by Michael Robb
This review is based on the Xbox One version of the game.
After eight long years of eager anticipation, the real time strategy game Halo Wars 2 has finally been released for the Xbox One and, for the first time since Combat Evolved released in 2001, a Halo game is available on the PC as well. Like its predecessor, Halo Wars 2 delivers fluid, easy to master controls and explosive, large scale battles.
The opening scenes inHalo Wars 2 do a tremendous job of setting up the story and getting the player invested in the characters. Captain Cutter and Spartan Red Team take on a much more prominent role than they did in the first game, and a new Brute character, Atriox, is shaping up to be one of the greatest villains the franchise has had in a long time. Additionally, the cinematics are extremely well done and blur the line between live-action and CGI.
Despite a stellar introduction, the narrative for Halo Wars 2 suffers in the long run. The events that transpire in the game don’t move the story forward in any kind of meaningful way, and the ending is abrupt and offers little in the way of resolution.
In spite of several story pitfalls, Halo Wars 2 delivers in the area that matters most: fun, responsive, and easy to pick up gameplay. The intuitive console controls from the original game return in the sequel, and the graphics receive a major overhaul that make every explosion pop. A large variety of units allow players to formulate a broad number of unique strategies, and with seven selectable leaders, each with their own unique abilities and traits, you can be sure that no two matches will be exactly same.
In addition to the classic Deathmatch and Domination game modes present in the first game, Halo Wars 2 includes a brand new multiplayer mode: Blitz. Rather than build up bases and train units on the ground, Blitz introduces a card based system for spawning units. While the game mode is fun at first, the lack of multiple maps and card variety lead to a very predictable and repetitive experience when compared to the base game.
Producers: Michael Robb, Emily Reuben
Post Production: Michael Robb
Graphics: Daley Wilhelm, Sarah James
Music: Jack McGinnis
All Images From: gametyrant
Halo Wars 2
Overall, Halo Wars 2 delivers a decent story and visually impressive, easy to master gameplay that can be enjoyed for hours on end.