Over the past couple of weeks, gamers have had their chance to test out Halo Wars 2 thanks to the game’s pre-launch multiplayer beta. Now, Microsoft is casting the spotlight on single-player with the game’s launch trailer, which focuses on campaign mode.
The storyline of Halo Wars 2 is set shortly after the events of Halo 5: Guardians, as the crew of the UNSC warship Spirit of Fire emerges from cryosleep. They enter into a conflict with a Covenant splinter group known as the Banished, led by the fearsome Brute warlord Atriox.
Ever since Halo 2 upped the series’ production values considerably, the Halo franchise has had a reputation for excellent cutscenes. It seems that Halo Wars 2 is no slouch, as the footage on show in this trailer is packed with strong performances, breathtaking visuals, and intense action.
It’s difficult to tell how some of the scenes will factor into the game’s overarching storyline. However, we can glean a few nuggets of information from the footage on offer, even if the lack of context makes it difficult to make any predictions with complete certainty.
For instance, there seems to be a shot of a Halo ring being set into position at one point in the clip. These structures are of course central to the series’ overarching mythos, but this particular installation may come into play in Halo 6 and beyond, given that Halo Wars 2 is contemporaneous with Halo 5.
We also see plenty of Isabel, an AI character who is new to the series. It seems that she will play a large part of the game’s plot, having been discovered by the Spirit of Fire crew in the ruins of a UNSC base destroyed by Banished forces.
Many assumed that Halo Wars would never see a sequel, but Microsoft silenced any doubters by unveiling the sequel at Gamescom 2015. The company has launched a major marketing effort behind the game, but there are still lingering doubts as to whether it can find an audience.
Microsoft recently confirmed that Halo Wars 2 will be the lone Halo release for 2017. Based on its performance over the coming months, we’ll get a good idea of how strong the Halo brand is among Xbox and PC gamers — and that will no doubt give Microsoft plenty to think about going forward.
Halo Wars 2 launches on February 21, 2017 for Xbox One and PC.