Halo Wars 2 is a RTS (Real Time Strategy) game that was developed by Creative Assembly and 343 Industries. It was published by Microsoft Studios for PC and Xbox One in February 2017.
It’s been 28 years since Lieutenant Forge and the crew of the Spirit Of Fire stopped the Covenant forces from acquiring an ancient ship that could turn the tide of war to their favor. 28 years everyone has been in a cryo-sleep. Now they’re awake, and they don’t know why, they don’t know where they are, and the war they fought for is long over. But with a new threat looming, they get back in the battle without skipping a beat.
The story this time around is centered around “The Banished”. An army that was built by Atriox, a brute that went against the covenant, and took over everything he laid his hands on. So as Captain Cutter, you need to find a way to stop Atriox and his army from leaving the Ark, to wipe out the UNSC. The story is surprisingly fleshed out, when it comes to talking about The Banished, but the question becomes, why are they in the far corner of space? Why were they not heard of until now? What happened to the Guardians and the Promethean that were all over the galaxy, due to Cortana? Yes this happens after the events of Halo 5, so that’s how this makes no sense.
The conclusion of the story is what really, really annoyed me. It felt like the team ran out of ideas or funding, so they had to shoehorn in a random ending. There wasn’t really a solid conclusion to the war between Atriox and Captain Cutter. No big standoff moment. Heck he’s supposed to be the “big bad” of this game, but you only see him in cutscenes, or dialogue. You never square off with him even once. Just one or two of his Lieutenants in his army.
I even played the DLC called “Operation Spearhead”, which in the story described it as the continuation of Cutter and Atrioxs’ war for the ark. But those two were nowhere in the DLC that added two missions. Even those felt like they weren’t needed, because they added nothing to it! Oh so you stop a random ship from taking off, then blow it up, but who was going to board the ship? There was no solid evidence, unless I greatly missed something.
The first Halo Wars was very heavy set on base building every single level. To the point where most of the time was spent in each level doing that. Whereas the levels in this instalment were quite large, but you didn’t sit around waiting for your bases to be built. You were actually doing things! So I was never sitting around bored, and just waiting for numbers to tick up.
Other than that, there’s nothing much to the gameplay. Sure I could’ve been tactical, but with playing on Easy, I could just make whatever I wanted and throw it at the enemy until I won. I never had to think to the extreme. If I lost my army, I’d just rebuild an entirely new one in an instant and try again. But I also played the entire thing in co-op, as I did the last game in the War series. So I had to share everything. But by the time we reached the last few levels of the game, I just built the massive armies to take everywhere, while my co-op partner built small enough armies to defend however many bases we had, and dealt with managing our resources. Whether it was to build more stuff if we could, or get upgrades for troops, we both felt like we had a role, so we weren’t trying to do everything by ourselves.
- Co-op Helped Lessen The RTS Burden
- Interesting New Faction
- No Real Conclusion
- DLC Felt Pointles
Halo Wars 2 was more fun to play than its predecessor. Between the variety of missions in levels, to the new units it introduces. The story was interesting with the new faction it makes, but with no solid conclusion to the story, and a story DLC that answered nothing, I was left with a lot of frustrations instead. I definitely recommend playing this in co-op as well, as it lightens the burden to the player, especially if you suck at RTS games, like me!
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