Okay. I finally get it. I understand the appeal of real-time strategy games. And to think: all I had to do was play one.

Halo Wars 2 was my first stroll into strategy gaming, unless you include using a bold 3-5-2 formation in Fifa. This seems well set up for newcomers.

After a quick run over the training mode I ventured into multiplayer with some trepidation and the expectation of being on the receiving end of a modest butt-kicking.

But it wasn't as daunting as I thought. Of the multiplayer modes, Blitz is a pretty good representation of frantic all-out war.

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Battles can turn on the use of a card in your deck which varies from vehicles and infantry to health and power upgrades. It can be an intense onslaught, fighting a war on multiple fronts requires quick-thinking strategy. But there is plenty of pleasure in turning the tide with the use of the right card.

The story mode should please fans of the Halo franchise as it sees the crew of the Spirit of Fire 28 years down the track - ah, the pleasures of cryosleep - from the previous title.

This time they're taking on the forces of the Banished. The cut scenes are impressive and the story mode is a welcoming respite from multiplayer clashes and also a good place to learn some new tricks.

Whether there is enough for the real-time strategy veteran is a valid question but this noob is hooked.

GAME REVIEW
Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition
Platform: Xbox One
Rating: M
Stars: 4/5
Verdict: A beginner's guide to the RTS genre