User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 380 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 380

Review this game

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Oct 29, 2012
    Halo Wars brings with it huge feelings of joy and sadness; the joy that comes with a fantastic and hugely immersive title, and the sadness that follows the closure of an epic studio on a high. The action orientated RTS may be light on the RTS aspects in some areas but that by no means detracts away from the gameplay in the slightest. It just gives you a unique experience. Definitely a must purchase for Halo fans, action fans and those who are turned on by a good story. Expand
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. Mar 19, 2012
    It's not the cheap cash-out a lot of people accuse it of being, but Halo Wars is really nothing special. It's an extremely basic RTS with simplistic gameplay and awkward controls (why it exists on the 360 and not the PC is a mystery). Multiplayer was extremely disappointing - prepare to be warthog or ghost rushed within the first ten minutes of any given game. The biggest redeeming factor is the graphics - Ensemble Studios did a great job of capturing the visual style of the previous games in the series. All in all, Halo Wars is not necessarily a BAD game, but unless you're a diehard Halo fan you're much better off getting your RTS fix elsewhere. Expand
  5. Apr 18, 2013
    I can say without a doubt, the vast majority of people who did not enjoy this game are either:
    A- Impatient 12 year olds that play nothing but shooters
    B- People which had no taste in strategy games to begin with, preventing themselves from developing a taste for this game. Many friends I have who did not play RTS games before, actually enjoyed this game plenty.
    C- Snotty PC elitists
    that are mad they can't play the game.
    Give this game a chance, and you will enjoy it.
  6. Aug 27, 2010
    If I were told that my studio was about to be dissolved, I would go out in a blase of glory by doing something that conventional wisdom claimed could not be done. I would make history, even if all that it would achieve would be that college students would mention in passing what a bad decision the dissolution was.

    This is what Ensemble did with Halo Wars. As they have done in the past,
    they took a popular IP and made an RTS out of it, but this time they made a perfectly functional RTS on a console. This, up until now, was unheard of. Halo Wars might not have been the first RTS, or the best RTS, but it was the first RTS with a good control scheme for a console as a platform. The game itself wasn't bad either, but I give legendary status to the Ensemble team that, in their dying breath as a company, made this game. Expand
  7. Dec 22, 2011
    My personal opinion over this game influences much of this review since I purely loved this game, an RTS game on consoles is not the best idea but this game changes that. The campaign is not the best thing of this game, it's short and the difficulty unbalanced although the skulls and secrets found there are great and they unlock a Halo timeline that tells you a little about the story. The campaign is good, but not great and I just wish there was a covenant campaign. This game really shines on multiplayer though since the maps are great, the units more varied and you can play as UNSC or as the covenant and both have different game mechanics. Fighting strategically in 3 vs 3 online matches is just epic and I just can't get tired of playing this game. Overall this game is totally amazing just because of the extremely fun multiplayer, now that the price for this game isn't high at all you should buy it. Expand
  8. Aug 29, 2010
    This game is alright but to slap the halo name on it was just to get sales and maybe better ratings for a very average RTS game. The campaign was horrible. The gameplay was somewhat boring and not all that interesting. But this game does have some decent multiplayer. You can play with up to 6 players on xbox live. It is pretty fun but will only keep you interested for a little bit. This game is alright and if you are a hardcore RTS fan, this game probably is not for you, but if you a pretty big halo fan, you might want to take a look. This game is alright for a console RTS but with all of the excellent ones on the PC, this just falls flat on its face. Expand
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. Nov 18, 2011
    Solid. Halo War's entertains in every way a strategy fan and in the same way a Halo veteran . Taking a franchise to a new genre ( or changing ) is a big risk . But it turns out that Halo Wars is quite addicting and very fun . While I don't feel that blowing sensation like with other strategy games, Halo Wars does it well .
  12. 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
  13. Jun 21, 2011
    As a huge fan of rts games especially ag of empires, halo wars is by far the best rts on the console today! The user friendly controls make halo wars fun for everyone! I'd recommend this game to all halo fans!
  14. Sep 26, 2011
    I like playing RTS games so I picked up Halo Wars thinking it was a good game .... it was. For starters it's the only RTS game on the Xbox that doesn't suffer from frame rate drops, and it's the only console RTS that isn't a port from a PC version.

    The graphics are fantastic, and the game feels very well polished.

    The campaign was amazing, although it was a little short. My major
    complaint is that there is no campaign for the covenant. Which means you are stuck playing the UNSC story line.

