It’s a challenge facing any developer of a niche genre. How do you expand your player base? For the Halo Wars franchise, one way was to simplify the RTS elements. Especially, base building. It’s still there, but it’s a more simplified version than what you find in old-school RTS games like Age of Empires, Command & Conquer and Starcraft.
Creative Assembly is going even further by eliminating base building all-together in the newly unveiled Blitz game mode. Don’t worry Halo Wars fans, the gameplay you fell in love with is still here. The developer is just experimenting with a new game mode. Before I go any further, watch today’s Vidoc below. For the Blitz part, skip to about 2:10.
Alright, a card-based strategy game. It sounds like Clash Royale or Hearthstone, but it still retains the Halo Wars 2 gameplay. This mode is all about dropping straight into the action. No base-building. No economy management. Just your army and how you control them.
You don’t need to fret over the perfect build queue, or which units you need to rush to build. Or figure out a tech tree. You just pick your army, deploy them via cards in real-time and fight.
There’s a lot to like about Blitz
Ok, Blitz sounds great. Getting straight into the action will undoubtedly help pull non-traditional RTS players into the game. What Creative Assembly needs to do is launch another beta/demo with this game mode and get feedback on it.
Cards aren’t just for units either. We see examples of cards used to augment current units. Like Restoration:
Or MAC Blast.
You can see how each card has a certain ‘cost’ associated with it. We’ll have to wait and see a full match before we know the ins and outs of the resources used when playing each card and how these resources regenerate.
Blitz should also keep matches to a manageable length. Don’t have time for a 30+ minute slugfest in a more traditional mode? Jump into Blitz, and get straight into the action. It’s like the Rocket League of RTS’. Quick, great gameplay.
I also like that Creative Assembly is just trying something new. You don’t see mainstay franchises take too many risks these days. Sure, it’s just one game mode – but it’s still nice to see.
You can’t say card game without microtransactions immediately following it. We don’t have news on whether Blitz will incorporate microtransactions, but c’mon – would you be surprised? We see cards with different classes of rarity. I’m expecting microtransactions until Creative Assembly says otherwise.
Today’s Vidoc shows the vast visual improvements in Halo Wars 2 since the beta. Creative Assembly has my attention with Blitz, I just hope it isn’t bogged down by a heavy implementation of microtransactions. Then again, if it means free DLC I’ll put up with it.
We’ll see the developer’s full plans for Blitz as the game’s February release date gets closer.