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Hands-On With Halo Wars

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the probably-a-better-title-than-halo-peace dept.

Real Time Strategy (Games) 52

The Opposable Thumbs blog got some hands-on time with Halo Wars, the upcoming RTS from Ensemble Studios. The early look is promising; concerns about the controls and the game's adherence to Halo's style have effectively been laid to rest. Now that work on the game is complete, Ensemble is shutting down, its employees splitting amongst at least two new game studios. "Thanks in large part to the game's control and Ensemble's clear consideration for the limitations of a controller when playing an RTS, Halo Wars manages to achieve a level of playability and accessibility that truly is fitting of the Halo dynasty. As Halo brought console FPS games to the masses in a way that Goldeneye couldn't, so too will Halo Wars introduce RTS games to a whole new league of gamers. ... Ensemble has done a great job at emulating what made Bungie's titles so great; from the orchestral themes to the massive battles and the ongoing drama of the Covenant war, Halo Wars is a Halo title through and through."

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Goldeneye couldn't? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26677135)

Other than the people who aren't old enough, who played Halo that didn't play Goldeneye first? I don't get that statement.

Re:Goldeneye couldn't? (2, Informative)

xch13fx (1463819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677567)

Other than the people who aren't old enough, who played Halo that didn't play Goldeneye first? I don't get that statement.

Goldeneye was the first console FPS that was a lot of fun, until your friends left of course or you had to go home. It was on the N64 so there was no online play. Halo 2 brought online competitiveness to console fps though unreal did try on the dreamcast but 56k didnt cut it =P. And for the people that think they are ruining an rts by making it controller friendly i dont know about you but WOW has destroyed my wrists and I hate to sit at my pc anylonger then I need to. Yes the mouse is faster and there are more buttons on a keyboard to bind to, but my bed and tv with the controler is where i want to be. Not having my hand and ass go numb in my chair.

Re:Goldeneye couldn't? (4, Insightful)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678109)

Yes the mouse is faster and there are more buttons on a keyboard to bind to, but my bed and tv with the controler is where i want to be. Not having my hand and ass go numb in my chair.

This isn't a problem inherent to the mouse and keyboard, but with your desktop arrangement and posture.

I sit at a PC nearly 12 hours a day and never have my hands become sore or numb. You should definitely look into fixing up your desk or how you sit if your hands are getting numb.

Re:Goldeneye couldn't? (3, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678191)

Not having my hand and ass go numb in my chair.

Not a fan of the stranger?

Re:Goldeneye couldn't? (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26683679)

$5 USB hub (Newegg.com)
$2 20 ft. mini-USB cable (Newegg)
$2 DVI>HDMI cable (Newegg)

Price for sitting on my *couch* playing on your dreadful idea the PC, that delivers TRUE 1920x1080 output, almost all AAA titles, thousands upon thousands of "casual" free/piss-cheap games, thousands of older games, access to all ITunes content, hundreds of video streaming sites, a cheap internal Blu-Ray player, a 1TB storage device, ability to plug in a controller, surf the net, AND listen to mp3s...

Priceless.

Re:Goldeneye couldn't? (1)

xch13fx (1463819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26683913)

Don't forget surround sound. My pc is louder and has more speakers then my tv. yes i have all that and even http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1578906&csid=_21 [tigerdirect.com] to make my mouse decent from bed. doesn't make me like my xbox any less or care less that a lot of people are working hard on making something....different.

Dead space... (-1, Offtopic)

Arivia (783328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677139)

so unusual to see a story with no comments. Weird.

Re:Dead space... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26677267)

That's because this isn't a story. It's fluff about how "great" Halo was, and how Ensemble deserves a medal for forcing a console gamepad upon RTS players.
 
Just because Bungie/Ensemble nerfed their game to make gamepads usable doesn't mean it's "good."

Re:Dead space... (1)

Alphax.au (913011) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677347)

If you'd read the article, you would have realised that it's not "their game ported to console", they actually put some thought into design and gameplay to make it a workable concept.

If it works, it could strip PC games of one of the last genres that doesn't successfully translate to consoles; after that, who knows? Of course, nobody might be able to afford gaming systems by then...

Re:Dead space... (-1, Flamebait)

XcepticZP (1331217) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677547)

Not going to happen, buddy...