    Overall it is one of the most polished and best RTS games on the Xbox 360 to date and I am sad that there are not more Halo RTS games coming out.
  15. May 15, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Halo Wars deftly dodges between the hardcore micromanagement of real-time strategy and the instant gratification expected by Halo fans. Ensemble has nailed console RTS controls, but at the expense of some depth. Expand
  16. Jan 28, 2013
    Beautiful, interesting
    But only two races it would have been very interesting using also flood but any flood here :(
    UNSC and Covenant
    Very good game RTS I am still playing this awesome game in 2013
  17. 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.
  18. Jun 16, 2013
    Please make a sequel or similar console rts! Although it's been a little while since I've played halo wars, me and some friends used to have a hell of a time in online 3v3 matches. I still pick it up every now and again with my mates and mess around for a couple hours online. The simplified controls for a console controller could not be more perfect. Everything is easy to maneuver and switching between bases and units could not be easier. The campaign was a little lackluster but co-op campaign was what I played and I can say it is much more enjoyable then running around solo. If you are into rts games and looking for a new console experience then why haven't you picked this gem up yet? Halo Wars has gave me countless hours of fun and it's always nice to get a break from the standard fps multiplayer and mix it up a bit. Expand
  19. Aug 6, 2013
    my review for the first good RTS on consoles. SINGLE PLAYER (STORY)- 8/10. a pretty good story about what happened during the first attack of the covenant, but not as good as other halo games. GRAPHICS- 10/10. beautiful cutscenes and in-game graphics make this a spectacular looking game. SOUND- 9/10. good voice acting and great sound effects. MULTIPLAYER- 7/10. 3 vs. 3 (max) multiplayer that is very enjoyable, but it needs more game modes and maps. also, the unit count is WAY too low.
    GAMEPLAY- 9/10. finally! RTS controls on console that work well!
    FUN FACTOR- 8.5/10. very fun RTS with a good story and enjoyable multiplayer.
    OVERALL- 8/10
  20. Jun 3, 2014
    Would've been better as a PC game but that's not to say that it's not good. The campaign is fun and still has the Halo feel even though it's an RTS. Online multiplayer is fun too. The Xbox controls work but it would be much better with a mouse and keyboard.
  21. Aug 5, 2014
    Halo Wars, although may be a stranger to its fellow halo games, is an all around fun game to play. It's campaign is not it's strong point, the only reason I can see that you would need to press the campaign button would be if you're a rookie and you want to learn the controls a bit before you delve into the harsh atmosphere of multiplayer or you just want to collect skulls. Multiplayer is it's obvious strong point and as long as you understand strategy and the basics of the game (*cough* noobs that use a mix army of marines and warthogs *cough*) you should be fine. So if you every go to you nearby walmart or gamestop you should just give this game a chance. p.s don't get the downloaded version, it is not as good in my opinion Expand
  22. Nov 15, 2010
    I Quite enjoyed this game, the base building and command system is of the utmost simplicity witch is good on a limited controller rather than a keyboard and mouse. Its worth at least a try for most console gamers who want a break from all the clone fps gaming there used to.
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. May 6, 2013
    It's a worthy console RTS that is fairly enjoyable to play with friends. The single-player story fails to do anything interesting though and you'll probably be playing the multiplayer component more. The framerate can get seriously choppy to the point where massive battles feel like low-quality animated GIFs. It's also inexcusable, because the game is pretty ugly and doesn't have very much going on in the landscape. Covenant leader powers are also seriously dull and underpowered. Other than that, the gameplay is good and I like playing with my friends online. You can also play against bots, but you'll have to crank them up to Legendary for a challenge. The community isn't all that bad and it's one of the only decent RTS games on the Xbox 360. If you are a fan of RTS games looking for a good, multiplayer console RTS to play; look no further than Halo Wars. Expand
  26. Apr 22, 2012
    I expect better from such a well respected developer. Like I said in my review of Endwar, this game is a crappy wanna be of Starcraft, Command and Conquer and Dawn of War. It's not the fact that its on Xbox that I don't like it, it's the fact that is a bad game. Halo Wars and ODST have tarnished my love of Halo, and the game's bad AI, voice acting and story are what make a beloved franchise look bad. Can we rewind time, and make this game never be made? Expand
  27. Aug 13, 2012
    As a firm hater of strategy games I only picked up Halo Wars as it was a Halo game. The gameplay was great for a console strategy game but that wasn't the saving grace for me. Halo Wars tells you the story of the events on Harvest, pre-Halo:CE you command marines and SPARTANS alike along with vehicles and even a UNSC frigate. By no means is Halo Wars great but its worth picking up if your a Halo fan Expand
  28. Jul 13, 2013
