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ARS: The Covenant returns: hands on with Halo Wars

With Killzone 2 on the horizon, Sony is gearing up for a strong first quarter with at least one killer app. Fittingly, Microsoft intends to answer back with a new Halo title in the first big blockbuster battle of the new year. But that Halo title is decidedly different than what fans of the series might be expecting: it is, after all, Halo Wars, an real-time strategy (RTS) game based on the famed first-person shooter (FPS) franchise.

It's hard to say whether or not Halo Wars will be a hit. The game controls well, but it's still a far cry from the voice-controlled EndWar in terms of accessibility and grace. A number of the design decisions have been well thought out, though, and the Halo name is big enough to win this game tons of support only on that merit. In the long run, the ability for the game's campaign to differentiate itself from the pack as something other than just a ho-hum, run-of-the-mill RTS in MJOLNIR armor, and the game's multiplayer experience will determine whether or not Halo Wars has the success and longevity of its FPS predecessors.

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arstechnica.com
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