Halo has and probably always will be a staple of the Xbox gaming community having been around as long as the platform itself, it’s hard to imagine an Xbox generation not having the ability to play a Halo game. Halo started as little more than a neatly packed trilogy ending in 2007 but since then it has exploded into a universe of diverse story telling in the form of novels, secret websites and even new games.
Halo Wars (Released February 2009) was the first game to show us a taste of the new and improved Haloverse that was to come, no longer where we the super soldier we had grown to love. No instead we got to see the war twenty years before Spartan – 117 was mankind’s last and only hope against the forces of both the covenant and the flood as we flew through space aboard the warship “Spirit of Fire” at the command of Captain Cutter in an effort to stop an ancient fleet of ships from falling into the hands of the Covenant.
It is this expanded universe that 343i wanted to build upon so after polling their audiences and being inundated with requests for a Halo War 2 they decided to teamed up with Creative Assembly, famous for their Total War RTS series, to produce Halo Wars 2.
Halo Wars 2 will be set 28 years after the events of the Halo Wars, the remaining crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire will have been adrift in deep space. Having had no contact with UNSC in those 28 years Captain Cutter and his army have yet to be debriefed so the horrors that occurred during the Fall of Reach, the Master Chief saga and the invasion of New Mombasa will be completely unknown to them, this was done so a player who had never played a Halo game before could be introduced to the Universe and it’s history through the eyes of Cutter and his army as they discover their own history throughout the campaign.
Of course with Halo Wars being a completely different game to others in the series we should expect one or two surprises to shake up the way we get our Halo fix. One big surprise was the announcement of the new Blitz mode.
In blitz mode bases are rendered useless as no longer do you need your base to build your units, no longer do you need to invest in improved facilities nor do you need to mine and manage resources instead you build your army by building a deck of cards before you even start the game. Yes you read that right. You play this game mode with a deck of cards. Each card will be either a Unit (Characters and vehicles such as Spartans, Warthogs, Brutes and Scorpions), One off attacks (Guided Missile barrages) or buffs for your units (Immunity from damage/ healing buffs) but battle’s won’t be won on the luck of the draw alone so you can stop that “heart of the cards” routine for now because to play each card will require “energy”.
You’ll start the game with a small army, your chosen “leader” and a small amount of energy to get you started and then depending on which type of Blitz game you play you’ll either have your energy slowly trickle up being boosted by searching for and destroying the energy caches that will appear around the map at 90 second intervals or you’ll rely entirely on the caches to provide you with the energy required to smite your enemies with your Gravity hammer of victory.
For more information on Blitz, check out the video above from 02:30 onward!
Halo Wars 2 is scheduled for release on February 21, 2017.