Halo Wars Intial Impressions

So we all know Halo 3 is on its way, the game that will un-doubtedly bring gamers to their knees. Xbox Live will grow ten fold upon its release and trash talk will require a whole new dictionary as under thirteen’s will be rampant all over Halo 3. The thing is while the hype mobile has been all over Halo 3 many were surprised, flabbergasted, star struck when Bungie revealed something new at X06, something different, something no one expected.

Well yesterday Bungie revealed a new title to go with the Halo franchise and it comes in the form of an RTS. A what you ask… a Real Time Strategy, the latest instalment in the Halo series will pit you against friend and foes with thousands of allies and enemies fighting it out hand to hand, gun to gun and vehicle to vehicle. So what’s the title of the new game, well Bungie being the clever blokes they are decided to use the franchises name (Halo) and add the meaning of a conflict involving the organized use of weapons and physical force by states or other large-scale groups (that’s war in case your wondering). If you’re still starring blankly at the screen the name of the new game will be Halo Wars.

Halo Wars was revealed at X06 via a mind-blowing video. Sadly it wasn’t real time, but CGI, even so after watching the short trailer Microsoft had to distribute three employees to go through the X06 speech hall and push everyone’s lower jaw up.

The trailer starts out with a warthog flying of a dark, icy cliff. The initial warthog is closely followed by four other hogs then the camera pans into the first hog and shows us the passenger receiving info through his coms device. We then see the warthogs go through a whole squad of Scorpion Tanks all of which are on their way to save two doomed soldiers.

The camera then switches to the two soldiers who are seen running helplessly from … well nothing and out of nowhere come two purple bolts. Then we see it, as the injured soldier crawls along the snow you get a glimpse of what looks like an invisible being. It is of course a covenant elite finishing off the job with his big blue shiny sword. The camera quickly pans back to the hogs where all you here is the demented screams of the helpless marine as his insides become his outsides and he breaths his last breath.

Like a trophy you then see the elite pick up the dead marine and … growl at it. As if it matters this lone elite will be dead in the next few minut….. but wait all of a sudden from nowhere appears squads of elites and banshees. Then begins the war, there’s a huge aerial battle and at the same time marines and elites are fighting it out on the ground where the scattered remains of downed Warthogs are the marines only source of protection.

The trailer ends with the camera panning over a squad of Spartans sporting all new armour and simply saying ‘they want war, we’ll give em war’.

Once we had watched it three kizzilion times we thought we’d try to take a look at the trailer in a more depth, see what we might be getting with the new game. The most obvious aspect is that you will be taking control of armies with thousands of units. The units will include marines, Spartans, pelicans, scorpion tanks, warthogs, elites, banshees and no doubt when the game hits you will be able to control wraiths, ghosts, grunts and maybe even the flood. There will probably be even more new characters designed for the game so for now we can only speculate.

We also noticed is that there was more then one Spartan. This not only means that Master Chief might not be in this one, but it also means that this game is set before the two previous games when the Spartan programme had just begun and was churning out new soldiers everyday.

The surroundings in the trailer were dark, eerie and ice cold, what’s more it looked absolutely massive. No doubt there will be all new maps maybe even one in the setting from the Halo 3 teaser trailer.

There were no signs of buildings, but no doubt being an RTS you will have to set up a base and build barracks, vehicle yards and other buildings using resources in the surrounding land. What those resources will be is yet to be seen, it will probably follow the same set up as tiberiun in the C&C Tiberium Wars game.

Another aspect of the game is the fact that it isn’t being developed by Bungie, but instead by Ensemble Studios. For those wondering who they are, they were the geniuses behind the Age of Empires franchise and Star Wars Gallactic Battlegrounds. The final bit of news that adds to this already awesome title is the fact that Peter Jackson will be a guide, watching over the game and maybe he might be the one who will end up directing the cut scenes, I mean awesome or what.

No other info was released on the game so for now we can but droll at the awesome trailer and hope that the game lives up to its already astronomically high level of hype.

Originally Written By: Lee Matthews


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