Halo Wars Demo Impressions

Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2 and Halo 3 each known for their grandeur, Bungie have certainly set up one hell of a legacy. Can Ensemble studios do justice to a series held in such high regard by gamers and critics alike?
Can they capture the look and feel of the Halo series?
If the demo is anything to go by, Yes they can.
Ensemble studios have set themselves one hell of a task, not only do they have to please millions of Halo fans but they also have to use the hardest console genre to do it, the RTS or Real Time Strategy.


When the demo fires up you are greeted with a tutorial which is short and simple and it lays out everything you need to get going. The controls could’ve easily let Halo Wars down but Ensemble have got it pretty much spot on. The face buttons deal with all the simple needs of the player and everything you learn is easy to commit to memory. It’s safe to say even in the full game, the controls should never let you down.

The graphics are very clean and the “character models” are superb. All of the Halo universe has been captured beautifully from the glow the plasma rifles firing across the battlefield to the warthogs back end swinging out as it careens around corners. The usual Halo humour is in there too, heard above the amazing sound effects dialogue can be heard that will make any Halo fan smile.
Obviously the most important part of the demo is the gameplay and it didn’t let me down. The game plays very well and it seems to have been made for the Halo audience rather than an RTS audience. Which is in no way a bad thing.
It makes the game very “pick up and play” everything in the demo is very much, move here, shoot that and collect this. But it gives you a feel of being immersed in the universe and once the action gets going it’s a roller-coaster of explosions and gunfire that Hollywood would be jealous of.

All in all as a demo it shows a lot of promise not just for the game but the future of console RTS’s. As long as the full game delivers the feel of the demo we’ll all be very happy gamers.
If you own an XBOX 360, you should really download the demo from the marketplace and give it a try. Even if you think RTS’s aren’t your “thing” you might be pleasantly surprised.

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