Halo Wars 2

Discussion in 'PC Gaming' started by Silent_Buddha, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

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    Posting first impressions. I'm still in the first mission.

    First off, Microsoft has been doing a fantastic job with UWP games. I wish all games on PC ran as well as Halo Wars 2 does in a window.

    Graphics are amazingly good for a RTS. Playing it, I really wish there was a top down RPG using this engine, it's very nice.

    Ground foliage (grass, etc.) is dense and can be trampled down by units. Simple but extremely visually pleasing effect.

    Has built in supersampling/downsampling by a resolution multiplier. Similar to Gears of War 4, but better implemented (easier to adjust), IMO.

    Hoping the gameplay lives up to my first graphical impressions of the game.

    I REALLY REALLY want to see a top down RPG using this Engine.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  2. Silent_Buddha

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    Adding here that I really REALLY don't like the console-style menus. IE - scrolling in a menu does a page up/page down thing instead of smoothly scrolling up or down the menu. This is compounded by it taking a few seconds (~4 seconds for me) for the new page of options to appears whenever you move up or down a menu list.

    Zooming up and down requires using Alt+scroll wheel instead of just using the scroll wheel. I'm guessing this mimics a controller using the camera modifier button in conjunction with an analog stick or something. Bleh. Disappointing.

    Changing a menu option that has a slider bar (for example Default Zoom) doesn't allow you to just click and drag the slider bar. You have to click each setting. The setting goes from 1-100. That's a lot of freaking clicks. You can't even just hold down the mouse button on the < or > thingy to have to auto-increment. You actually have to click for each -1 or +1 increment. Who was the idiot behind this? I ended up plugging in a controller just to mess with this setting.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    RancidLunchmeat and Jupiter like this.
  3. Silent_Buddha

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    OK, now that I've had time to play with the game some here are some more fleshed out thoughts on it.

    First, for people that were complaining that an RTS like Star Craft requires too much mincro-management of units, they might like this. Units are fairly intelligent. They'll automatically choose to attack units they are strong against, and will concentrate fire when possible. They'll also chase those units if a damaged unit attempts to move back.

    All units can shoot while moving. That somewhat counters the fact that there is no attack move in the game.

    It's a very casual friendly game, and the console interface is probably about as good as it'd get when using a controller.

    I like the story and the setting. There's lots of lore and the pre-rendered cut-scenes are generally extremely well done.

    That's about all the good things I have to say.

    It's very obvious that up until a year ago, this was probably going to be a console exclusive. Microsoft's Play Anywhere initiative changed everything. I imagine the developers had to rush to make it useable on PC. At least that's what I'd like to believe. It's possible that a PC version was planned all along and that the developers are just incompetent when it comes to the PC.

    The game has a console interface and UI. Nothing was really done to make the game particularly friendly for PC players. Especially ones that are used to playing RTS games.

    This makes an otherwise enjoyable casual RTS into a struggle against the UI and interface. Hotkeys don't work like they should. Default keybindings are bizarre in many cases. UI interferes with game play. For example, an especially egregious example is cancelling a building slot or demolishing a building slot. It brings up a dialog asking if you are sure you want to do that. That's normal right? Well, they decided to have the dialog take up the ENTIRE SCREEN. Using your commander powers requires bringing up a menu, that guess what, TAKES UP MOST OF THE SCREEN.

    I want to like this game. I like most things about it (even the more casual nature of it), but the UI and control scheme make it very difficult to like it. Especially when half the time I'm fighting the UI and controls to do what should be extremely simple tasks on a PC.

    I wish they had taken the time to implement a second UI for PC and a control scheme that was more like a PC. You know, like Square-Enix did for Final Fantasy XIV.

    The original release of FFXIV had a very console centric UI (like Halo War 2), and died a horrible burning death. For their re-launch they completely revamped the UI and controls. They had a console specific UI and controls and a PC specific UI and controls. Both of which are significantly different from each other. Even better is that on console, if you plug in a keyboard and mouse, you can use the PC UI and controls. And on PC, if you use a controller you can use the console UI and controls.

    If they had done something like that, I'd have no trouble whole heartedly recommending Halo Wars 2 to anyone who has never played an RTS but is interested. Or to anyone who likes RTS games but finds the skill required for something like StarCraft 2, far too daunting. Or to anyone that wants to take a break from a complex RTS likes SC2 and just enjoy a relaxing and more casual RTS like Halo Wars 2.

    But as it is, while I can easily recommend it to consoles players or players who prefer to use a console controller, it's far more difficult for me to recommend it to PC gamers who are used to playing RTS games. The UI and controls really are that horrible on PC when using keyboard and mouse.

    It's a shame, a damn bloody shame.

    Here's a video with Total Biscuit going over some of this and more. I don't agree with everything he says (I think the game is quite beautiful in some parts), but agree with his general comments on it.



    Regards,
    SB
     
    RancidLunchmeat, DSoup and BRiT like this.
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