FPS and RTS games(perhaps more, but those stand out the most) just don't work on a console, period. Unless you want to play a really dumbed down version of the game that lacks the need for fast paced controls, or the console gets a mouse. And when they do get a mouse, well, then my friends what you have is a glorified PC that is locked down beyond reasonable use.

Re:Dead space... (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677959)

You obviously haven't played many FPSs on a console then, because they do in fact "work". Just because you don't want to believe that they can work, doesn't mean they don't.

Re:Dead space... (1)

jimboisbored (871959) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678521)

I agree, I was always a firm believe in the KB/mouse combo for FPS games, but having played things like Call of Duty and Halo at friends' houses more and more I finally bought my own xbox and have been hooked and actually like the controller. I do agree that a RTS would be a little tougher on a console though.

Re:Dead space... (1)

JackAxe (689361) | more than 5 years ago | (#26681381)

The thing that bothers me about gamepads and I think the same is true for any PC gamer, is that they've had an adverse effect on PC gaming. It's always the PC version that gets the shaft, since developers will optimize their game around the lower denominator, which is the console.

If they make a game for both platforms, but give both the care they need for their inputs, I don't care either way, but that's rarely the case.

And just for reference:
I've been gaming on consoles since the seventies and PCs since the eighties. I can game either way, I just don't like how slow and dumb the AI are in most console FPS.

I first played FPSs on a keyboard, then a Gravis gamepad, then later a mouse and keyboard. When gamepads became popular, many of the throw backs from the keyboard age were brought back, like aiming assist. Now we have really lame things like bullet-time and some sort of time stasis.

I still own my copy of GoldenEye and I still have a N64. I played Halo to death with my friends, mainly because it was the first co-op game that I can recall. I later bought this game for the PC and it was unbelievably easy with a mouse and keyboard.

Call of Duty is a game I'll only play on a PC. Just like any of Valve's FPSs. I might try it on a Wii though, because Medal of Honor 2 was fun with a Wiimote.

Re:Dead space... (0)

XcepticZP (1331217) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678901)

Take an identical game, have one person play with keyboard and mouse, and the other play with a controller with all the spiffy enhancements. Remove auto-aim from the equation. And what do you get? Yes, thank you for proving my point.

Just because it "works" doesn't mean it works well, nor does it mean that the solution is ideal.

All you proved in your post was that a dumbed down version of the game can "work" on a console. Which is what I said in my post, anyways.

Re:Dead space... (1)

xch13fx (1463819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679753)

corked baseball bats work better too what's your point? The competition in halo is the controller, who is better at manipulating it and who is best at compensating for the slow look speed by being very aware of your surroundings. Not everyone is fond of the Unreal spray and pray run as fast as you can chaos.

Re:Dead space... (1)

JackAxe (689361) | more than 5 years ago | (#26681103)

I see where you're going with the corked baseball bat and it's a poor analogy. All baseball bats are fundamentally the same design, where as mice and gamepads are not.

You can not win any FPS if you're not aware of your surroundings. Why on earth would assume that it's any different on a PC? Do you really think that PC gamers aren't skilled at a genre that originated on PCs and to this day is is still played best on them?

A skilled gamer -- regardless of the platform -- doesn't need to "pray" about weather or not they'll hit and live. Your comment makes me think that you're not that good at FPSs... :]

You also have to consider that the design of the map really determines the type of skills needed to win.

We get it, that many console gamers like to play casually. Just stop insisting that a gampad is on par with a mouse for PC derived games, like RTSs and FPSs, because it's not.

Re:Dead space... (1)

xch13fx (1463819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26682011)

well if you got where i was going with my poor analogy you didn't exactly show me.

We get it, that many console gamers like to play casually. Just stop insisting that a gamepad is on par with a mouse for PC derived games, like RTSs and FPSs, because it's not.

Tell this to the however many thousands play it every day. Lot's of console players consider themselves more then casual and some are actually starting to get paid pretty decent money to play professionally, so I don't think you can make the claim they are not on par they are just two different categories. Maybe another poor sports analogy will help me explain what I'm getting at. Why Put the basketball hoop at 10feet when it would be a lot easier to reach at 6 or 7. And as what I meant about your surrounding's is that in a console fps the sticks don't spin you around instantly like a mouse with the sensitivity up will, so if someone sneaks up behind you on a console you have to be a little more ready then just spinning and firing. Also I'm pretty sure people that QQ about the mouse being better just hate getting ownd with the sticks. With enough practice you too could own analogous.

