At last. The long awaited Halo Wars 2 Campaign DLC we all wanted after the main game’s insulting cliff hanger. Finally some conclusion- Oh wait… Nothing is concluded here. Guess we’ll wait until we can pay another £15 for more DLC… Or maybe until we can pay £60 for Halo 6, if they truly are too lazy to conclude this game’s story before the next one comes out…
I have my complaints with this DLC, as I mentioned above; There is no conclusion to the main game’s story, which was left very open ended, and this is very disappointing considering they’ve had the main game’s campaign, the Operation Spear Breaker DLC and this DLC to wrap things up for the story, but nope- Atriox is still hiking across the Ark and Cutter is doing god knows what on the Spirit Of Fire. Some conclusion wouldn’t hurt, seeing as this game has really been stretching itself out in terms of story.
The only reason I can think of for this game not having a satisfying conclusion, despite the fact the beginning and middle of each of its stories are all really well told and structured, is because 343 want to make Master Chief meet The Spirit Of Fire and then have Spartan Locke running around shooting the Banished in an epic Halo 6 story. But why can’t that happen while also giving this game a good ending? 343 seem to have an obsession with cliff-hangers and it’s unhealthy. It’s time to stop.
Come on guys, step up your game. Get on my level; Get on the communities level.
Right, now that I’ve vented, I can finally get onto the good stuff about this DLC. And, just like the main game, everything about this is good, excluding the crappy ending. This DLC is absolutely most impressive in comparison to the middle child, Spear Breaker; Awakening The Nightmare has a tangible story, characters who are actually given development and that we care about and has some really good damn levels.
The levels, or missions, in this DLC are awesome. I felt like in the main game and in Spear Breaker the levels were good but, after a while, all began to blend together and were essentially you doing the same thing over and over again, but that isn’t the case here. Each of the levels feel different and have their own identity; There’s the opening level where you, The Banished, are not to be trifled with as you wreck everything that tries to kill you. This is followed by the level where we first get to fight The Flood and they steam roll your troops. This level is so fun because it really captures how aggressive and unstoppable The Flood are in Halo lore, in that no matter what you do, you will get your butt kicked in this level to some degree- It’s all about defending positions and falling back to the next line, kind of like a top down version of Battlefield One’s Rush mode in an RTS form. After that we get a level where we have to mine for power with these big ass drills before the flood overthrows the whole landscape, which it basically already has by this point. Following this is my favourite level in which you are underground with a set amount of units and cannot build any bases, which means that when the game gives you the option to recruit units in this mission you must chose carefully what units you want. I love it, it’s really neat. Finally, in the last mission, we have an epic fight against a Proto-Gravemind, and it’s actually done really well.
The diversity of level-design here is very prominent and I must commend the developers for freshening the game up more, which must be hard considering they’ve already made one campaign and a DLC for it already.
Anyone who is a long-term Halo fan, I think, will be satisfied with this DLC story. The fact we have more epic cutscenes and good writing, as well as two new Brute characters, who are surprisingly well written considering the short number of missions, is more than enough to sell this DLC.
Awakening The Nightmare really captures everything The Flood were set up to be in the original games; We see The Flood absorbing the landscape and infecting our own units to turn them against us and, let me tell you, they finally made Flood Spores an enemy to be reckoned with. I always though the Flood Spores were so cheap and easy to kill on previous Halo games, unless you played on Legendary or had multiple skulls on, but here they throw so many Flood Spores at you all at once that becomes quite overwhelming very quickly. The excitement of trying to manage troops fighting on multiple fronts is really amazing and this DLC does test your ability split your troops up, rather than have them wander around in a massive army, and I appreciate that fact. It’s so easy to just horde together a mass of units and just steam-roll anything that might be coming your way, but this DLC tries to change that and it works, for the most part.
I was nerding out so hard all throughout this DLC and I think you will too, if you have been long-term fan of Halo. I think even newer fans will be able to appreciate this story, so I highly recommend it.
With the addition of two new leaders for multiplayer, who I have yet to use, and the addition of Terminus Firefight, I do think this game is worth the money they’re charging. Believe me when I say that, because I did feel a bit ripped-off with the Spear Breaker one, which was quite crappy in my opinion. Awakening The Nightmare though goes up and beyond, it’s truly worth the money, even if you’re into just multiplayer it provides a whole new game mode and leaders, so throw some money at it.
The only thing that would make this better is if 343 would get off their high-horse, let go of their god damn egos and give this game the satisfying ending it deserves. 343… You’re not the hot new kid on the block; You’re the nerdy fan fiction writer who still needs to prove themselves to the community. Yeah, you took a step in the right direction here, but Atriox walking away angry doesn’t count as ‘satisfying’. We need a winner or a loser on the Ark, or something in the middle with Humans and Banished uniting against The Flood, maybe, just do something with it. Stop leaving us hanging. Don’t tease us before you satisfy us, this isn’t a porno. Satisfy us and then play around teasing us.
What I would say to everyone now who is watching the DLC that 343 is putting out is to be careful. If they keep making top-notch content like Awakening The Nightmare, then I’d advise you to buy what they sell you, provided you have the money and are interested. But look out for those Operation Spear Breakers, which are, let’s say, a little less than satisfying. 343 are doing right with Halo Wars 2, but some Halo fans still aren’t convinced of them, so it is worth being sceptical about. But hey, as long as the content is good then I think we should all be happy, so go out and please buy Awakening The Nightmare.