Tech News on G4
Halo Wars 2 perfect for RTS fans
February 21, 2016
By John Powell - G4 Canada
Real-time strategy games are a dime a dozen these days. I mean, when Arnold Schwarzenegger himself is hocking Mobile Strike on your television set, as a hard-core gamer, you should probably get to that chopper as quickly as humanly possible.
That is the small-time though and this is the big time. Halo Wars 2 takes its RTS foundation and raises it to an entirely new level. Taking over development duties from the defunct Ensemble Studios, 343 Industries has partnered with Creative Assembly to develop Halo Wars 2 and in doing so has ramped up the gorgeous cut-scenes and story that holds Halo Wars 2 together.
Set after the events of Halo 5: Guardians, the crew of the UNSC warship Spirit of Fire awaken from their cryosleep to find that the universe has changed since they have been napping. The Banished, a rebel Covenant faction under the command of a Brute warlord, Atriox, has become a thorn in the side of not only the Covenant but also the UNSC. After a run-in with The Banished, the crew retrieve an A.I. named Isabel who fills them in on all the changes.
Captain James Cutter and Professor Anders gather their forces and attempt to drive the Banished from the Ark. As Cutter, you command your troops, war machine vehicles to establish and build bases, manage your resources and supervise, deploy your troops from a top-down perspective that you can adjust in almost any way.
The missions should be familiar to any RTS fan. You invade and take over enemy bases, you defend your bases from waves of enemies and you sometimes are required to recon areas and activate certain points like light bridges. The A.I. you are pitted against is more than competent. There were many times where I was outflanked, outmanoeuvred and even worse, suckered into a kill zone ambush. The A.I. is relentless and merciless and you should be too.
As any RTS fan knows, you have to be a master multi-tasker to get ahead and that couldn’t be more true than in Halo Wars 2. At times, there can be a lot going on, multiple tasks to complete, multiple fronts to command. You have to be adept at keeping all of those balls in the air or you will find yourself overwhelmed very quickly.
Although it has enough clever Halo references to keep hard-core fans delighted, Halo Wars 2 is not an RTS game-changer. It does have far more story and far more background than your traditional RTS and even though Halo Wars 2 probably won’t create any new RTS fans, it will satisfy those who already are.
Halo Wars 2
Rating: 7 / 10
About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.