Review: Halo Wars 2

There’s zero inherently wrong with a basic-arse RTS. A diversion with a integrate of gimmicky factions, some cold superweapons, upgradeable factories for double-barrelled tanks, a apparatus complement that doesn’t particularly vocalization make any sense, and lots of explosions. Those games can be fun, a approach to blemish your tactical eagerness yet a brain-sweats that a correct plan diversion can move on.

But RTS is an inherently antiquated genre. It exists since in a ‘90s, developers like Westwood realised a PC was absolute adequate to conduct dozens of units in genuine time. Dune II was fundamentally a turn-based wargame solely all took a spin during once. But afterwards a genre was refined, developed. It became slick, afterwards fast, afterwards frenetic. Pro-level StarCraft is all about actions-per-minute, about tingle ability rather than vital brilliance. Because a plan in RTS has always been rudimentary.

The best RTS currently is like arm-wrestling. Perfectly-balanced opponents strife in a centre of a map and pull opposite any other, seeking to feat some debility or blunder or oversight. RTS is all about speed and ire and holding a arrange of gestalt prophesy of a terrain in your head. Trying to out-guess your competition even as we out-click them with rodent actions.

Then there’s Halo Wars 2. Look guys! We figured out a neat approach to make an RTS work utterly easily with a gamepad! 

And that’s it. Halo Wars 2 does indeed work utterly easily with a gamepad, that contingency indeed be utterly good for Xbox players. But because do we give a shit here on PC? We don’t. we positively didn’t play it with a gamepad.

Beyond a control intrigue though… why? Why does this diversion exist? What is it for? It doesn’t extend a Halo star or supplement anything suggestive to it. It doesn’t do anything new for RTS. The AI isn’t remarkable. The units and vehicles are all things you’ve seen in a categorical Halo games or in a strange Halo Wars. How did a developers of this thing find a proclivity to make it?

If we know zero about Halo, this diversion will be a fuzz of spaceships and aliens and Warthogs and Spartans and ubiquitous confusion during a approach open panorama will unexpected spin into a enormous sci-fi megastructure with holograms and laser platforms and such. The account is disjointed, I’m saying.

The debate is set on a Ark, that Halo players will remember is a arrange of starfish-shaped super-ringworld with several critical Forerunner artefacts and machines on it. 
Because a story about a core of a United Nations Space Command fighting desperately opposite a visitor Covenant’s best units on tangible Earth would be too interesting, in Halo Wars 2 there is usually one tellurian boat called a Spirit of Fire. And no Covenant. Just a splinter-faction called a Banished. 

The Spirit of Fire was also a home of a tellurian coterie in a strange game, that is because we’re stranded with it and a garland of troops apparatus that is certainly archaic elsewhere in a universe. Something, something, cryosleep, something, 28 years after puzzling vigilance AI on a thumbdrive Brute with an electric hammer, something unequivocally awful, inspirational debate by a captain something. The indicate is, a tract and a paradoxically awesomely-animated yet terribly-scripted cutscenes are all only noise. 

On a tangible battlefield, Halo Wars 2 reveals itself as a super-old-school RTS with little ant-like units who are forever expendable, yet with limited template-based building layouts and super-tight army caps. Resources beget infinitely, with occasional terrain reward pickups. Each map has a few spots where brazen bases can be set up. There are area-control points to constraint and hold. 

Otherwise, it’s insect crusade like in a before-time. Tiny units hurling themselves in cursed waves. Build as many tanks as we can, chuck them during a enemy. Oh he has anti tank units? Build aircraft. Rock, paper, scissors. Over and over.

Here’s where it gets unequivocally silly. At a finish of debate missions a diversion has a insolence to endowment we “blitz packs” to be used with a Blitz multiplayer mode. 
In this mode, a “perceived complexity” of base-building (ie clicking on a highlighted substructure template and selecting from a radial menu) is transposed with a “card-and-deck mechanic” that allows players to muster a garland of units, and afterwards move in some-more units after collecting “energy” that “appears randomly” on a battlefield. All quotes, sic, from a Halo Wars 2 website.

Developer 343 was desirous by MOBA, see. But they didn’t do a MOBA. They did an RTS. With cards. Can we play something else now?

Look, there is zero wrong with Halo Wars 2… as a reward diversion that comes giveaway with Halo 6 or whatever. But as a premium, full-priced title? No. No, we merit some-more than this. A authorization like Halo, with a abounding illusory universe, a cold section design, a super-clear brew of tellurian and visitor factions, deserves some-more than this.

Works genuine good with a gamepad though. 

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