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

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 370 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: 48 out of 66
  2. Negative: 8 out of 66
  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. Jan 6, 2011
    Fantastic in every way, Ensemble have gone with a giant bang! Not only have they nailed down the conversion of halo FPS to RTS, with user-friendly controls, Unit abilities, and mass unit movement controls, the campaign story is great and challenging with incredible CGI cutscenes, arguably the best graphics I've ever seen from any game and incredibly fun multiplayer with enough variety and strategy in the maps and leaders to keep it fresh. In both the campaign and the multiplayer you have to think and be smart, what units should I use, what units might my enemy have, should I attack now, should I build an extra base? Not only this but ensemble have had the generosity to open a huge new section of the halo universe, not just with the story, but with the black boxes, giving you tonnes of halo lore to work your way through. If you don't like RTS's this might actually change your mind (due to the simplistic controls). All in all, this is Console RTS perfection. Expand
  3. Mar 8, 2013
    Great game I highly recommend it to people. There is only one flaw with this game and that is in multiplayer. When you start off a game you think you can win and then boom you get rushed it is the most annoying thing especially if you are trying to rank up. But still a great game. Expand
  4. Jul 26, 2011
    This is a very good game not perfect but nothing is, the RTS system is great, build strategies etc are good. campaign can be repetitive, which focus's on establishing a base, building units and destroying all nearby enemies. But that said, this games strength lies in multiplayer. 3v3 max. 3 players vs 3 AI can be a blast the only downside is that it wasn't 4v4, i would of liked a fourth friend to of been able to play, he can, but on the side of the AI unfortunately. that said cinematics are fantastic. What you'd expect from a halo branded game. Expand
  5. Nov 8, 2013
    As far as RTS games go this is near the bottom of the list. However if you are a huge fan of the Halo universe then this game is a blast. It is full of downsides like only being able to build a maximum of 7 buildings per base and only being able to build bases in preset locations. However creating, controlling, and battling military units from the Halo universe makes you forget about most of the shortcomings. The cut scenes are spectacular and the basic level designs are very well thought out. Expand
  6. Mar 9, 2011
    Looks really nice, best RTS UI on a console yet, the multiplayer is pretty fun and the code is stable. Stupid Halo story but it is what it is. Wonâ Expand
  7. Jan 1, 2013
    The game itself was great and enjoyable. I gave it a low score due to the ridiculous amount of multiplayer play time required to get all of the achievements. No one enjoys playing at least 18+ hours of multiplayer, assuming they're boosting, and far more if you earn the general achievement the "honest way". It is a cheap shot to get people to play a game more than they want to. Expand

See all 66 User Reviews