As most RTS fans of a particular stripe might well know, Ensemble Studios was the undisputed ruler of the genre; and Halo Wars, its troubled swansong. Meeting a lukewarm reception at the time, the Halo-flavored RTS failed to make much headway on the Xbox 360.
Microsoft clearly saw something worthwhile however, enough so that it announced a sequel today at Gamescom. Though no gameplay footage was shown, there was one interesting tidbit that may have considerable ramifications for the title, that is to say that Creative Assembly, the team behind the Total War franchise, are involved in its development.
Although the studio has pursued other forms of gameplay in the past, it has gained considerable acclaim for its particular brand of large-scale warfare, mixing the macro with the micro, allowing users to indulge from a distance, as well as get involved in the fighting. With 343 Industries involved, it is likely that the game will stick very closely to the existing narrative being crafted.
Given the general trends that RTS games have followed in recent years, as the genre has declined, and given the claustrophobic nature of the environments shown in the trailer, it may be reasonable to expect that this might be a squad-based shooter in the vein of the recently-resurrected X-COM series, rather than the grand open battlefields of the first Halo Wars. With the title being released on both the Xbox One and Windows 10, there is also the potential for some inter-operability, although this has not been confirmed.
As Microsoft continues to make a strong play out of its now extensive list of Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusives, expect to hear a great deal more about this title in the near future.
Does the prospect of another Halo Wars title excite you? Let us know what you think in the comments below.Further reading: Halo Wars 2, Microsoft, Xbox One