Globe and Mail game columnist writes: "I really wasn't expecting much from Halo Wars, the real-time strategy prequel to the Xbox and Xbox 360's blockbuster Halo shooters. Developer Ensemble Studios, whose credits include the excellent Age of Empires series for Windows, are masters of real-time tactics, but it seemed clear that they would need to deliver a relatively rudimentary experience if they wanted the game to appeal to the millions of existing Halo fans who've never played an RTS game before. The demo released in February, which began with players given command of just a few warthog jeeps and soldiers, seemed only to confirm that this was the case.
However, once I began delving into the retail version the game began to grow on me.
To be clear, Halo Wars is no Age of Empires or Rome: Total War. That said, it does have a diversity of missions that few strategy games can match. Some levels force players to dig in and defend, some require rapid base acquisition and expansion, and still others see us on the move trying to take down multiple objectives within a given time limit, a bit like the sort of play found in games such as Company of Heroes and World in Conflict...."