Micro management, unit balances, resource management - a few of the things Halo Wars doesn't care to focus on. If this was a week ago and I were reading this preview, I'd assume by the first line that Halo Wars was not worth the time. That - backed up by the fact that playing an RTS using a controller threatened the bull-headed mouse-and-keyboard combo lover in me - ensured that I'd steer clear of Halo Wars. However, we were invited to Microsoft's office to give the game a shot and watered down as it feels, Halo Wars is fun!

My first fear - that controlling an army of Spartans using an Xbox 360 controller would suck any semblance of fun out of the game - was shot down during the game's short tutorial. Halo Wars' controls are well designed, and to Ensemble Studio's credit (they're the developers) they've found the sweet spot between keeping the controls accessible and adequate.

The A button's used to take care of all your unit selection needs - tap it on a unit for singular selection, double tap for selecting the particular unit type on the screen, or press and hold the button to draw a selection around the units you wish to single out. The X button is the action button and depending on where your cursor is when you press it, it either makes your selected units attack or move. This forms the basis for controlling your units on the battlefield.

The biggest possible issue on a console RTS is controlling units scattered across the map. It's usually really tough to use the analog stick to pan the camera all over the place in order to select a bunch of units, then pan all the way back to another corner of the map in order to issue a move command. To help navigate the map, Ensemble's blessed us with the ability to hold down the Right Trigger in order to glide across to map at a faster pace.

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