I am back, its 2017, Happy new year folks, I am back with a bang as Halo Wars heads to PC with the Definitive Edition and the new Halo Wars 2. Originally released back in 2009 on the Xbox 360 as an exclusive it’s good to see Microsoft looking after both of their babies Xbox One and the powerhouse Windows 10, thanks to the all-new play anywhere Xbox store, massive thanks Microsoft for this, I personally never owned an Xbox system, so having the opportunity to play some great console titles is awesome.
Back on form Halo Wars: Definitive Edition is currently in its trial period for anyone that Pre-Ordered the Ultimate Edition pack on the Xbox Store for £64.99; the codes do take a little time to arrive to you, up to 10 days so please be a little patient, as their poor hamster is overworked already.
As I am new to the series, but not new the genre, I thought maybe I’ll be a little newbie and play the tutorials, first the basic – which consists of you learning how to move your troops, combine your troops and destroy everything in your way, which is rather simple. First, you need to attain your group of troops or vehicle by using the left mouse button and either clicking on a group or dragging the left mouse over all the groups, or there is an easier option pressing the E key, which grabs them all, I prefer the drag option myself. Then there is the movement, right clicking on the ground does this, just as you would expect from all strategy games, good they have not changed this formula, phew.
To control the camera you use WASD keys, great as I hate games that use the damn arrow keys still. Once you get use to the controls you are put into small battles, in which you either allow your troops to auto fire, or right mouse click on the enemy and get your group to kill that one first. Towards the end of the tutorial you learn about special abilities, pressing the R button does this, but will not spoil what it does; you can find that out for yourselves.
So that’s Basic tutorial let’s move to the next one and learn some more skills
Here we learn some base building and some special abilities from UNSC and the Covenant, first the feisty piggy, the Warthog and its ramming ability action by using the R key, ram down some Covenant beasts, you learn how to pick up supplies, rather easy just drive near supplies and you Warthog will automatically pick them up. Now that’s all done and you know how to collect and ram with you Warthog it’s time to learn ‘base building’ with the UNSC, at what is known as the ‘Fortress’. The first thing to create are your Supply Pads, this allows you to receive resources, this is rather easy to build, you choose a placement on the ground around the fortress, click mouse button a menu will pop up and choose what you want to build, just takes a few seconds to complete.
After you have built two Supply Pads, you then create your Barracks, once that’s built, train up 5 groups of Squads, there are 4 soldiers per squad. After this is done, using the same method you created the Supply Pads with, you need to create a Reactor, this allows you to access greater technologies and upgrade your units.
The final thing you learn is the UNSC is ‘Mac Blast’ by using the F key you can summon, I guess and orbiting satellite weapon to send down a huge blast of power to destroy some covenant ordinance, which is pretty sweet and fun to use. Izzy Whizzy wets get busy… BOOM, take that you Covenant scum.
That’s the UNSC tutorial finished let now play the covenant;
Starting with their boss called the ‘Prophet of Regret’, what a name; yeah he regrets ever going out today as he is trapped, but using his special ability with the R key he can escape is captivity and reign supreme, well sort of, he just destroys the generators holding him captive with some sort of blast ray and waits for you to complete what the tutorial.
Welcome to the Citadel, awesome name, what’s that name again for the UNSC, that’s it ‘Fortress’, yeah the enemy always get the best names. So here we are told to create a ‘Factory’, the way this is done is exactly the same as the UNSC so no need to tell you exactly how this is done, right? Then we are asked to create a ‘Shield Generator’, this protects building with an energy shield.
From the Factory you are asked to create 4 Locusts and send them to the gravity left, this allows them to transport to their leader, which we already know is called ‘Prophet of Regret’. Once they are there, it’s a simple ending, take them to the UNSC base and destroy the troops you created and humiliate the UNCS by destroying their fortress.
That’s the end of the tutorials, it’s worth doing them in all honesty just so you learn the basics and some of the keys required in the game.
I then decided to check out Skirmish mode, 2 vs 2, thanks to the tutorial I was able to understand exactly what to do, but that did not prepare me for what was going to happen, total annihilation from the opposing forces. I built up what I thought to be a good force, but how wrong was I, off I trotted to the opposing teams base to attach all out, was doing well, till their teammates decided to help out, I was annihilated, and had to rebuild all over again, but this was not to be, as their enemy was on the march and it was soon going to be the death of me, with their superior fire power I was left in the wind, as they marched all over me and decimated my whole base and what I had left, people., not impressed buy learnt the hard way, I shall be back.
There is also multiplayer. Again you choose to play either the UNCS or the Covenant, I was still not as good as my team member, but survived nether the less, I was called a total noob by my teammate as well, grrrr, but hey, got to start somewhere, I think I’ll stick to Skirmish for now till I am much better and know what I am doing.
Now I would talk about the Campaign, however as this is a preview, I do not wish to spoil anything, but I will give you the inside scoop about the campaign
In the Halo Wars Campaign, players command armies of UNSC units during its first encounters against the Covenant, a collection of alien races that threatens to wipe out all of humanity. With the guidance of the A.I. Serina of the CFV-88 UNSC Spirit of Fire, the player leads UNSC soldiers and vehicles against classic Covenant foes such as Unggoys, Sangheilis, Ghosts, and Banshees. Each faction has its own strengths and abilities in battle.
Halo Wars 2 is set in the year 2531, I am dead, and I have no idea how I know what is going on, wait wrong story, sorry back to Halo Wars. The UNCS Spirit of Fire have discovered and Ancient artifact, during the battles with the covenant.
The plot starts in a CGI movie, got to love old school CGI, most games now use pre-rendered in-game graphics, bring back CGI, back on plot, Captain Cutter recounting the UNSC;s battle on Harvest, during the movie he deploys ground troops to assist Sergeant Forge at Alpha base. While Sergeant is out and about checking out the Northern regions, the base is attached and the remaining troops scatter. On his return is gather the last remaining troops and take on the covenant, destroying them and bring back Alpha base to its former glory.
During a later patrol, Forge discovers a Forerunner relic, held by the covenant forces, forge leads at an attack on them to rid them of this relic and pass it over to Professor Anders, so he can examine it.
The relic points to another Colony world, Arcadia, which hold something of great interest to the covenant, but everything is cut short and the covenant is back, attaching the Alpha base. But do not stress the Spirit of Fire deploys Tanks to decimate the covenant, hooks up with Forge and the marines, and escorts them out with the relic. While some forces hold back the covenant attack.
The professor convinces Captain Cutter to head to Arcadia using the information the relic provided and the game carries on.
Now I am not going to spoil anything else for you, as I want you to be interested already, you know about the tutorials, skirmish mode and the basic start of the story, and one other thing, I know about of windows 10 users have issues with the Xbox Games Store, I used to as well, but now, I have purchased Gears of War 4, Recore, Forza Horizon 3 and now this and non-give me issues, like I was getting when the store first opened.
Did you know, I am shocked, I forgot to include screenshots of all the settings available in the game for PC users to check our, sorry, here they are now below
This was Previewed using the Windows 10 Xbox Store Application.