I have to say, Halo Wars was a really great game. It dealt with almost every problem RTS’s face on the console, and really formed itself around the console. Halo Wars simplified controls, without simplifying the gameplay too much. It balanced itself for 2v2’s and 3v3’s, as it was dealing with a social platform. Having played other major RTS’s such as Starcraft, I really feel Halo Wars didn’t get the credit it deserved.
However, the game- or its sequel- could certainly use a bit more work. Here are some of the things I’d really like to see improved:
-Unit balance and unit variety. When I say this, I really want to talk about tanks. While they aren’t quite overpowered, they aren’t quite balanced. The game seemed designed to have three major units- Marines, Tanks, and Hornets. While the other two aren’t useless, there is certainly no real reason not to go for tanks. You can blame this on two things- the tech tree, or the unit itself.
I feel the biggest issue is the tech tree. Tanks counter marines, and the same building can make anti-air. The two reactors required to build tanks allows for an easy transition to air, if hunters become an issue.
The tank itself is a bit unbalanced however. First of all, they are a hard counter to marines, but hornets are only a soft counter to tanks. The only hard counter to tanks- cobras and hunters- are pretty much useless against everything else.
-Expanding tactics. This is my biggest concern with the game, and why I don’t like 2v2’s. There are only a couple good builds and tactics, so the games become very stale. Almost any high level 2v2 is based on the covie player stalling tanks as long as possible, so that his ally can end the game with more tanks. This issue could be fixed by either changing the tech tree, or improving unit balance/ variety.
-Micro focus. Something I’d really like to see improved, although it could be rather difficult to implement. Currently, micro managing you units plays a pretty insignificant role in combat. While it may make a slight difference in tank battles, the only units that really require micro are warthogs and banshees- simply because those units are simply so useless in direct combat. I’d love to see micro make a bigger difference in most fights.
-Inclusion of lower tech units for the late game. This would really make the game great. In its current state, units such as flamethrowers, warthogs, ghosts, and usually jackals become just about useless past 10 minutes. I’d also love to see more low-tech units introduced, allowing a more diverse early-game. Units that focus on speed and numbers also force defending players to really pay attention, and can really punish mistakes.
-Lastly, I’d like to see more defensive options. In the games current state, defending players lose 9/10 times. This is because a good attacker really forces his opponent to make one or two units, letting the attacker mass up a soft counter and win the game. If you’re behind at all in the first eight minutes, you’ll probably lose the game. This ends up making the high level late-game around 10-15 minutes. Other RTS’s, even those that tech-trees develop much quicker, can easily go to 45-60 minutes.