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

  • CDN Crockett

    I’ve having no problems downloading both copies!! I have two to dl here in Canada, one is Halo Wars Demo and the other is Halo Wars – Demo. So I’m dl both. ;)

  • CDN Crockett

    And they are two different sizes, Halo Wars Demo is 1.4 GB and Halo Wars – Demo is 1.5 GB.

  • DeviseUSA

    Servers must be getting hammered. It will be interesting to see if first day downloads will top 2 million.

  • Arman Tamzarian

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

  • wibblewobbles

    It’s Epic. Thanks for the link, Major.
    Jeez its a hot night in Sydney!


    Downloading now :D

  • Matu Flp Krawfe

    I like the giant Major Nelson banner that we get with the link. :)

  • BeardedJW

    Got it in the UK :-)

  • ushman360

    @ Matu Flp Krawfe, I seen that too. Can you say job security

  • Maurerk

    What is the difference between the two versions?

  • g0afr3ak

    My shot conclusion after playing the demo for several hours:
    Gameplay: Very good, very intuitive, easy but lots of potential for serious gamers.
    Graphics: Disappointing… I expected much more. Detail level is low and the zoom feature is pretty much useless. Explosions are ok, but not as spectuacular as I hoped.
    Difficulty: Even on heroic it’s easy to win, hopefully legendary will be a bit more challanging. But Skirmish is just a training for multiplayer, so that’s ok.
    Long term motivation: Good, I guess. Will definitly buy the LE! Lokking forward for some nice online battles!


  • g0afr3ak

    Ah, and some additional information for german users: If you dl the demo from the German Marketplace you one get to play the demo in German, no English available. Gotta dl it from the US Marketplace to play it in English. Hopefully the final retail games includes several languages, not like Halo 3.

  • Coitus Maximus

    Lookin fwd to it!

  • MrGreen13

    Set up to download now…can’t wait!

  • slardybartfast8

    It’s a very good demo, even though I’m not a huge RTS fan. I sort of agree the graphics and detail level aren’t “great” but it does look just like Halo. As Bungie has stated, they weren’t going to change Halo’s art style to work with better hardware. It’s just sort of a plain style. I think the cutscenes are pretty top-notch though, that stuff was downright impressive. The controls are definitely tight, but I’m still not convinced an RTS on a console can be more fun than frustrating at the end of the day.

  • unbreakabIe

    The demo was pretty awesome, they did a great job on the game and proves that RTS games work on consoles.

  • Computerdude103

    The music in the game is really great. Unfortunately, that’s the only great part of the game. Gameplay is fairly good, but is canceled out by the terrible graphics and even worse voice acting. I knew the game wouldn’t look as good as Halo 3 because they need to show so much more at once, but the graphics in this game are almost laughably bad. A lot different from the previous “gameplay” footage that they previously released. Maybe if you play on a SD tv it would be ok. What have they been doing over there for all these years?

  • Nibbles37

    Still say it belongs on the PC but what are you gonna do. Demo wasn’t bad, might buy this. Still thinking. It seems like I pretty much saw everything in the demo maybe a few units here and there missing but other than that I don’t see any more surprises, but will definitely play for the story.

  • Pisuke

    Wow the demo was awesome. I need to buy this game at the end of the month.

  • clarky456

    Describing my experience thus far with the demo as a complete failure would be a understatement. First at 12 o’clock I attempt to download the demo only to be returned with error messages. Giving up I left returning at half past 3. This time the demo started to download but was the most painfully slow download imaginable. So here I am six hours later and at 80% download complete. When will you realise that maybe more than a couple people might want to download a demo that you hyped the hell out of? Hopefully I will be able to play the game this week.

  • LawdaddyCO

    I love Ensemble Studios but hate playing these games on consoles.

    I’ll still give it the good old fashion try. I hope they can make this game work. Is it true that this is their last game? I heard the company fell apart. I hope not because I love the Age of Empires series.

  • HunCity87

    @Arman Tamzarian or they could just leave the French out….would be a lot better…

  • Jrocker23

    I will try it later tonight. Not a bid fan of RTS games but want to give it a fair try..

  • bknight2k

    Love RTS’s but not on consoles.
    Will give it a try and hopefully it has good controls.

  • SeeUInTheFuture

    Never played an RTS before, but I love Halo….


    I’ve got this in my queue for tonight. Not much of an RTS fan but I’ll give it a shot. Thanks.


    On a side note to Litheon, is there a chance that Anon comments will be shut off permanently (since it’s already looking that way)? I’ve noticed how much more civil the comments have been since all the Anon cowards have been cut off!

