February 5th 2009 8:47 am PT

Demo: Halo Wars

Content: Halo Wars Demo
Price: Free
Availability: All Xbox LIVE regions
Dash Text: [ESRB: T (Teen) MILD BLOOD,MILD LANGUAGE,VIOLENCE] Halo Wars lets you effortlessly command powerful UNSC and Covenant armies in epic battles. Designed from the ground up for the Xbox 360, experience events in the Halo universe 20 year prior to the events of Halo: Combat Evolved.

Add this to your download queue

Demo, Marketplace By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • a peeking duck

    This will be a fun little game.

    *Pours a 40 on the curb for Ensemble*

  • Exu

    Yeah everything seems to slot into place fairly well. I mean it’s not a shining beacon of brilliance but it’s good, would play again.

  • skyfire420

    @Big Guino tom clancys end war was the first decent rts on a console, this is mediocre but a step in the right direction but still not the best rts for a console.

  • RK1 Studley06

    omg this game is great

  • Exu

    @Big Guino – I thought EndWar was rubbish, personally…

  • Exu

    Oops, by @Big Guino I meant @skyfire420.

  • skyfire420

    well imo it was good, the only reason this game will do good is cause of the fanboy support for halo, even if this game is rubbish fanboy will over hype it and make it to be better then it is.

  • Veive257

    Thanks for the demo, I think I’ll wait for the mythic maps..

    Your order has been successfully canceled. For your reference, here’s a summary of your order:
    You just canceled order #105-XXXXXXX-6784241 placed on January 15, 2009.
    Status: CANCELED

    1 of Halo Wars Limited

  • alex5523



    Better then RA3 but RTSs are still not there. The HALO theme is what makes it enjoyable, but that will wear out quick. Might be OK on a PC but we will never be able to know.

  • SirSchmoopy01

    Excellent, IMO. Greatest RTS on a console yet. Definitely worth the LE pre order I have at GameStop.

    @ HitTheBids:

    Rome wasn’t built in a day. Even Halo 1 was not “there” yet. It revolutionized the control scheme for the console, but it still was much better on the PC. As time went on, it got even better. Unfortunately, Halo Wars 2 will probably not get the same treatment because MS closed down Ensemble. The second will be better, just not as good a jump in controls as the one from Halo 1 to Halo 2.

  • Nibbles37

    I hate Micro$oft I’ve been a proud supporter of Ensemble since the days of AoE1 and have bought all their games since. The way I see it they closed them down for doing their job “TOO” well or something I don’t know I really hate you guys sometimes but I’ll continue buying your stuff Because 360 is the only console with more than 5 good games and gaming on a Mac haha yeah right…*sigh*

  • Computerdude103


    I agree with anon comments being turned off, but is it possible for people without a gamertag to register and post on this site? (I registered long ago so I don’t remember). I know somebody can make a gamertag on xbox.com, but it seems stupid to make people have to register for 2 sites in order to post here.


    Thanks for the LE info. I will have to stop by Gamestop one of these days

    If someone does not own an xbox… why would they want to comment here, on an xbox website?
    All the people posting anonymous were either haters or saying stupid things that they didnt want their name associated with.

  • Radical R

    wow! just played the demo again in skirmish mode after playing the campaign yesterday! its amazing! just pre ordered the LCE version from HMV UK i dont think they are giving away the warthog with preorders tho? can anyone find out? :S im still gonna buy it from HMV tho cos its £10 cheaper than anywhere else with £5 off (plus student discount!! :D) making it a lush £40.49 for the limited edition version :D hehe! bargain…kinda… :P

  • CdN Daryl

    “MS really needs to label which is ENGLISH and which is FRENCH in all Canadian Marketplace downloads.”

    I downloaded the french version first when I used the link from a gaming site not noticing it was french. I have to redownload the game a second time for English. Would have made it easier if they stuck Halo Wars – English Version in its title. No matter though, caught up on some DVR shows while it downloaded.

  • HighDef Edition

    Oh My GOD. The game is so ‘easy’ to play. The controls are perfect. this was my only major concern when Halo Wars was first announced. Looks like I was worried for nothing.