Re:Dead space... (1)

xch13fx (1463819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26682057)

Also dribbling can be tough as well, so let's carry the ball between the 6 foot hoops.

Re:Dead space... (2)

PopeGumby (1125507) | more than 5 years ago | (#26681495)

Who are these people? Because Ive got a fair bit of experience playing halo with a controller, so if you sat someone down at a comp with limited experience playing fps' Id cream them, keyboard or no.

On the other hand, put someone down who is a master at it, and they'd cream me.

So what you're really saying is put down two people who have an absolutely identical amount of experience playing with their controller of choice, and the keyboard person will cream them. Which I dont think is necessarily true, but if you find the two people who have absolutely identical experience, i'd be glad to find out.

Im so sick of this, every time the whole fps-keyboard-vs-gamepad argument pops up, someone has to say "a person with a keyboard would cream a person with a gamepad, just because!"

it's bullshit, meaningless bullshit.

Re:Dead space... (1)

XcepticZP (1331217) | more than 5 years ago | (#26683089)

It has nothing to do with a keyboard. It has to do with the computer player having a mouse.

A mouse allows way more precision. Precision is absolutely necessary for FPS games. Try to draw a complex shape with your mouse right now. Then tell me if you can mimic that shape using a console controller.

I for one am sick of this argument too. And I want it settled just as much as you do, probably. I wish they would just put out a PC vs Console competition. Console players would be disallowed to use mice and keyboards, and only allowed to use their console controllers.

Re:Dead space... (1)

xch13fx (1463819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26683701)

wow. a mice is more precise which is why you couldn't pick up a controller and own me. Your too used having your pointer doing exactly what you tell it. The controller is an abstract art. Yes the keyboard and mouse is faster and more precise but for the last time the fun of a controller is that its not as fast a mouse and you have to work it and your surroundings harder to maintain edge. You guys love to bully the controller people with your speed and precision but the truth is the controller is a sentimental device and all the little halo kids who are growing up now with a controller in hand are gonna have similar feelings. One of my first memories is playing Popeye on colecovision, and i hope consoles and controllers thrive for the rest of my life even if you think they are garbage they make me and apparently the people I compete with happy and I think at the end of the day that's all that matters. I don't think any laws are being passed in the near future dictating what type of controls are to be used when playing a first person shooter so there is no need to argue mice superiority anymore.

Re:Dead space... (1)

xch13fx (1463819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26683707)

Also try to draw a complex shape with your mouse right now. Now try that with a tablet or touch screen, way easier. So lets all get touch screens since they are more precise and just tap each others faces to death that sounds like a whole lot of fun!!! =/

Re:Dead space... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26684811)

>>Remove auto-aim from the equation. And what do you get? Yes, thank you for proving my point.

Ssh! The console people who think they're elite FPSers will become irate if they realize the game is actually doing the aiming for them!

Re:Dead space... (1)

xch13fx (1463819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685159)

>>Remove auto-aim from the equation. And what do you get? Yes, thank you for proving my point.

Ssh! The console people who think they're elite FPSers will become irate if they realize the game is actually doing the aiming for them!

actually a lot of competitive people turn this feature off to avoid getting pulled onto an undesired target. /gasp some people CAN use their thumbs with precision.

Re:Dead space... (1)

xch13fx (1463819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685279)

Also some people win in halo a lot more then others and some people loose more then others. Both have autoaim and both are using controllers. Its a different skill and a different game. Just because you couldn't beat your friend that one time he asked you to come over doesn't mean he had more auto aim then you.

Re:Dead space... (1)

JackAxe (689361) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680883)

I've played plenty of RTSs on consoles going back to the 16-bit days and they do not work even remotely on the same level as a PC RTS. They are dumbed down, simplified, GIMPED, because a gamepad is not a dedicated pointing device.

Most PC to console games are stripped of features. Too many compromises are made just to get it work on a gamepad. This is a simple truth which is obvious to those that still game on PCs and also game on consoles.

If you like games that are made accessible for casual gaming, so gaming from a couch, or even a bed, than of course RTSs on a console will work for you. They work at that level. When you take that same RTS and put it on a PC, it's a dumbed-down joke.

