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Free Halo Wars 2 demo lets you try before you buy

Halo Wars 2, generally speaking, is one of those games that's neither so good that it simply must be played, nor so bad that it deserves to be ignored. It's aimed primarily "at the Halo shooter fans who'd like to see that universe from a perspective besides the sights of a rifle," as we said in our review. "And most of the time, it does its job. It's even occasionally fun." 

If that leaves a certain "try-before-you-buy" ring in your ears, you're in luck, as Microsoft is now offering a free Halo Wars 2 demo on the Microsoft store. The demo includes the opening mission of the single-player campaign, and also the Blitz Firefight mode, "where players use decks of cards to summon vehicles and troops to fight against waves of AI-controlled enemies." That's the game mode that players had access to during the Halo Wars 2 beta in January. 

Read more: Donut County review

The demo is about a 17GB download, and this is what you'll need to play: 


  • OS: Windows 10
  • Architecture: x64
  • DirectX: DirectX 12 API, Hardware Feature Level 11
  • Memory: 6 GB
  • Video Memory: Not specified
  • Processor: Intel i5-2500, AMD FX-4350
  • Graphics: nVidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti, AMD Radeon HD 7750, Intel HD 520


  • OS: Windows 10
  • Architecture: x64
  • DirectX: DirectX 12 API, Hardware Feature Level 12
  • Memory: 8 GB
  • Video Memory: 4 GB
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4690K, AMD FX-8350
  • Graphics: nVidia GTX 1060, AMD RX 480
As lead news writer during ‘merican hours, Andy covers the day-to-day events that keep PC gaming so interesting, exciting, and occasionally maddening. He’s fond of RPGs, FPSs, dungeons, Myst, and the glorious irony of his parents buying him a TRS-80 instead of an Atari so he wouldn't end up wasting his life on videogames.