Bringing a New Era to RTS Video Games

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CBNNews.com - With the advent of Halo Wars comes the first non-cumbersome Real Time Strategy game on a home console.

Typically you would find an RTS game on a PC, but Ensemble Games has accomplished what was thought to be the impossible. They have made the command list, which you would typically need a mouse and keyboard to issue, much tighter and more accessible for the 360 controller.

Halo Wars represents the true next-generation experience, combining a masterful control scheme using the Xbox 360 Controller with award-winning strategic game play. Ensemble Studios had made Halo Wars, the last game developed by the studio, one that shows why they were the masters of the RTS genre.

Where it all Began

Halo Wars is actually a prequel to the Halo series taking place twenty years before the events of the first game. You play as Sgt. John Forge a UNSC soldier and you are teamed with an A.I. program named Serina. You take command of units and command them to different strategic points around the small game map. Serina doesn't give you a strong sense of companionship that Cortana provided from the Original series.

The game does provide a large amount of cinematic cut scenes to break up the encounters and the visuals are breath taking. However some of the dialogue is a bit annoying and the chatter that goes on while you are commanding skirmishes while helpful can get a bit tiresome.

What about the Controls?

he core of Halo Wars is like many other RTS games. Build bases, create soldiers and weapons and defend your position while also capturing the enemies, or holding the fort till help arrives. But Ensemble Games implementation of the controller is rock solid. It was easy to move the cursor around the screen with quick bumper presses to get me to the next platoon I wanted to command. Also the fact that the maps were small enough to have a decent traversal time and low production caps on units, so you couldn't make 100 units to attack the enemy, helped management of the action as well.

Although micro management has been diminished in this game it is still fun to control large units and take them into battle. In the heat of battle being able to switch to one of your Spartan characters with the press of a button and have him do special attacks to commander enemy vehicles has a tendency to put a smile on your face.

The Gist

Ultimately Halo Wars is a good game to play if you are itching for an RTS game on your home console. It wont replace playing strategy games on your PC but it will quench the desire for those wanting to play while reclining on the couch. Halo Wars sets a precedent for RTS games on home consoles though, doing for the genre what Halo did for First Person Shooter , showing that it is possible.

Halo Wars is rated T for Teen and contains mild blood, mild language, and violence, so be aware that there are elements in this game that have influences are your teens. The game is intended for children 13 and up with the cinematic sequences being the most eye popping visuals on screen. The rest of the game takes place from a wide perspective allowing you to zoom in to an extent on certain units. Keep this game on your watch list as it is a very hot item and make sure to research all of your game purchases before buying.

Have a game you'd like to learn more about? Send me an email at CBNGamer@gmail.com.

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Jacob Moore

Jacob Moore

CBN News Game Reviewer

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