Patch support as well (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26677309)

From the article:

One of the new companies being started by ES employees will be picking up support for ESO (and Halo Wars)

To alleviate the concerns raised by the summary ;-)

Bring back Myth! (4, Interesting)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677333)

I think Bungie, or Microsoft or whoever thinks that Halo is so bloody popular because it's Halo. Which is probably true, but only in the realms of first person shooters. Once you take all that generic space marine action and bring it into the realm of giants like Starcraft, and Dawn of War, and even Command and Conquer (though not really a space marine RTS). Halo starts to look a lot more stale, and it becomes obvious that the developers are more interested in making money than innovative games. If they were interested in good games they'd bring back Myth.

Re:Bring back Myth! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26677375)

it becomes obvious that the developers are more interested in making money than innovative games.

Ever played the Marathon games by Bungie? A huge proportion of Halo was a rehash of the Marathon games. A pretty good rehash mind, but a rehash all the same. They just altered the story a bit and dressed it up in modern graphics.

Sometimes, things are successful because people *like* more of the same.

Re:Bring back Myth! (3, Informative)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678093)

This isn't flamebait you idiot mod.

I've played Marathon. It's an FPS where your home gets invaded by a consortium of alien races; you play as a green cyborg who can dual-weild and you take guidance from a female AI. Sound familiar?

It's a pretty good game too, you should get it. [bungie.org]

Re:Bring back Myth! (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684857)

>>It's a pretty good game too, you should get it.

Awesome, thanks for that link. I spent most of my freshman year of college playing Marathon / Marathon 2 in UCSD's Mac labs. =)

Re:Bring back Myth! (1)

cyclomedia (882859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26692109)

I'm still waiting for the vanilla xbox port so i can play it like halo too. Ah, perchance to dream...

Re:Bring back Myth! (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26691809)

I think that something that changed between Marathon and Halo is what made Halo successful. Maybe it became more appealing to people outside the "hardcore" FPS crowd, i.e. it's a "casual" FPS and there are always more people who are "casual" than "hardcore"?

Re:Bring back Myth! (2, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678781)

Wouldn't it be better to wait until it's actually released and we've all had chance to play it before deciding it's not as good as Dawn of War and Starcraft? I love DoW (really looking forward to DoW2 in a few weeks in fact) and Starcraft as much as the next RTS player, but I'm not sure why you're suggesting there's a problem with it in comparison when it's not even out.

It may rock, it may suck. Personally, I'll wait until I've actually, you know, played it, before deciding either way.

Re:Bring back Myth! (1)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26681201)

Let me get this straight, you berate them for not being innovative (despite not having played the game and not knowing much about the gameplay), then say they should bring back a 12 year old game?

I loved the Myth series (well, mainly Myth II, never played Myth III and heard it was rubbish), but rereleasing it would hardly be innovative. The way they've adapted the RTS to a console sounds interesting though.

Re:Bring back Myth! (1)

Rambling Paladin (1404347) | more than 5 years ago | (#26681537)

Yes, clearly the Xbox 360 exclusive Halo Wars is going to have tons of competition from the upcoming Xbox 360 versions of Starcraft II and Dawn of War II. You know, the ones that haven't been announced and probably never will be.

In all seriousness, I never thought I'd see the day when the upcoming game that intrigued me the most was a console RTS game. I've clearly moved to some sort of alternate universe.

Re:Bring back Myth! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26734117)

I think what your getting at is the obvious puff-piece aspect to this Slashdot story.

The unspoken premise is that there's such thing as a "Halo Title". But let's be frank: Halo I was groundbreaking. And that's about it. Halo II suffered from a severely disjointed storyline, and in terms of graphic quality it was only standard.

Halo III took the early lead on the console because of hype and first-mover advantage in terms of graphics. It wasn't groundbreaking by any stretch of reviewer logic.

The Halo "trilogy" was primarily a marketing strategy which followed a groundbreaking first episode. The online modes were hampered with cheating and deeply flawed matchmaking. By the time the third title rolled out, it was only graphic "gloss" which kept the game from feeling as stale as it actually was.

Now we're being asked to accept a console RTS into the pantheon-that-wasn't. Nevermind that no console RTS has ever not sucked (Console controllers will never be good RTS devices. Period.) But we're also being asked to believe that "Halo" represents a brand of consistent quality. (Which to any critical gamer, it clearly isn't).

I haven't read Slashdot in a while because the stories have started to feel too canned/placed and paid for. This story is more of the same.

Fanboys: Go ahead and mod this flamebait. Its not. It's criticism -- and it's one man's opinion. But most people I know agree with this sentiment.

