For the purposes of the demo, Creative Assembly showed Strongholds, a game mode that encourages constant movement and adjustments as you capture, defend, and attack various outposts across the map. As a person who traditionally turtles, Strongholds forced me to build my army quickly, keep it mobile, and not be afraid to attacking the interest of map domination. When the timer runs out, the team with more outposts wins. There’s no room for hesitant play.
It remains to be seen how Halo Wars 2 will fare in the long run: how its economy will feed into combat, how the combat will change throughout game modes, and how the game modes will unfold on different maps. But as of now, Halo Wars 2 displays design tweaks that suggest it may be a deeper RTS than its predecessor. Halo Wars is an RTS designed for Halo fans–Halo Wars 2 shows signs of being a nuanced RTS in itself. For more news coming out of E3 2016, stay tuned to this page.
Creative Assembly is not only implementing vehicles that change the ebb and flow of skirmishes, but game modes that do the same.
“The joy of an RTS is that decision-making,” Hope said. “Finding that style that suits you, the one you take into a game and that you’re comfortable with. But there’s also the joy of being pulled out of those habits. Being forced to adapt to the map or the situation.”