Of course fans expect that a Halo game will look good. Maybe it won't be the absolutely most edge-bleedingly, envelope-pushingly, buzzword-compliantly beautiful game on the market at release, but it will look good.
According to Kotaku, then, Halo Wars is a Halo game, and it looks good:
Halo Wars has some impressive visual pop to it, more colorful than when we last saw it. The game's visual effects, in motion, look spectacular. It may not have the immediate visual sex appeal of something like Halo 3, with it's micro-sized units and overhead perspective, but it looks good.
Of course, how an RTS game controls on a console is really the central issue, and Kotaku says that's another area where Halo Wars excels:
Halo plus real-time strategy plus gamepad controls may sound like a recipe for a franchise misfire, but Ensemble Studios has polished Halo Wars to the point of an immediately playable console title. While some may argue that, like first person shooters, RTS games should only be played on a mouse and keyboard, Ensemble has done an admirable job of nailing the controls. We got a chance to go hands-on with the game at E3 and came away surprisingly pleased.
That does sound pretty good. Those of the faithful who won't be able to stomach games in the Haloverse outside of Bungie's watchful eyes might have problems with some of Ensemble's choices (indeed, some are already, including myself) but the bottom line should be whether a game is fun and interesting to play, and it sounds like so far Halo Wars has a good chance of rising to that challenge.