    Okay, the story is good, and so is the campaign, it focuses on the early battles of the war it focuses on the "Spirit of Fire" and the UNSC trying to take back planet Harvest. I don't have much to say about the single player, so I'm gonna go into the problems with the multiplayer. The multiplayer has tons of problems. The multiplayer is really fun, I also like to play with A.I in local as well. With the multiplayer, one of the things that brings it down so bad is that in custom/local you can't pick your colour and will stay green or purple. but the playlists for DLC are screwed up, for example only 1v1 for Capture The Flag, only 2v2 PARTY teams for Tug of War, playlists for Deathmatch were unchecked as well, and there is only 4 maps for 3v3, which one of those maps are DLC. And I would want to play in a 3v3 game with a friend at times, but if forces us to have another person with us, which is unnecessary. Only 3 maps for 3v3 gets very boring, 4 with custom or local. when I got this game, it came with a code for extra content like more game modes, so, basically they have cut out content and made it into DLC as a cheap way of getting extra money, and with that, no one can be found in the playlists for those "extra" multiplayer modes. I do play this game sometimes, just a few times like there are periods where I would play this game once a day and most other times, not at all. It's such a shame a really good RTS was poorly handled and screwed up (not the single player), the big problems such as few 3v3 maps, taking modes out of the game as DLC means you can't find anyone in the DLC playlists as well as you can't pick your colour in local ruins it. Overall, the campaign is great, Halo Wars does a really good job at simulating the Halo universe, the controls are surprisingly simple, but the multiplayer bit, while fun at times especially with friends, has too many issues and annoyances. It's a shame that Ensemble Studios closed though, I want another Halo RTS, based on the new trilogy, and to be set around the Halo 5 time with UNSC vs Prometheans. Expand
  29. Apr 7, 2013
    I really wanted to love this game. I liked it, but did not love it. First and foremost, RTS games are way better on the PC, mouse and keyboard will beat a controller any time, and that is what plagues RTS games in general on a console. Being the Halo fan I am, the game provides enough of a story to get by and the units you can use are fun and interesting.
  30. Jun 1, 2013
    Not bad, but...
    Its not the Halo game I remember. I don't mind a little originality, I mean, a Halo RTS, who wouldn't! The cutscenes, first of all, are great and the team-based strategy is fun for a while, but hardcore fans, like myself, probably won't be happy with this change. You don't get to fight from a first person view of the soldiers you control, which couldv'e been fun. Its not a
    "bad" game, it just doesn't feel like the Halo game we know and love, that's all. Expand
  31. Jul 29, 2013
    Camera movement not the best but still is a very good game love it. Though the constant updates on ur movement do get on ones nerves it actually keeps u timely up to speed whats happening on the map
  32. 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
  33. Nov 11, 2013
    I've never played a stradegy game before but I liked this game, was fun & tough(tough as in other players). I just wish there was more stradegy based games on the Xbox.
  34. May 21, 2014
    it's ok the trailer really made look like something amazing and groundbreaking,yet it fails along with the unit rate and so on so on. for me the graphics look sub-par compared to the other halo games even 2 in my personal opinion is it worth buying? that's up to you and you only but you'r probably going to be dissapointed
  35. 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.
  36. 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
  37. Sep 19, 2014
    why everyone hate this game because this game is a slow-building game? hello? this game is a "strategy" game. If you're halo fan you should heard about halo wars is going to be "slow-building game" And because of this game is "slow-building game" you guys giving 0,1,2 ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND this is a good solid "strategy" game. This game is rough around the edges but still 0/10? 1,2/10? If you like strategy games you'll like this one, if you're a person who refers strategy game to "slow-building game" you'll hate this one.i mean seriously Star (user name) did you even see the back of the **** cover? Expand
  38. Nov 14, 2014
    Halo Wars. By FAR one of the BEST games In the series (Next to Reach). Halo wars as you should know is a real time strategy game. You move you troops around. Destroy and build bases, etc... There was some mix in what was good and bad so I'll split it up into categories. The Good: Come on! It's a Halo Game! It's also an RTS! Because It's Halo, you really don't need to spend that much time learning all the Characters.
    Skirmish mode makes for quick battles with the AI
    Campaign has a really great story

    The Bad:
    No saving skirmishes!!! This would be useful as some skirmishes tend to be hours long.
    Game has a lot of glitches that were never patched in skirmishes, as well as online. My warthogs fall off the map frequently (You will learn how to avoid it. It's caused from moving a large amount of troops through a narrow pass)

    Over all this game gets an 8.6 out of 10

Generally favorable reviews - based on 92 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 92
  2. Negative: 0 out of 92
  1. 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]
  2. It’s a feeling that never quite dissipates over the game’s core 15 missions, a sense of lean and focused game design which prizes the exhilarating tussle of conflict over long, drawn-out army building. [Mar 2009, p.86]
  3. Halo Wars isn't perfect, but it's a huge step in the right direction for console RTS. For the first time in the sub-genre, I felt like I was playing a game instead of wrestling with a kludged-together control scheme. [Mar 2009, p.88]