Halo Wars 2 launches today (for some) on Xbox One and PC, but for those who haven't already got their hands on it, what is the game like, and how does it compare to the original Halo Wars, which we awarded a 6.5 back in 2009?
GameSpot's review is up now, meanwhile. Critic Kallie Plagge called the game "a very light RTS experience geared toward Halo veterans," and said "it runs out of steam quickly." To find out more, you can read our full Halo Wars 2 review, or check out the roundup below.
For a wider view on Halo Wars 2's critical reception, check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.
- Game: Halo Wars 2
- Platform: Xbox One, PC
- Developer: Creative Assembly, 343 Industries
- Release: February 21, February 17 for Ultimate Edition owners
- Price: US $60 / £40 / AU $100
GameSpot -- 6/10
"Halo Wars 2 carries forth enough of the series' beloved elements to make any fan of Halo feel right at home at first, but not in the long run. It's palatable for those used to the FPS games, taking inspiration from favorite missions and putting a strategic spin on them; but just when things become more challenging and actually interesting, it runs out of steam." -- Kallie Plagge [Full review]
Polygon -- 8/10
"I couldn't tell you why, from a business perspective, Halo Wars 2 exists. It doesn't seem like the kind of project that will yield blockbuster returns for anyone involved. It doesn't move the RTS genre forward. But it does make for an accessible RTS that doesn't feel stupid in the process, and it serves as a reminder of how well Halo's world and fiction lends itself to spaces outside of the first person shooter, even if it can't quite shake its franchise avoidance of meaningful denouement." -- Arthur Gies [Full review]
The Guardian -- 4/5
"So has Microsoft pulled off the double whammy of pleasing both Halo and RTS fans? Apparently so. This is a game that can sit proudly in the Halo canon and also call itself a true, albeit hybrid, RTS. It's instinctive to play, exciting to watch and packs in some genuinely new ideas that deserve exploring. And if you still can't get past the inevitable compromises and unfamiliar UI, there's always the PC version." -- Mike Anderiesz [Full review]
GamesRadar+ -- 3/5
"Finding a compromise between designing an RTS for consoles and PC isn't easy (hence so few developers have tried it). Halo Wars 2, however, isn't a compromise, it's a console RTS ported to PC. Its competent but simple mechanics are wrapped around a good story that caters mainly to fans of the Halo universe.
Creative Assembly deserves props for the relentlessly zany Blitz mode, which throws up a curious vision for a direction that RTS could take in the future. I just wish that some of the creativity that went into making this genuinely fresh mode somehow permeated through the rest of the game." -- Robert Zak [Full review]
Wired -- 8/10
"While Halo Wars 2 doesn’t feel as weighty or as deliciously dramatic as its FPS cousins, it does offer a tactical distraction for adventurous fans. It's not just a tagline on the box--there's actual real-time strategy here, it's well made, and it's on console. Such a trifecta doesn't come along often, and when it's spearheaded by Master Chief and company, all the Grunts would do well to take notice." -- Mitch Wallace [Full review]