    Halo Wars is now on my ‘Must Buy’ List.

  • Schoon

    After reading several of these posts from people who don’t like the game I thought I needed to voice my opinion. I had a lot of fun with this Demo. Sure the graphics aren’t the best we’ve seen on the Xbox 360 by a long shot but the game is put simply , fun! If you play the 1×1 skirmish you’ll get to play around with quite a few of the other units as long as you don’t roll the opposition right out of the gate. Let the covenant build up a bit then mess with them, it gives you time to build out your tech tree.

    The base lasers are a lot of fun and add an element like the old nukes from Red Alert, those were always fun to use in a pinch. I like how they handled unit selection although I do miss being able to build squads (unless there is a way to do this). The cut scenes were very enjoyable and for a video game, I don’t think the voice acting was that bad at all.

    I spent about 2 hours with this demo which for me, was well worth it. I will buy this on day one and thank Ensemble and Microsoft for putting this fun and engaging demo out. 5 stars from me!

  • WinterSnowblind


    They weren’t shut down for being “too good” they were shut down for being ridiculously expensive to keep running, and the fact they haven’t developed any games for a very long time didn’t help either. Even if Halo Wars sells millions, it wouldn’t cover the expense of keeping them going. It’s sad, but you can’t really blame them for doing it.

    Personally, I enjoyed the game a lot more than I thought I would. It *is* the first RTS to really work well on consoles, it plays perfectly and it’s very enjoyable. Nothing revolutionary or ground breaking, but a very fun game. The lack of factions is the biggest problem, I think.

  • Darth Skyjuice

    This game is fun and the controls are easy,which is really what matters.ive been palying RTS since the 90’s and this is a good start for Halo in RTS. I hope theres a legendary difficulty,because the hardest on the demo was slightly challenging,not throw my controller at the wall challenging.

  • WhoDoUThinkIAm

    Halo LOL.

  • Nibbles37


    It just seems like something could have been done to prevent this. It really sucks knowing I’ll never get to play another AoE game.

  • HeavenOrHell

    Seems like a very weak cookie cutter RTS that will only sell due to the name attached to it.


    I didn’t mean that Halo Wars is not there yet. I meant that RTSs as a whole don’t play well on a console. HW is the best i’ve seen so far on a console and if you are not used to playing RTSs on a PC then you will enjoy it. The controls are easy to use. But the fun of the old time RTS games are the micro-mgt of the game. AoE games were the best at this. I wanted to love this game, i really did, but i only like it. I’ll get my Halo fix from H3.

  • Coitus Maximus

    This game is great. I have been addicted to the Skirmish mode. I like to beat it on Heroic with only infantry. Its easy for me now. ODST troops f sh*t up

  • Warrengonline

    Hmmm, I finally played the demo Feb 7 and the first (simple) tutorial was so short and easy, I was like “StarCraft, StarCraft”. I then completed the advanced tutorial which took a little longer as I am used to being able to use the mini map (ala Warcraft 2) to move around in sections. I was still happy and pleased with it. I’m not sure if it is my 20/20 vision and my SDHD Tv or what, but the graphics look awesome. No spectacular, not brilliant, but good enough for me to enjoy the game. Oh, I must say I’m not a huge Halo fan, but an RTS with sci-fi action reels me in. Though I did not care for the Command and Conquer demo on Xbox360 a while back, this demo is an awesome lead into something GREAT. I am not sure about buying it on release date (SF4LE 100% paid off, RE5 reserved) , but I’m going to have to get myself a copy when I can. (grumbling – If I knew Fable II was going to freeze up on me so much, I would have saved for this one instead as it is addicting.)

    Ensemble – great work guys!! Great work with simplified controls (loving it), awesome explosions and the EASIEST to learn tutorial. Ensemble = Legendary.

  • JonnyDFandango

    For those that mentioned not being able to zoom in very close… I COULD be wrong, but I think I saw an option in the settings for the game to allow a closer zoom. Haven’t found a need for it myself, but I could see wanting to be in close to watch the battles. Hope I’m not confusing that option for another game…

  • darkjester74

    I was pleasantly surprised with the demo. I am not an RTS fan, but I might give this one a spin at some point.