  • UnarmedGorilla

    As an old school RTS fan I sure hope this holds up to some of Ensemble’s classics like AoE and AoM! They haven’t let me down yet!!!

  • Teh ShadowMan

    I was lucky enough to get the demo pretty much as soon as it hit after playing the C&C demo the night before to brush up my RTS skillz.
    To those who say the graphics are crap – It’s a demo, and compared to C&C they are noticeably better. They are never going to be as good as PC but as long as the gameplay is fun – who cares? (It works for Nintendo)
    Soundtrack is good, the menu layout is remarkably Halo-esque and the after mission stats add good value.
    I think they’ve done a great job and personally, I’ll be dishing out the extra $$’s for the LE in three weeks time.

  • ThisKory9

    Really…. this is rated TEEN… I am eighTEEN and it says I can’t download? Dick… I will just have to throw on my buddies account on my hard drive then I guess O.o

  • litheon


    I have no intention of turning them back on. [:)]

  • Teh ShadowMan

    @ThisKory9. Dude, owned by your parents using the Family settings much? :P

  • Stickybean

    cool demo, tons of fun but im not sure if i would pay $59.99 for it. But once this sucker goes on sale im going to pick it up. I did like the controls on this RTS, i didn’t think they would pull it off since im used to RTS games on the pc but it works great on the xbox.

  • LawdaddyCO


    Well, I hate Halo but LOVE RTS. I think Halo is such a boring game but I love RTS and Ensemble Studios so I have to give this a try. It’s been downloading for 3 hours now…man my internet either sucks lately or Live is really tanking.

  • UnarmedGorilla

    Memories of Dune 2!!! Just played the demo and this game rocks! A must have for any Halo/RTS fan!

  • UNSCleric

    This is so insanely slow to download. Why don’t our membership fees go to pay for faster service? I’m not the only one with this problem either, many people are reporting 3-5 hours to download. I’m at 20% and have been downloading for 40 minutes.


    My check list: Graphics good, controls good, combat bad, is it fun? For a while… The thing is we have so many games like this on pc and even the characters don’t look that good. I’m not sayig it’s no fun, but they could have made something different. I really like the controls, also the voice acting is bad.

  • Blue Thunder28


  • AntiGollum

    I miss the keyboard and mouse I used back in my Age of Empires days, but I’d say the controls are about as good as you can get with a controller. I thought the graphics were fine — the cut scenes were amazing! all those out of work Ensemble guys should put out a Halo movie in their free time — but I agree the zoom was disappointing. I would have liked to zoom in a bit closer.

    As for download speed, perhaps you guys should talk to your ISPs. I nabbed the demo in something like 30-45 minutes.

  • padilla21 Live

    awesome game ! ! !!!! !!! !!!!! !!!

  • Anonymous

    this looks like its the first RTS that will work on the 360 properly.


    Played both factions and had LOTS of fun. Wasn’t sure how it would turn out but with all the multiplayer options that are going to be available, and the fun I had by myself today, I will be buying this for sure… have to check on the LE tho, what comes with that? Just bonus DVD or something? I need another metal case like the Gears2 case :)

  • Ai Kago

    Not impressed with this, I found it very dull and simplistic. I think this is just for the HALO fanboys.

  • oAssassin Xo

    Well like every other RTS its not fun for me simply because I just can’t get use to a darn controller. (sigh). At least let their be mouse and keyboard support JUST for RTS’S. If not your making companies lose alot of money that make RTS games.

  • M G R O 7 E N



    @ FINKnATOR: The Limited Edition includes the following:

    * Three New “Halo 3” Multiplayer Maps – Be one of the first to experience the Mythic Map Pack* which includes three new maps, “Assembly,” “Orbital” and “Sandbox”.
    * Halo Wars: Genesis – a beautiful graphic novel by Phil Noto chronicling the first military campaign against the Covenant. The novel centers around the Spirit of Fire on a mission to discover why the Covenant are so interested in the world of Harvest.
    * Unique In-game Vehicle – “Honor Guard” Wraith
    * Six Leader Cards – Leaders possess elite skills which can turn the tides of battle.
    * Spirit of Fire Patch – Start the journey as an official Spirit of Fire crew member.

    If you pre-order with GameStop, you get a code to download a special in-game Warthog vehicle with flame decals, and also a GameStop Exclusive Prima Hint Book.

  • CDR Hajimaru


  • Fufz

    awesome work on the game, RIP Ensemble. ;-(

  • Hobiologe

    Where is the announced Race Pro Demo, Major???

  • xCrack of DOOMx

    Some stores are offering unlockables if you preorder Halo Wars