Microsoft have released two new trailers and the following fact sheet for Halo Wars, currently scheduled to be released in 2009.
Halo Wars is a strategy game based on the legendary Halo universe. In campaign mode, players will command the armies of the UNSC warship “Spirit of Fire,” consisting of familiar and new UNSC units in its initial encounters against the Covenant, an alien coalition threatening to obliterate mankind. Halo Wars will immerse gamers in an early period of the storied Halo universe, allowing them to experience events leading up to the first Halo title for Xbox.
With the guidance of Serina, a spirited artificial intelligence (AI) persona, gamers will direct legions of UNSC soldiers, Warthogs, Scorpions and more, each group having its own strengths and uses in battle. Adventurous commanders can also call upon ancient Forerunner technology, if they are fortunate enough to find it hidden throughout the battlefield.
Covenant forces are also waiting for players to lead them into battle in multiplayer skirmishes via the New Xbox Experience. Call upon an arsenal of new and familiar Covenant units such as Grunts, Elites, Ghosts and even Scarabs to defeat foes on the battlefield. Strategic-minded players who react well under pressure will emerge victorious.
Created from the ground up for the Xbox 360, Halo Wars is being developed by the veteran real-time strategy developer Ensemble Studios, the team responsible for the best-selling and critically acclaimed Age of Empires franchise on the PC. Halo Wars can be played online through the New Xbox Experience and the single-player campaign. Published by Microsoft Game Studios, Halo Wars is an exclusive title for the Xbox 360.
Features include the following:
• New take on a legendary world. Set in the iconic Halo universe, Halo Wars predates the original first-person shooter. Fans of the franchise will have the opportunity to experience the early battles between the UNSC and Covenant, the far-reaching conflict that has been diligently followed by the masses in the blockbuster Halo series. Players join the crew onboard the “Spirit of Fire,” a Phoenix-class colony ship converted for UNSC military use and guided by the AI persona Serina. The “Halo Wars story line follows the Spirit of Fire’s discovery of an ancient artifact during a journey to the planet Harvest, the first planet to be attacked by the Covenant.
• Strategic command of armies in large-scale combat. Halo Wars puts gamers in command of the battlefield over an arsenal of UNSC units and vehicles as they engage Covenant forces. They can counter and crush their opponent by tactically fielding the superior army. Players can also choose among Leaders that possess elite skills which can turn the tides of battle. Using various combinations of Leaders and units, players can create countless strategies tailored to their preferred playing styles and personalized strategies.
• Challenge friends to skirmishes using the New Xbox Experience. See who the superior commander is through multiplayer online skirmishes supporting up to 6 players with the New Xbox Experience. Players can choose to command either unique civilization, UNSC or Covenant, each with unique attributes and strategic characteristics. Ancient Forerunner technology can also be found to create unique units to gain an upper hand in battle.
• Groundbreaking strategy game for the Xbox 360. Since inception, Halo Wars was explicitly designed to cater to console gamers and bring to the Xbox 360 a genre that has typically been played on the PC. Gamers can easily command and manage powerful armies, effortlessly control troops and incredible machines, engage in epic battles and expand their empire using an intuitive user interface for the Xbox 360. Halo Wars represents the true next-generation experience, combining a masterful control scheme using the Xbox 360 controller with the award-winning strategic gameplay only Ensemble Studios can provide.