Typical Halo Wars Multiplayer Game to Last 20 Minutes
Now, I don’t want to go jumping to any dramatic conclusions based upon a single quote from Halo.fr’s interview with Ensemble Studios’ Graeme Devine. But Devine did once again suggest that the average multiplayer match in Halo Wars would last somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 minutes long. (A previous update on the Halo Wars website pegged the number as being between 15 and 30 minutes.) That leads me to think that Ensemble is really taking a different approach with Halo Wars that will work better as a console experience than simply porting a PC RTS game.
As for the control scheme, which is generally thought of as the major hurdle in making RTS games work on consoles, Devine believes Halo Wars controller setup is actually superior to a keyboard and mouse.
“We spent the first six months of the project looking at the controller and it could work with an RTS game. I think our control scheme actually works better than the keyboard/mouse combo and that we have really gotten past that barrier. I can’t wait for everyone to pick up the controller and try the game, I don’t think it will be possible to convince some people until after they try it.”
Devine didn’t sound particularly optimistic about there being a public beta, saying, “We’ve been focusing on our daily internal playtests and using that feedback loop and that allows us extremely fast iteration and testing of features. At this point that kind of internal turnaround and feedback is still very useful to us so we’ve not looked beyond that.”
An RTS game that has multiplayer matches lasting 20 minutes and works better on a controller than on a keyboard/mouse? I can’t say I blame anyone for feeling skeptical, but I’m still optimistic. Maybe that’s just my Halo fanboyism seeping through, but I can’t help it.