The newest game in the "Halo" franchise is here. But it's not a first-person shooter; it's a real-time strategy game. Do you know what to do? The makers of "Halo Wars" suggested 10 things you've got to try in their "must-do" list: Read More...

Confirm your weekend by listening to this week's Listen Up podcast at 1UP, where I join host Garnett Lee, alongside David Ellis and What They Play's John Davison, as we argue "Halo Wars" expectations, reviewing "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand" and more.

Now I know why the Covenant fly purple ships. And now, after playing "Halo Wars," I remember how much fun I had as a kid. Read More...

I'm not trying to show off my advance copy of the next "Halo" game in today's Lunchtime Video. I'm just trying to show you the unusual thing Microsoft put on the back of the game's box.

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Peer behind the curtain as I reveal how game companies give us copies of games to review and what they do and don't allow us to say. The case study for today is: "Halo Wars"!

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Coming from someone who hasn't seriously played a real-time-strategy game since "StarCraft," this comparison might sound crazy, but the two early missions in the "Halo Wars" demo felt like Ensemble's simplification makes "Halo Wars" feel like a bizarre "Diablo" action game. Read More...

'Halo Wars'Here's one more important "Halo Wars" fact that I learned during my recent interview with the game's lead writer, Graeme Devine:

-The Game's Text Won't Repeat The Mistakes Of "Banjo-Kazooie" -- Several prominent Xbox 360 games have been programmed to display text in such small sizes that words can't be read on standard definition TVs. Pity the gamer who hadn't splurged on an HD set. This was an issue with Capcom's "Dead Rising" in 2006 (which was never fixed) and Microsoft/Rare's "Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts" earlier this year (which Rare plans to be fix).

A few of recent console real-time strategy games, notably those from Electronic Arts, also had text that was hard-to-read on standard TVs.

That would seem to make "Halo Wars" a likely suspect for the same failings. Not to worry, said Devine: "We're proud of the experience on SD." How come? "Half our play-test lab is full of the crummiest standard sets you can find," he said.

Breath easy, gamers living in the SD era who want to play "Halo Wars."

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Late last week I was given a demonstration of "Halo Wars," the real-time strategy game that will be the first of at least two "Halo" games coming out in 2009.

As it was at E3, "Halo Wars" appears to be light on resource-management and high on multi-unit action. Controls were simple and the potential for coop campaigning over Xbox Live was intriguing.

With lead "Halo Wars" writer Graeme Devine at my side while I played a pair of the game's missions, I picked up a number of facts and clarifications about this March 2009 addition to the Xbox 360's biggest franchise:

-No Playable Flood -- While it has been revealed that the infectious Flood species will appear in the "Halo Wars" campaign, they will not be playable. Only the United Nations Space Command forces of Master Chief fame and the enemy Covenant are playable in the game's campaign and/or skirmish modes. Devine said the team struggled to find a good way to make the Flood playable. Whatever they thought of, Devine said, "felt to much like the ['StarCraft'] Zerg." So they left them out.

-No 'ODST' Or 'Fable' Connections In The Works

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