Halo Wars is a RTS game from the Halo series which is set before the events of first game in the series: Halo: Combat Evolved. Unlike other Halo games, the player controls a team of soldiers who are fighting to stop the advancing Covenant army.
The player follows a UNSC warship named “Spirit of Fire” on it's mission to investigate Covenant activity and quickly discovers that the hostile force has been excavating something on a ruined planet. The situation quickly spirals downwards as the Covenant starts attacking the civilians of human colonies and put their super-weapon to use. Spirit of Fire follows the destruction and races to stop the escalating chaos.
It was developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft in 2009 for the Xbox 360; a Definitive Edition has been confirmed to be coming for Xbox One and Windows PC in the near future.
Just like with other RTS games, the player controls the game from a birds-eye view and places emphasis on management; the player needs to take care of their resources which are necessary to construct or upgrade buildings and produce new units.
Combat is also important in the game and each type of unit is effective against another specific type; most units in the game have a special ability which can be used at any time during the game, the Spirit of Fire can also be accessed during battle and summoned to use different abilities.
The aim of the game is to destroy the enemy bases by attacking with them troops constructed from the player's base; the player needs to expand their own bases to collect more resources and upgrade their army. Technology plays an important role in the game and unlocks necessary components for the player to use.
It features a main story-based campaign mode which can also be played co-operatively with a second player through Xbox Live; the Skirmish Mode allows players to compete in quick-battles against the AI or other players in PvP fights. Playing in Skirmish Mode provides players with two different factions to select from and a range of leaders for their army; each leader has unique abilities and both factions have different units.
Strategic management – Control the army and grow the bases to become strong enough to defeat the Covenant
Story-based Campaign – Fight through the main campaign to stop the evil Covenant plot
Skirmish Mode – Compete in quick battles with a range of unique leaders and play as the Covenant
Multiplayer – Work with a second player to complete the main campaign or fight in PvP skirmishes online
 Players liked:
- Interesting story and cutscenes
- Nice mission variety in the main campaign
- Great unit selection for each faction
- Co-op is good
 Players didn't like:
- Multiplayer options are limited
- Maps are too small
- Flood is missing from the game