Is Halo Wars 2 worth playing in 2022?
Content: Everything the game has to offer
Halo Wars 2's base game shipped with a meaty 12-mission long campaign, an extensive multiplayer suite, and a new mode called Blitz, which altered the traditional Halo Wars real-time strategy (RTS) format by implementing card game mechanics. It helps that this is also an Xbox Play Anywhere title, allowing you to sync progress and play across Xbox One and PC with a single purchase.
Over time, new leaders were added to the game that changed the types of playstyles and units that players could take into battle, and seven new story missions were also released — two in the Operation: SPEARBREAKER expansion, and five in the Awakening the Nightmare expansion. In addition, Awakening the Nightmare gave access to Terminus Firefight, which is a defensive Horde-style mode inspired by Firefight from the first-person shooter Halo titles. Finally, the game has also received several new maps for free over the course of its life-cycle, with the most recent one being Fort Jordan, a remake of the legendary Fort Deen map from the original Halo Wars.
By and large, this content is excellent, and any fan of RTS games will love what Halo Wars 2 has to offer. The story is quite basic and isn't that interesting, but the campaign's gameplay is superb, challenging the player in creative ways that force them to think tactically about how they play. Pulling off strategies and watching your units pound the enemy into the ground is gleefully satisfying, and multiple difficulty modes allow you to ramp up or turn down the challenge if you wish. The missions offered in the expansions are equally great, with the ones found in Awakening the Nightmare arguably being the best Halo Wars missions ever.
When it comes to multiplayer, the game is mostly excellent too, although there are issues. The variety of units and leaders available to use is wonderful since it opens the door for creative strategy, but the maps players duke it out on can feel generic when compared to how diverse the first game felt. Balance-wise, the game is updated fairly often with adjustments, though there have been periods of time where much-needed buffs or nerfs take a long time to come. Even with its problems, however, Halo Wars 2 is a fantastic RTS game, and the recent January update hints that even more good stuff is coming for the game later this year.
Performance: How does the game run?
Games that have content added over time can sometimes become glitchy, but thankfully, that isn't the case with Halo Wars 2. Since launch, the game has remained relatively stable, with the January update mentioned above wiping out several bugs and further optimizing the title. Frame rates do tend to drop during graphically intensive moments, especially if you're playing on an original Xbox One, but it's never to the point where the game feels unplayable. Overall, Halo Wars 2 is a smooth experience.
Community: Are players active?
Something that's special about the Halo Wars community is its ability to endure against all odds, and that hasn't changed with Halo Wars 2. While the game struggled to garner attention upon release, the player base for Halo Wars 2 has nevertheless persisted and remained quite active — this is one of the biggest reasons new content is coming in 2019. Finding matches isn't the fastest experience, but you definitely won't be waiting for minutes in frustration, either. Additionally, Halo Wars 2 fans are active on Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, and Discord, so finding friends to play with or joining community tournaments is only a few clicks away.
Final thoughts: A great game with continued support
Even though Halo Wars 2 is far from a perfect game, it's still an excellent one, and it's a title that has a ton of dedicated and passionate community members supporting it. The amount of content it offers is staggering, and since most of that content is quality, you're in for a fun ride if you decide to pick it up.
Halo Wars has never been better
Halo Wars 2: Complete Edition offers a staggering amount of quality content at a great price, giving you access to what is, without a doubt, the best RTS game on Xbox Live.
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