war ended, thanks to a Spartan.
The campaign is divided across 12 chapters and while the game presents a clearly defined objective from the very onset of the campaign, there are plenty of twists and variations to keep things interesting. The CG cinematics are done brilliantly and are parallel to quality offered by Halo 5: Guardians. The characters have unique personalities, are likeable, and well fleshed out.
The system isn’t nothing out of ordinary but I can see fans pouring in a few extra hours to be able to grasp the narrative in a better way.
If narrative isn’t someone’s cup of tea, experiencing the campaign can also prepare one for Halo Wars 2 robust multiplayer experience. The game offers a variety of game modes that can played against AI-controlled opponents or human players. Each of these game modes requires a deep understanding of the game’s core mechanics and different strategies to win.
However, in order to do so, you need to utilize everything at your disposal including vehicles, units, aircrafts, and leader powers. Each of these things is locked behind cards which require a specific amount of Energy to use. Energy replenishes over time and players can also earn additional Energy by utilizing Energy Deposits scattered all across the map.
The game mode manages to have players on their toes and micro-manage things. Another incentive of playing the campaign is to earn new and better cards for your deck which can also be acquired, thanks to microtransactions. Have no doubt! They’re expensive. All in all, the entire system works well and should be easy to learn for both newcomers and hardcore fans of card-based games.
Halo Wars 2 is now available on Microsoft Windows 10 and Xbox One.