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Review: Halo Wars 2

Realtime strategy returns to Xbox with Halo Wars 2. The game is set eighteen years on from the original Halo Wars, and in this sequel,  Captain James Cutter and the crew of The Spirit of Fire are pitted against a renegade Covenant faction, the Banished. The Banished is led by a particularly savage Brute named Atriox.

Atriox and his minions have taken over The Ark, an ancient Forerunner artificial world and the birthplace of the titular rings of the Halo series. After having wiped out human research bases on the Ark, he now has plans to open up its secrets and use its terrible powers to wreak vengeance on just about everyone who isn’t Banished.

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Cutter and his UNSC forces, assisted by the last surviving AI on the Ark, are all that stand in his way. Halo Wars 2 delivers real-time strategy at the speed of Halo combat. In the game you can lead armies of Spartans and other Halo fighting forces like Warthogs, Scorpions and exciting new units in a brutal war against a terrifying new enemy on the Halo battlefield.

Halo Wars 2 is an RTS – a clean and simple Real Time Strategy. If you are a fan of the Halo series, you will be pleased to find out that the campaign formula is exactly the same. You play through the same levels, with your partner, choosing to skip scenes together. If your friend has played further ahead than you and they are hosting, you can play their levels, the same works in reverse.

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Back in the days, Halo Wars redefined the RTS genre on consoles and Halo Wars 2 truly takes this experience a step further. The game introduces a wide range of modes in the Multiplayer world. This includes Skirmish, which lets you test your battle strategies against a range of AI difficulty levels.

Strongholds meanwhile is a fast-paced, timed game mode where the objective is to control more bases than your opponent when the timer stops. Domination offers the classic RTS gameplay of Halo Wars, with all the new units, leaders, special abilities, and depth of Halo Wars 2.

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Deathmatch on the other hand, will let you plan and build your base and army. However, instead of fighting for map control you’ll fight until only one player remains standing. Blitz mode is another interesting mode. It is a wave-based match in which you capture points, and play new units with a custom card deck that lets you choose from one of four random cards. It’s a cool idea and we enjoyed tinkering with optimal decks.

Halo Wars 2 has been designed, first and foremost, with a controller in mind. An improvement over even its predecessor here, it proves once again that real-time strategy isn’t exclusive to PC players. Truly an amazing experience for the Xbox community.

Price: $80 Approx.

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