‘Halo Wars 2’ improves on the series

Dalton Stokes

Microsoft’s hit game series ‘Halo’ has a new installment and it is smashing all expectations.

‘Halo Wars 2’ is the sequel to the 2009 ‘Halo’ real time strategy ‘Halo Wars.’ The Halo franchise is mainly comprised of first person shooters. The original was not well received by the ‘Halo’ fanbase, and on top of not having the best sales, Ensamble Studios, the company contracted to make the original game, went out of business shortly after its release. 

Most expected the project to be cancelled indefinitely, yet the game gained a sort of cult following as it remained slightly obscure in the public eye. Now, eight years later, and with new developers, 343 Industries and Creative Assembly, we finally have a sequel. 

‘Halo Wars 2’ follows the same characters from the first game. It takes place 28 years after the events in the original ‘Halo Wars’ and introduces a new threat the ‘Halo’ universe. 

The plot is engaging and dynamic. The enemy that you face, Atriox, is genuinely interesting and slightly mysterious, as developers broke away from the traditional ‘Halo’ enemy, The Covenant.

The single player mode, while fun and engaging, is very erratic and jumps around too much with little explanation, causing the story to lack cohesion and chronology.

The gameplay, however, is much improved; it has a much greater unit diversity, and they built upon making the different factions more diversified. This allows for a wider range of playing styles to emerge. 

The multiplayer is fun and competitive, not to mention more balanced. Each faction has its pros and cons, as does each play style, making it more difficult to run with a pre-created strategy that will win every match. Instead the player must adapt to the way their opponent is playing and prepare to counter accordingly. 

‘Halo Wars 2’ is overall a strong sequel to an underappreciated game. I would recommend it to anyone who thoroughly enjoyed the first game or who is a fan of real time strategy games. 

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