Halo Wars 2 is slated for a release in February 2017, more than two and a half decades after its prequel.
The original game ended with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) team entering into cryosleep mode and eventually getting floated into space. Although this game is being published by Microsoft for its Xbox One, it is being developed as a joint venture by Creative Assembly and 343 Industries. The single-player and multi-player modes game will however not be supported on PlayStation.Interestingly, the Halo Wars 2 is also known by another name – Return of the Spartans.
Focusing on real time strategies, the game is set to take place in the science fictional Halo Universe in the year 2559. The game takes off from where the prequel ended with the sleeping team waking up from their sleep and finding themselves on an ark or ship known as the Spirit of Fire where the Halo Rings are manufactured. They are unaware of the fact that the Human Covenant war has ended. An emergency beacon sends out an input signal that makes the squad head towards the Forerunner installation surface. Here, they get involved in a face to face encounter with an alien team that calls itself Banished and is newly introduced in the sequel.
Featuring the Blitz mode
To make things more fascinating, the Halo Wars 2 will incorporate a Blitz mode which relies heavily on various elements from eSports that in turn make the game portray aspects like online card battles and action oriented real time strategy(RTS) game plays. As a result, it is very likely that gamers will find this mode easy to learn but quite challenging to master. To try their luck playing this mode, players must initially select a commander for themselves and a pack of 12 cards. Following this, they can open the Blitz map to get started. The commander abilities and units will be based on the type of cards the gamer has picked. After one has exhausted these cards, one will be assigned more of them as a set of four. Energy for these cards will be collected from the player at various points on the map. While the cards will initially be assigned in a random order, they will eventually show a fixed pattern. One thing that players can be assured of in the Blitz mode is that there is no need to be apprehensive of resource management or base building like in most other popular games.
When an opponent’s energy container is destroyed, the player’s units near it gain additional energy for both themselves and the team. This allows gamers to place more powerful units on the map. But, the main idea is to place occupy three pivotal positions in the center of the map such that they are equidistant from the units of the opposing team. The team that is the first to earn 200 points is ultimately the winner. While a match can end in as fast as a few minutes, it can even extend to nearly quarter an hour. It all narrows down on how correctly players choose their units to attack or defend against the attacking enemy team.
A vital factor to be borne in mind is that the longer it takes to play the game, it becomes easier for the enemy to guess the cards a player has and what tactics he is likely to use. One strategy that can be used to play the game effectively (especially in 1v1 and 2v2 matches) is to divert the opponent’s attention by causing a fake attack in a particular area. When the enemy is distracted, launch a powerful troop into an enemy populated area. Ironically, when unit cards are in their home bases, the units have full strength. In the opponent’s base, they have just half the strength. However, often units will be forced to fight with half strength.
New characters in Halo Wars 2
Halo Wars 2 brings with it a horde of new characters – to represent both the protagonists and the antagonist. As a result, the main characters Professor Anders and Captain James Cutter look different from the first part. In the sequel, Gideon Emery who lent his voice for Battlefield 3 will do the voicing for Cutter. As for Anders, while Kim Mai Guest did the voiceover in the prequel, the new game will use the services of Faye Kingsley to give life to the character. According to a Fabnewz report, this change along with the other new characters will make the game more dramatic and emotional and also represent the characters in a more life-like manner. Additionally, you will notice Atriox, a new villain full of menace. Heading the selfish and cruel Banished team, the sadist in him uses covetous violent force combined with classic weapons to stage his attack. All his battles are just as brutal as the ones you have dealt with Covenant.
Although multiple new characters have made their way into the game, Halo Wars 2 will continue to retain most of its old characters as well to continue appealing to its fans.
Two confirmed editions for release
When the Halo Wars 2 game is released, there will be two versions that players can choose from. They are the Standard and Deluxe versions. Needless to say, the Deluxe version will offer more features and come with a slightly heftier price tag. Gamers are advised to look out for a possible Ultimate edition that will offer them a season pass and also some downloadable content. You can place pre-orders for your favorite game on Amazon, Microsoft Store and GameStop.