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X16 Preview: Halo Wars 2 Campaign

Halo Wars 2’s campaign will be the perfect chance for new players to jump into the franchise, according to 343 Industries’ studio head.


Dan Ayoub was on hand at X16 to show off the developer's upcoming sequel to their flagship real-time strategy game, Halo Wars.

Taking place 28 years after the events of the original and a short time after Halo 5, Ayoub says new players to the franchise will be able to get caught up pretty quick.


“It turns Halo Wars 2 into a great jumping in point for people who are new to the story,” Ayoub explained.


Ayoub walked members of the media through a quick 20 minute preview of the game’s campaign on PC while in Toronto.


The campaign starts with United Nations Space Command infantry units and two tanks moving through a mountain side. The units quickly encountered small pockets of the Banished, a splinter group of the Covenant led by the game’s main antagonist, Atriox.


Executive producer Graeme Jennings showed how quickly players can select units and send them off to deal with the plethora of different enemies. In this instance he sent his infantry units to deal with Hunters, the Banished anti-tank units.


Jennings then showed off one of the UNSC’s leader powers, which allowed him to heal his units.


After navigating some Fog of War and eliminating pockets of enemies, Jennings used some of his units to activate a light bridge. The bridge led to a mini-base and after clearing that out, Jennings was able to upgrade some of his units by building a base.


343 did an excellent job of clearly identifying how many units are available and how much health they have.


Eventually, Jennings acquired Warthogs and Cyclops Mechs. He made quick work of what resistance existed between him and this local level boss.

Everything looked smooth, and the controls seemed fluid and easy to use. Of course these were PC controls, so I was curious how the game would feel with a controller.


Ayoub estimates the game will have a base campaign that lasts between 10 and 12 hours.

Halo Wars 2 was scheduled to launch later this year, but due to a delay, the game will release on Feb. 21.