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Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Monday, 23 February 2009
Xbox launches new Halo Wars game

By Dan Whitworth
Newsbeat technology reporter

Jason Pace
Jason Pace says you can either be a good guy or bad guy in the game

The latest instalment in Xbox's hugely successful Halo franchise is released on Friday 27 February.

In what some would call a brave move, Xbox has moved away from the traditional, first person shooter style game to a real time strategy one.

So instead of taking control of just one character, gamers will take a wider, more tactical view of dozens of characters all at the same time.

At 45 it's not cheap but, having sold millions of copies of the first three games, Xbox will be hoping the Halo brand on its own will be enough to get loyal fans, as well as new ones, on board.

But is it any good? We got two gamers to try it out.

Twenty-five-year-old Rahim Jivraj is from Ilford, Essex.

"It's pretty impressive," he said. "I mean obviously it's not like the previous Halo games, it's more about strategy.

"I came in here thinking I wouldn't like it because I'm not really into these type of games.

"But with this version you get to be other characters, not just Master Chief, there are a lot more vehicles and it's good fun.

"I could easily see myself spending half a day playing this".

Nik Williams is a veteran of the first three games.

He said: "It's good, it's very good. Very different to the old Halo games - this time you've got control of hundreds of men, buildings and weapons.

Rahim Jivraj
I came in here thinking I wouldn't like it... I could easily see myself spending half a day playing this
Rahim Jivraj, 25, from Essex
"The graphics seem good and the play is smooth. It's not jerky at all - even though it's got dozens of men and vehicles on the screen all the time.

"It's not like other games like this I've seen where the action slows down once it gets going so I think I would go out and buy it."

Jason Pace, the lead producer for Halo Wars, says new designers Ensemble have done a great job.

"We're hoping to offer fans a new way to enjoy the game.

"The single player game takes the average person about 10 to 12 hours to complete more than 15 campaigns.

"But we also have a full multi-player mode that allows you to play as the good or bad guys."

And Jason says this is the first strategy game designed with a console, rather than a PC, in mind.

He said: "Instead of taking a game developed for the PC and importing it over to an Xbox with a completely different set of controls, Ensemble designed this with the Xbox in mind and in doing so reinvented the genre in so many ways."

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