Halo Wars Hits Xbox Live with Demo Download

February 05, 2009 | Chris Maxcer | Comments 0

By Chris Maxcer

Microsoft Game Studios’ much anticipated — and delayed — Halo Wars demo became available on Xbox Live to Xbox Live Gold members today. The Xbox 360-only title uses the Halo franchise universe as its base, with a story line set 20 years before the Master Chief started blasting the alien Covenant in Halo: Combat Evolved.


The official full version will hit retail shelves March 3.

Halo Wars is a must-have for Halo fans, but it’s not the first-person shooter those fans first fell in love with. It’s a strategy war game where you spend time building bases, factories, and laboratories, all the while you’re amassing troops, maneuvering squads, deploying scorpion tanks, and plotting battles that will win the war.

Just because you’re a Halo, Halo 2, and Halo 3 fan won’t guarantee that you’ll be a Halo Wars fan. Still, deploying the familiar Halo Warthogs, et al, is a blast. The game play seems fast with enough satisfying explosions to keep you interested in making more.

And, I must admit, there is something undeniably cool about seeing one of your Warthogs on fire and half buried in a crater while you zoom around from

a perspective in the sky, checking out the damage from all angles and scrambling to keep more Warthog-driving troops from meeting the same fate.

The demo contains tutorials, the first two campaign missions and one (of 14) skirmish maps, the snowy Chasms.

A Bit More Detail About the Full Game

In campaign mode, players can command the armies of the UNSC warship “Spirit of Fire,” consisting of familiar and new UNSC units in its initial encounters against the Covenant, an alien coalition threatening to obliterate mankind.

With the guidance of Serina, an artificial intelligence (AI) persona, gamers will direct legions of UNSC soldiers, Warthogs, Scorpions and more. Players can also lead Covenant forces into battle in multiplayer skirmishes, using an arsenal of Covenant units like Grunts, Elites, Ghosts, and Scarabs. Hover Links:

Filed Under: Console Action


About the Author: Chris Maxcer is editor and publisher of He's been writing about the tech industry for years. While he enjoys wicked cool gear and design, there's something to be said for turning it all off — or most of it — to go outside. To contact him, take a firstname.lastname guess at

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