Halo Wars is little more than an effort to squeeze a little more mileage out of one of the biggest hype machines in gaming history.

Er (2, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678745)

I'm actually quite a big XBox fan, I think the 360 is the best console out there quite honestly because it simply has so many fun games.

But even I have to wonder what they mean by Halo brought console FPS to the masses in a way Goldeneye couldn't? Halo 2 only just sold as many units as Goldeneye and they're roughly the join top selling console FPS of all time. Whilst I think the Halo series rocks, suggesting they were over and above Goldeneye in terms of their success is outright false unless you're considering the entire series of Halo vs. the single release of Goldeneye which is like comparing apples and oranges.

I'm really looking forward to Halo Wars, but I'm a little puzzled by that particular comment. I just find it odd of all the console FPS games on the market, the only one they could think to compare against was the only one that has actually sold as many units as the highest selling Halo game!

Re:Er (1)

Sibko (1036168) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680097)

Yeah, as we all know. Halo sucks. Never did anything decent. Didn't accomplish anything innovative in any way, etc. etc.

I'm honestly wondering if/when people are going to stop going on about this. It's this extremely common assumption that nothing Halo did was special in any way, and its huge success is simply some kind of anomaly in the game market. [I mean, how could a game that SUCKS so MUCH get so many sales???] yada yada, it's tiring to hear this so constantly.

Halo brought a level of finesse and polish to FPS games that at the time hadn't been seen... ever. A good story was combined with good gameplay combined with massive outdoor levels combined with great AI combined with vehicles combined with awesome graphics, etc. etc. Halo accomplished a great deal more than people want to give it credit for. None of these things seem like such a big deal in retrospect, because we're all used to them now. That wasn't the case when Halo first launched. Very few games had the same combination of features Halo did, and none of them put it all together in the same kind of winning package Halo did.

Re:Er (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680717)

Did you actually read the comment before responding? The parent liked Halo, he was questioning why the article implies Goldeneye was a failure in comparison.

Re:Er (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680871)

The second and third titles, however...

Re:Er (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680965)

I don't think anyone can really doubt the impact Halo 1 had, I was amazed at what they'd done. Halo 2 was more of the same, a little disappointing but the hardware was the same and they did online so probably worth the money. Halo 3, on the other hand, is an absolute piece of shit. Mediocre graphics at best, the same tedious gameplay, piss poor level design and multiplayer that has none of the finesse of css or even team fortress. When you compare Halo 3 single player to Half Life 2, or even Half Life 1, it is piss poor - and that's just not what you expect nowdays from the most high profile FPS on a console.

My view on how a game that sucks so much (and it does) sold so many units is purely because of the strength of the first one. That's why I bought it (and 2) and I won't be getting four unless they actually produce something decent.

Re:Er (1)

Lockblade (1367083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26689635)

...Halo brought a level of finesse and polish to FPS games that at the time hadn't been seen... ever. A good story was combined with good gameplay combined with massive outdoor levels combined with great AI combined with vehicles combined with awesome graphics, etc. etc...

I was under the impression that the Half-Life series did most if not all of this before Halo. I really want to say that more people go back and replay Half-Life than the amount that goes back and replays Halo... I'm not saying that the Halo series sucks, but I'm just saying that is WAS done before. It's just to experience it, you had to have a computer that cost much more than a single XBOX.

Who wrote this? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26679273)

Did someone from Ars Technica write this or really...did someone from Ensemble Studios write this piece? This piece glorifies, nearly deifies, the Halo brand. This reads more like a three page commercial than an objective preview.

Thanks in large part to the game's control and Ensemble's clear consideration for the limitations of a controller when playing an RTS, Halo Wars manages to achieve a level of playability and accessibility that truly is fitting of the Halo dynasty.

So controller limitations are truly fitting of the Halo dynasty? I hope this game has a demo as I can't possibly believe the controls will be half as responsive and effective as a mouse and keyboard setup. And what level of playability and accessibility are they talking about? How is Halo as a FPS easier to pick up than a fighting game or puzzle game? How does that possibly relate to its RTA counterpart?

As Halo brought console FPS games to the masses in a way that Goldeneye couldn't, so too will Halo Wars introduce RTS games to a whole new league of gamers.

