Halo Wars: Definitive Edition trundles onto Steam today

I went for the word “trundles” in the headline because “warthogs” isn’t really a verb and I don’t know if I have the literary capital to pull off that particular innovation. Sorry, everyone. Anyway, a spruced-up version of Halo Wars the First has come out on Steam, allowing many to play the spin-off’d RTS for the first time. Previously it was only available as an inclusion on a special edition of the recent Halo Wars 2, which is a Windows 10-only affair as far as PCs are concerned. This is good news nonetheless, but there is a multiplayer catch. You can’t play with Windows Store chums.

“Network play for this product is exclusive to Steam,” says a disclaimer at the bottom of the store page. “Cross-play with Windows Store versions of the same game is not supported.” So that’s a bummer, and although it is probably down to technical limitations it still has the effect of a schism between player communities.

Despite that problem the game itself is still tooting its horn: “improved graphics, new achievements and all the DLC from the landmark game,” it says, winking smugly into your face. I verily enjoyed Halo back in thon age of glory but I’m not sure if that love is enough to pick up a reworked spin-off from a genre that is better served elsewhere, “definitive” edition or not. If you think I’m a fool, or you just want to crack it out for old times sake, it’s on there for £15.99/$19.99. Our Fraser enjoyed the sequel despite its origins as a slower-paced console RTS, saying: “Being able to relax on the sofa while playing an RTS using a controller is an enjoyable novelty.”


  1. Punning Pundit says:

    I’m old enough to remember when Halo was going to be a Mac exclusive RTS. So I obviously want to see if I can get this game working on a MacBook.

    • dashausdiefrau says:

      cmon, it was never introduced to be mac exclusive, I remember it being advertised for Win around early 2000(?).

      • Nauallis says:

        Nope, Steve Jobs introduced Halo at the MacWorld expo in 1999 as a mac exclusive. Nobody knew what it was going to be though, RTS, shooter, what. Most of us Bungie fans were expecting an FPS, it was only later revealed that it started in design as an RTS.

        Here’s the video:

        • Mokinokaro says:

          I’m pretty sure it was more of a hybrid shooter/FPS like Tribes when first announced.

          • Pizzzahut says:

            I just remember it being announced as a MMO with NPC dinosaurs and other wildlife. It was originally designed as a RTS, but I’m not sure if it was ever announced as one? May well have been though.

  2. Solidstate89 says:

    I actually picked up Halo Wars on the cheap for the Xbox 360 back in the day. I honestly enjoyed it. It’s not much of a bar to cross, but it was by far the best console RTS I had ever played. Gotta give Ensemble Studios credit – even after being gutted by Microsoft and told their last RTS game was going to be for a console, they still managed to shine in their own way.

  3. racccoon says:

    Why would they fall into the trap of a monopolizing company like STEAM! and not allow PC players to have there Freedom of Choice!

  4. Don Reba says:

    I’ll buy it to discourage them from using the Windows Store, if nothing else.

  5. Alonso says:

    Hold on, so multiplayer is restricted in PC based on which store you bought the game on? I “might” understand that between Xbox and Playstation, or between them and PC, but this is just plain ridiculous.

    • skittles says:

      It has happened more than once. Several titles between GOG and Steam for instance.

  6. somnolentsurfer says:

    People have Windows Store chums?