August 5, 2009

Halo Wars Fights On While Civilization Revolution Fades Away

JimmyJames70 Says I started playing Real Time Strategy games way back in the day with the likes of Age of Empires on the PC. This was around 1997. Yep, it goes back aways. I took a break from gaming right about the same time and got back into it with the Xbox 360. When Civilization Revolution came out about a year ago there were many articles extolling the virtues of Sid Meier and how he was going to revitalize the RTS genre on the console, which to date, had been subpar and inferior to first-person shooters. I received the game via Goozex and played it till my thumbs felt like they were going to fall off. I really liked the game. My only real complaint was that it was cartoony. And the fact that the world leaders would repeatedly pop up on my screen. Other than that, it is a mighty fine game as it was easy to learn and was graphically pleasing. But then I kind of mastered the game and it became repetitive. And a little boring. And the cool moments of creating certain wonders or blasting into space lost its shine after building them for the umpteenth time. I moved on fairly quickly after thinking this game would be in my collection for awhile.

Then Halo Wars was released in March. This game was a no-brainer for me to at least try since I have a history of really liking RTS games. It almost goes without saying that I’ve been playing this one almost non-stop since the end of May. The campaign was pretty cool. Although, I don’t really like being timed in how quickly I complete a mission. I like to take my time, strategize, and then unleash unholy hell upon my enemies. The campaign really doesn’t reward you for planning, instead, it rewards you for fast action. Whatever. I’m not complaining, I’m just sayin… The campaign does feature some pretty amazing cut scenes, which could easily become a full length motion picture some day.

After I’ve completed the campaign and played a few MP matches, that would spell the end of a game for me. Not so with Halo Wars. The Skirmishes are proving very entertaining. The AI becomes increasingly difficult the better you get with the game, which forces me to keep getting better. The maps are freaking awesome, and new maps were recently made available. This is definitely keeping me playing.

For me, Civ Rev lost its appeal quickly, was not supported by new DLC, and turned out to be a bit cartoony and gimmicky; Halo Wars has realistic detail, a challenging AI, new DLC, and gameplay that keeps me coming back for more.

Halo Wars is still worth 1000 points even though it’s a six-month old game. Civ Rev has already dropped to 500 points, although in it’s defense it was released over a year ago. I recommend checking both games out, just don’t be surprised if you like Halo Wars better.
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