Wow such objective language here. You might as well put that in the Halo Wars advertising campaign. Where is the objectivity in video game previewing and reviewing. I want to read about a game in an objective way, not be subjected to blind praise, and worship. I'm not a 360 or PS3 or Wii fan, I'm an objectivity fan. I own all three consoles, and a (moderately adequate) gaming PC. But my god am I getting really sick of 'independent' video game writers.

In the long run, the ability for the game's campaign to differentiate itself from the pack as something other than just a ho-hum, run-of-the-mill RTS in MJOLNIR armor, as well as the game's multiplayer experience, will determine whether or not Halo Wars has the success and longevity of its FPS predecessors

What ho-hum, run-of-the-mill RTS games are they referring to? Starcraft? Warcraft III? C&C? Warhammer? Just because those games don't use 360 Pad controllers?

Re:Who wrote this? (1)

xch13fx (1463819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679673)

I think they are trying to say they came up with a better way to run the game from the controller other then using it as a gimp mouse. As in the past playing the console version of an RTS felt very clumsy and slow. I don't see why it would be hard to believe someone getting excited over an RTS that actually put a lot of thought into the control scheme and made it fun to play on the console. A game outside the standard "box" the genre is in, will in my opinion, be a fun thing to see.

Re:Who wrote this? (1)

analog_line (465182) | more than 5 years ago | (#26681575)

What ho-hum, run-of-the-mill RTS games are they referring to? Starcraft? Warcraft III? C&C? Warhammer? Just because those games don't use 360 Pad controllers?

While I agree that this is pretty much a worthless fluff piece, you're failing to actually read what they wrote. Those RTS games you names are NOT "the pack", they're the influential A list (whether you like them is another story, two of the games you mentioned I don't think are particularly impressive). Empire at War, the non-movie-licensed Lord of the Rings RTS, Age of Empires 3, Warlords Battlecry, Rise of Legends and many more B and C list RTSes that I've played and thrown away, and a lot more that I didn't buy. Many of them are quite serviceable games, some have a minor devoted following, but they are most certainly still "the pack" and if Halo Wars is merely serviceable, then it's going to end up being a really big dud, despite the pull the Halo brand has with many Xbox gamers. Think Onimusha Tactics or Dynasty Warriors Tactics as the kind of pitfalls Halo Wars has to avoid.

Re:Who wrote this? (1)

WCLPeter (202497) | more than 5 years ago | (#26683057)

I hope this game has a demo as I can't possibly believe the controls will be half as responsive and effective as a mouse and keyboard setup.

I've tried a number of demos for other RTS type games on the 360 and I've never quite liked them. The controls just seemed too clunky and it was difficult to manage units; it's a bad sign when the game is set on "easy" and you *still* can't complete the demo mission without retrying a few times. Out of the few that I did try the "Red Alert 3" demo was about the only one that I thought was *okay*; I was actually able to beat both missions on the "normal" difficulty. I wouldn't pay full price for it, but if it was on sale in the $10 bargin bin I'd probably pick it up.

As for Halo Wars, apparently the demo comes out on February 05, 2009. Personally, I'm looking forward to it as I'm curious myself about the control scheme. *If* it ends up being as good as they say it is, this will likely end up being my first RTS purchase for my 360.

Ensemble is closing, so... (4, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680467)

Am I the only one who is wary of purchasing this game because Ensemble is being shut down? There are two reasons for this:

1) It feels like I'm rewarding Microsoft for shutting down one of my favorite studios.
2) It pretty much guarantees no substantial post-game support.

I'm normally not counted among the "I hate M$" crowd, but I simply don't want to reward this behavior. I suppose management would look at poor sales as an indication that they did the right thing anyhow, but at least they wouldn't have my money...

 

Re:Ensemble is closing, so... (1)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 5 years ago | (#26681177)

Indeed, that's just crazy in these times of "release the beta as retail, fix it later". Most games benefit hugely from several patches, sometimes going from unplayable to good.

Re:Ensemble is closing, so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26698497)

I agree I don't want to reward this behavior, but I think if its possible to show them that the game was done well by selling a lot of copies, maybe it will make them feel stupid for closing such a good studio down. Or they won't feel a thing, I guess I'll get it just because it looks fun :)

Shut down Halogen, shut down Ensemble (1)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680761)

Looks like this game is leaving quite the trail of destruction behind it.

Like it (1)

bestart32 (1465613) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700689)

I'm really looking forward to Halo Wars, liked the previous games very much
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