Halo Wars 2 Review Roundup

What do critics think of Halo Wars 2?

27 Comments

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?

The game has definitely changed after the recent open beta, says publisher Microsoft. To see what the game looks like now, take a look at its launch trailer here.

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]

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xabbott

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Playing Halo Wars 2 now. Really enjoying it and I think it's great. I also have Horizon pre-ordered. This year has been awesome so far and I'm glad I play all the systems. Fanboy the games not the systems. :P

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xhawk27

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Change your name already to sonyspot.

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Mikeblazingit

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Edited By Mikeblazingit

@xhawk27: nah man phil is balls deep in gamespot, it should be called philspot

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FLEEBS

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I bet it's just as good as the first one, which I quite enjoyed, and worth much better than a 6.5.

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deactivated-58bf2c0ad76b2

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Whoever complains that Gamespot provided the lowest score alone likely failed junior high math. And likely English as well, given the regular conflation of opinion and fact.

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EBGenetics

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Edited By EBGenetics

Here we go again, Gamespot spweing shit and pissing off their friends, if only they could review and game without shit in their eyes, we would all be in for a prize.

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rasterror

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Typical GameSpot. Lowest scores for Xbox specific games. Why bother even reviewing them. This site is the Fox News of gaming.

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Jach

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@rasterror: GamesRadar is just as low.

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suicidesn0wman

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Can't say I'm surprised that GameSpot gave this game a low score, it's pretty much par for the course.

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asiel_code_7

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Edited By asiel_code_7

I have not played it yet, but to give the first one a 6.5 was just dumb. I have never seen an RTS work well on a console, Halo Wars did something special. I hope you are wrong again.

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Flodiac

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Really Gamespot a 6!?!?! You got jokes!

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Pyrosa

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Edited By Pyrosa

Just like the first one, this one is clearly a "you'll love it or hate it" title.

I love it, even having been a PC RTS fan since the first RTSes of all time (Dune, Warcraft, and C&C)... Even Herzog Zwei on Sega.

It's like "RTS lite", and Blitz mode is a whole new thing entirely.

I even played the entire HW1 again in the last 6 weeks... TWICE. About 30 more MP matches, too.

No, it'll never be SC2 -- but it's fun & engaging.

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Jach

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@Pyrosa: It's okay. It's closer to 40K, with fewer elements probably to make it more accessible. And then there's the more direct 1:1 strength and weakness of every unit, except the spartans. It probably deserves more than 6/10 and 3/5.

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sladakrobot

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@Pyrosa: awww,Herzog Zwei...you just brought some memories back :-)

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SecretPolice

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Rating: 9.5 Exquisite

https://www.gamingnexus.com/Article/5338/Halo-Wars-2/

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wtf_666

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@SecretPolice: Gaming nexus? WTF is that????? You must have pre ordered the game. Bummer you feel obligated to post that review to make yourself feel better about it.

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sladakrobot

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@wtf_666: ar12 gave it a 9,IGN Spain a 9,cogconnected a 95...there are some very high score and some average one aswell.

It must one of these "love it or forget it" games

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Jach

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@sladakrobot: Way too close to a 10. 7 or 8 tops, but 9 or 10 suggests payment or a non RTS gamer reviewing it.

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JoshRMeyer

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@SecretPolice: 0 - PreyingOcelot

Feb 17, 2017

"Runs terribly on xbox, how does a game like this have frame rate issues! Its broing as hell but if you actually want to get this get it on PC........."

Lol, this is an actual review score on metacritic. Never seen a game get a zero before. I'm losing faith in metacritics scores! It's looking like it's an average of 8 though.

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suicidesn0wman

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@joshrmeyer: I can't put my finger on it but something about this guy makes me question the authenticity of his review. Oh right, it's cause he's one of those toxic fanboys over on IGN who would never touch a product made for Xbox.

PreyingOcelot

"The Xbox community is made of 100% racist c*nts. FACT"

^^^^ Found this in the IGN review comments.

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JoshRMeyer

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Edited By JoshRMeyer

@suicidesn0wman: Wow.... how does his reviews get posted on metacritic? You'd think theyd vet the reviewers.

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suicidesn0wman

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Edited By suicidesn0wman

@joshrmeyer: Anyone can post a user review, I've posted a few before attempting to promote my website but haven't in a while...then again, I haven't actually written the last few reviews I planned.

Looking at his review history he has submitted 7 game reviews. Four were 0's given to Halo Wars 2, Dead Rising 4, Gears of War 4 and ReCore. The other 3 were all 10's given to CoD: IW, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 and FFXV.

Totally legit reviews if you ask me!

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JoshRMeyer

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@suicidesn0wman: Well, I guess I'm even taking metacritics review scores with a grain of salt. I knew there are biased people, but giving a game a zero is just wrong, or any MS game. Just surprises me that more fanatic fanboys are putting more 0s and 10s on that side of metacritics reviews instead of on user reviews. Now I feel like any average score is just wrong... sure there's a lot of 10s that probably don't belong, but they barely bump up the score of a 7 or 8 game. Zeros hurt bad. I wish I could write that idiot reviewer.

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suicidesn0wman

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@joshrmeyer: It's this kind of shit that made me build my site. Felt it would be better to build a more personal relationship between reader and reviewer. Find reviewers with similar tastes in gaming that you can trust their review a little more because you agree with so many previous reviews. It's also why I built in a system that could hide low rated reviews much like EuroGamers comment system. If a post gets 7 feedback and all are negative it goes to the bottom of the pile and repeat offenders would have their ability to post moderated/taken away.

That said, I should write more reviews. I've got a ton of half finished reviews sitting in draft form and a few more rattling around in my head.

I really don't count GameSpots review either, simply too much history of bias here to trust any score, even the good ones. I tend to find that GameSpot reviews are most often 1-2 points below my own for Xbox games, while we agree on most Playstation games. My taste in gaming is the same, but theirs takes a 2 point dive based on the controller in their hand.

I also noticed many reviews here are handled by people who are not really the right type of gamer to be reviewing these games. I've seen editors who get squeamish at gory games forced to review games that are extremely violent, and this is a case where a very otaku reviewer was asked to review a Halo game.

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LiveDreamPlay

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@SecretPolice: They must've really loved it lol. In truth I think it's somewhere in the middle. Probably around a 7 or 8...

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chiefwiggum16

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Edited By chiefwiggum16

I feel like I'm in school again.
1. One of these sentences are false use your common sense to figure out which
2. Circle the one that doesn't belong

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