Halo Wars, the RTS franchise, was a somewhat weird choice for the legendary Halo shooters. Making the jump from FPS titles which defined generations of console gaming, to a console-driven RTS is just about the biggest leap a franchise can make in the modern era. The first game in the franchise was developed by Ensemble, a studio which was unfortunately closed by the publisher prior to the launch of the game. Fans were a bit unimpressed with both the story and the gameplay, citing issues with balance and a handful of design oversights.
The new game is attempting to avoid these pitfalls in a few new ways. One of these is a much more updated and familiar story. Where the original game took place 20 years before the events of the first FPS in the franchise, this new game pulls content from a much more recent Halo. Halo Wars 2 takes place shortly after the events of Halo 5: Guardians (2015). The story follows the crew of Spirit of Fire, as it travels toward a lost Forerunner base. The resulting conflicts will be much more engaging and strategically entertaining.
This new game was announced back in 2015, and it got an early lead on being a much better game. Part of that pedigree for success involves work by Creative Assembly, famed strategy developers, and their input on Halo Wars 2. Featuring a variety of gameplay modes, there’s plenty here to sink your teeth into. There’s the campaign story which would help Halo fans hold interest. The game includes various multiplayer modes including Deathmatch and Skirmish modes, complete with AI opponents to make things harder. The final major element is the all-new Blitz mode.
Blitz is probably the most interesting RTS fusion I’ve seen in a while. With elements of RTS and collectible card games slammed together, this mode offers some very unique gameplay potential. Players take territory in RTS-style matches, with each piece of territory generating resources you can spend on playing cards in more battles. Playing through other singleplayer modes unlocks packs, which can be used for adding cards to your Deck.
Halo Wars 2 is due out on February 21, 2017 for Xbox One and PC. Check out the latest trailer for the game down below.