Generally favorable reviews - based on 92 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 376 Ratings

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  • Summary: Halo Wars is the next big real-time strategy game from Ensemble Studios, creators of "Age of Empires." Designed exclusively for the Xbox 360, Halo Wars allows you to take charge of the human UNSC armies and see the Halo universe from a totally new perspective. Halo Wars takes place before Halo 1 during the UNSC’s first deadly encounters with the Covenant. Players lead the crew of the UNSC's "Spirit of Fire" from initial skirmishes to an all out war against the evil Covenant. [Ensemble Studios] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 92
  2. Negative: 0 out of 92
  1. 100
    Halo Wars is an absolute triumph, every bit as well designed and beautifully implemented as the Halo trilogy; the only real downside is that it's so addictive that you'll find it hard to tear yourself away. Finished the fight? Time to start another one!
  2. Though it's not a first-person shooter, Halo Wars packs all the Halo fixings you've come to expect: an engaging campaign, co-op play, engrossing multiplayer, efficient party-friendly matchmaking, hidden skulls, Legendary difficulty, and impeccable controls. We can confidently say that it's the foremost example of a real-time strategy game done right on a console. [Mar 2009, p.72]
  3. This strategy incarnation of Halo shows that without the burden of PC version it is possible to make a great RTS game for console. The only flaws are the length of the campaign and some minor idiocies in AI's behavior. [Mar 2009]
  4. 81
    What Ensemble have achieved is nothing short of astonishing. It may not prove to be the finest example in presenting lasting appeal – single-player certainly doesn’t last all that long – but ultimately, Halo Wars stands out as an RTS experience that works incredibly well while ticking all of the right boxes for the fans.
  5. An entertaining addition to the Halo universe proves that there can be a good strategy game on consoles without the need for mouse control. We miss the campaign for the other side... and path-finding is something what should be improved a bit. [Mar 2009]
  6. 80
    The good news is that Halow Wars masterfully transports the series' best elements to an entirely different genre, and its unparalleled accessibility makes for an excellent introduction to real-time strategy. The bad news is that its self-imposed limitations take a meaty chunk out of its longevity.
  7. Quit reading this, head to the store and buy something that isn't Halo Wars.

See all 92 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 68
  2. Negative: 8 out of 68
  1. Sep 24, 2010
    Halo Wars fulfills Halo: Combat Evolved's origins as an RTS. Ensemble did a great job of simplifying the gameplay so you don't have to worry on Micromanaging and concentrate on making strategic maneuvers. The multiplayer can have 3v3, which is pretty good and mostly the number of players goes above 10,000, probably more than Tom Clancy's EndWar. As for Campaign, the cutscenes are great, the music is great (thanks to Stephen Rippy), and has little easter eggs for Halo fans. But, it is short and the reason why it is short is because Microsoft cut the budget (Ensemble had plans for a Covenant campaign, probably featuring the Brute Chieftain since he isn't in the main campaign, but the budget was cut and it was scrapped). According to the Guiness Book of World Records 2010 Gamer's Edition, Halo Wars has sold over 1.21 million units making it the Best Selling Console Based RTS. Not bad, huh? And for all those people out there who don't like it because Bungie was not involved, here is an article on what Bungie has to say about it: For what it's worth, Halo Wars is an excellent addition to the franchise, but it leaves a lot of unanswered questions. In any case, this a great game any Halo fan should have as well as to introduce people to the RTS genre. Expand
  2. Aug 31, 2014
    This game is amazing i have spent so much time playing it. It was a great way for Ensemble studios to say goodbye. Its beautiful and raises the bar for console RTS games. It has all of the units you love and units you didn't know but you sure as hell would love. The Story isn't really what you would expect from a halo game but hey, this isn't bungie, and isn't master chief. In the campaign you play as the people from the Spirit of fire, whose captain is captain Cutter. War guy, sergeant Forge and doc Andres along with the AI Serina. I love a good prequel which you learn from. In the skirmish you can play as one of the Covenant leaders (Brute chieftain, Arbiter, prophet of regret) and you can spawn the one you play as in and upgrade and create your awesome one man army. Or you could, at the start send him in early and just destroy the enamy early on. The enemy AI is challenging to and if you play as a human you get a bunch of bonuses that make it fair. READ THIS IF YOu CANT BE BOTHERED to some it up, Good campaign, good story (but still not as good as a bungie halo story) , Amazing skirmish, amazing DLC, Amazing multiplayer, amazing graphics, super simple and a great way for ensemble studios to say good bye. Expand
  3. Mar 6, 2011
    This is the first RTS I have ever played, and really shows that a RTS can succeed on a console and not only on PC, the controls are outstanding, as are the graphics, sound, and story, a must play for RTS and Halo fans, and for those who want to try an RTS this is a perfect starter, it's easy to approach and is simple to figure out but difficult to master, add some great multiplayer and you've got a fantastic game. Expand
  4. AbelC
    Mar 13, 2009
    This is a fun game..LIGHT RTS but fun in action. I wonder if it would have gotten better critic scores had it not been part of the Halo Franchise? More Multiplayer Options would have bumped my score. Bottom line is that the game is fun. Expand
  5. Aug 12, 2014
    Best Console RTS and Best RTS to come after C&C3.

    However that saying very little
    The game is still good BTW there was one big of thing
    that kept it from getting a 8
    -There is no Covenant campaign even though you get play as them in skirmish I still think there should be a campaign for them.
  6. Aug 22, 2010
    By far the worst halo game of all! It may have been fun for some people but not for me. It got repetetive and if you failed a mission you get to start from the begining! Some mission's were 20 minutes long just to fail in the dieing seconds? AHHHHHHHHH! I give it a 6.3 out of 10. Expand
  7. Star
    Mar 4, 2009
    I saw this game on the store shelf and quickly grabbed it to purchase it. I love the Halo games and when I saw a new one I was excited all to heck. I speed home to put this into my 360.... when the game started I was sorely disappointed. I was expect a new action packed Halo game. What I got was a slow paced building game. MS this is a wonderful way to kill your best selling franchise. I would not recommend this game to anyone. PC is better for games like this and MS is trying to bank off of name recognition. Expand

See all 68 User Reviews