343 Industries and Microsoft have released a new video documentary for next year’s Halo Wars 2 today, giving fans more insight into the design process behind the sequel.
Currently in co-development by inheritors of Bungie’s shooter series 343 Industries and RTS veterans Creative Assembly, Halo Wars 2 is a direct sequel to the original Halo Wars, set 30 years after the Spirit of Fire’s crew went into cryosleep for their long journey home. Abruptly awakened mid-journey, the UNSC cruiser and its inhabitants find themselves “standing between hope and annihilation” as they’re forced to confront a new threat: The Banished.
Led by the dangerous warlord Atriox, The Banished are a remnant sect of the Brute race who have rediscovered The Ark, moved in and “picked up where the Covenant left off,” says narrative designer Keven Grace.
Right now, you’re probably wondering how the Forerunner installation survived the events of Halo 3 and Master Chief’s hand in its apparent destruction. As it turns out, the construct responsible for creating the iconic Halo rings survived that previous battle and has now set about repairing itself. For what reasons? You’ll have to wait and find out.
Not everything will feel so familiar to Halo fans, however. Although familiar characters will be returning, 343 is keen to introduce some new blood to the mix, including a new AI: Isabel. Grace says Isabel represents a “chance to get deeper on how AIs work in our galaxy, the kind of roles they can play” and whether “Isabel is or isn’t related to Cortana. These are all interesting questions. The hardcore fans will pick up and enjoy, but the new players don’t have to get right away. Hopefully they get curious, but they don’t have to get it right away.”
Halo Wars 2 launches for Xbox One and Windows 10 on February 21, 2017.