Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Halo Wars (XBOX 360)

- Finished the single player campaign. Length was pretty good: 15 missions. I did most the of the missions on normal. The last few missions I just switched it to easy because I was trying to get a few more achievements. Besides, there aren't any specific achievements for finishing all missions on normal. I got all skulls and black boxes.
- I tried a little bit of skirmish (farming more achievements) but haven't tried online yet.
- Cut scenes are very well done. The voice acting is quite good, and the story isn't half bad. It was also quite appropriate that I played this right after finishing Halo: Contact Harvest.
- Graphics are quite nice though you don't get much camera zoom control.
- Unit caps were much too low. I prefer either very high are no unit caps like in the c&c games.
- It's a very streamlined and simplified RTS but feels pretty at home on a console. It kind of reminds me a bit of battle for middle earth. You can only build bases and structures on preset spots on the map. Resources come in via supply drop ships that you really don't have to worry about defending. Base defense is pretty much taken care of with turrets. The tech tree is pretty shallow. Unit variety is pretty low.
- Controls work pretty well for the most part. I'm still unhappy about the limited ways you can group your enemies. They let you select all units or local units. You can also easily pick all the units of a particular type but I really wish there was a way to exclude multiple types for your current group or select more than one type from your current group. The circle selection method doesn't help much either. The ability to quickly jump between your different local groups and bases is nice though.
- Path finding is adequate most of the time but once in a while they will do some screwy things.
- Mission variety is pretty good with quite a few heavily scripted levels. Some win conditions seem overly strict. I hate timed missions, and there were a few too many of those. The difficulty ramp is pretty good until you hit around mission 10 where it gets quite a bit harder. Also, I don't particularly like non base building missions. At least heroes can't die and can be revived.
- I liked going heavy air power. I found it quite effective though it takes a while to build up a base to crank out the higher end/upgraded air units.
- What is up with the single mid mission save? Sure you can save at anytime but I would have liked a few slots for experimentation.

Highly recommended. Great RTS lite for the console especially if you are just getting introduced to the genre. There's quite a bit of replayablity. The missions can be quite difficult on the higher skill settings.

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