The Strategic Options DLC is now available for Halo Wars. At the price of 800 Microsoft Points, Strategic Options brings us three new multiplayer modes and four new achievements. With Halo Wars being three months old already is it worth it to drop 800 Microsoft Points on a DLC pack? Should you save your Microsoft Points for something else? Read the full review to find out.
Like stated before, the main thing this DLC brings is three new multiplayer modes. The first of which is called Keepaway. Keepaway is almost like Capture The Flag. You play like normal, building units, gathering resources etc. The catch is that every so often a sentinel flag spawns somewhere on the map. When this happens your objective is to reach it before the other team. Once one team obtains the “flag” a timer starts. The goal is to hold onto the flag until the timers runs out, if you do then you score a point. Although if the other team kills whichever unit is holding the flag for you then the timer expires and you do not get a point. What essentially happens is when one team grabs the flag, a cat and mouse chase ensues as the team with the flag desperately tries to avoid the other team while they hold on to the flag until the timer expires.
This mode is fun but can get very annoying. The annoying part comes when let’s say a team grabs the flag and then the enemy destroys the flag carrier, instead of having the flag dropped it disappears and you must wait for another flag to spawn. This could make for some very long and repetitive games. I feel that they should of made it so that if the flag carrier dies then the flag is still there for the other team and whichever team is holding it at the end of the timer gets the point. The way it is now, every time a flag carrier is destroyed you must wait for a new flag to spawn and of course the timer resets. Other then that, the mode is pretty fun but like I said, some games can get long, repetitive and boring.
The next new mode is called Reinforcements. Essentially this is just like Deathmatch except you don’t have as much control. You can gather resources, build reactors and buy upgrades but as for units, they are given to you. The game is set into waves and each wave is timed. Once the wave is over you are given new units. The units you are given depends on how many resources and tech levels you have and how many open spots in your population you have. Each wave your resources are also reset. This mode kind of feels just like normal deathmatch except with a large element of control taken from you. You can’t really choose which units you get after each wave and that just kind of sucks. It’s really more luck than anything. Of course if you have 2000 resources at the end of a wave you will get better units than if you had 400 at the end of the round but still, it kind of sucks just waiting until the end of the wave to see what you get.
Lastly we have Tug Of War. This is exactly what it sounds like. There is a tug of war rope at the top that moves either to your side or your opponent’s side depending on the strength of the armies. There are little numbers on each side of the tug of war rope so you can see how big your lead is or how far behind you are. Once again, a nice twist but it feels a lot like deathmatch. Isn’t this how deathmatch works? Strongest army wins, that is how it always is, so here the objective is essentially the same, make your army superior and as you start to wipe out the other team’s army the slider on the rope moves closer to your side. Once it goes all the way you win.
So that’s basically it, you also get four achievements. Two are quite easy to get, the other two aren’t terribly hard either. The question is, is this DLC pack worth the 800 points?
If you still play Halo Wars regularly online, I recommend this. It offers three new game modes and while they are not all entirely original they do offer a nice twist on the modes that we have been playing for months.
Although if you don’t play Halo Wars anymore, there’s no reason to spend the 800 Microsoft Points, the new modes are nice but nothing incredible.
Overall, if you are a fan and still play then get it. If not then you are probably better passing on it.