I bought Halo Wars last week after resolutely claiming I wouldn’t. I was totally opposed to the idea of playing an RTS on the Xbox. Was I proved wrong? Well, yes and no really. If I were to play Halo Wars as it stands today on the PC, let’s just say it wouldn’t be my favourite game. But on the Xbox, it’s a different story. The simplicity of the controls and combat actually work well together.
What I think I like most about it though, is its jump in/jump out nature, and I say this after playing a two hour session of Company of Heroes! Having the ability to switch on, play for twenty minutes, then turn off is something PC RTS lack. You need to invest time with a PC game, whereas with a console game, most people want instantaneous gratification (a generalisation I know, but let’s face it, it’s true).
Can RTS work on consoles? Well, prior to playing Halo Wars, I would have said no, but now, I think they can. They’ll never be as in-depth as the PC allows, but I suppose Ensemble Studios’ title is a starting point.