If Halo Wars is successful, it won't only be viewed as a great Halo game," Ensemble Studios executive producer Harter Ryan explains. "We're looking for a bigger success -- to establish the strategy genre on the Xbox 360. We want to make a beacon for other developers."
Developers could use the help. Real-time strategy (RTS) games have suffered a dismal track record on home consoles over the years, scoring vanishingly few successes amidst countless failures. The problem is elementary. The very elements that make PC games such as Starcraft so addictive -- micromanaging resources, juggling multiple battles at once -- bog down the console experience to a near standstill.
But that isn't stopping Ensemble Studios, the masterminds behind the trend-setting PC strategy series Age of Empires. With Halo Wars, Ensemble is aiming to pull off the impossible: craft a simple, intuitive, highly playable strategy game based around the strengths and limitations of the Xbox 360 controller. And you know what? These console first-timers just might pull it off.