Purchasers of Halo Wars experienced a fair amount of disappointment. The game seemed a one trick pony due to the closing of developer Ensemble Studios, but luckily that hasn’t been the case. Two DLC packs released since have broadened the game experience for Halo/strategy fans. The first pack, Strategic Options (check here for our review), offered a predictable expansion, but Historic Battles offers something new.
This DLC is a duck of a different color. The first Halo Wars DLC changed the multiplayer with different play types, but the Historic Battles DLC offers different levels to play. Historic Battles comes with 4 levels, tilted Barrens, Blood River, Memorial Basin, and Glacial Ravine. These levels offers tactical challenges with varying difficulty, depending on your level of proficiency. The Barrens, for instance, is occupied by The Flood, and the Memorial Basin and Glacial Ravine maps are full of rebel forces that can hassle your opponent. Tactical advantages placed in the levels can help you turn the tide against your adversary.
For the Halo Wars fan, this expansion offers extended gameplay. Matches against the AI in the Barrens and Blood River maps are designed to be quick affairs of 20 minutes, but the Memorial Basin and Glacial Ravine levels are designed to offer more complexity with their 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 play arrangements. I found the AI easy to take down with enough troops, but playing with and against friends will make for a more lively experience. The DLC broadens the Halo Wars experience in a great way.
Historic Battles is another worthwhile addition to Halo Wars. It seamlessly integrates into the existing game and the previous DLC. The graphics, audio, and play controls are still intact, and look as good as ever. Said simply, if you’ve wanted more oomph in your Halo Wars package, then you’ll definitely want Historic Battles.