The aforementioned vehicles are indicative of the depth Creative Assembly is aiming to bring to the Halo Wars formula. Kodiacs function as mobile artillery batteries–weapons that, up close, have fewer options available should they come under fire. This forces you to plan ahead, finding the best positions atop cliffsides or embankments that give the Kodiacs longer sightlines and fields of view. By using the Kodiac’s special ability, you plant them in the ground and prepare them for long-range firing.
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.”
Even on Xbox One, though, Halo Wars 2 displays a certain flow. For the purposes of my demo, Creative Assembly gave us infinite resources and unlocked every unit from the outset. While this didn’t give me an overarching idea of how the economy will work, or the process it takes to unlock new structures and units, it did show me how Halo Wars 2’s armies function at their best: hero units in Mjolnir armor firing Spartan lasers at airborn Covenant Banshees; heavily outfitted Pelicans launching missiles into the alien ranks; and Kodiac tanks pummelling enemy Wraiths from afar.