Halo Wars hits in February

Release window and collector's edition details revealed for Ensemble's swan song real-time strategy game.

When Halo 3 arrived in stores last year, Microsoft went all out with the collector's editions. The publisher prepared three different packages for the game, the most extravagant of which cost $130 and came packed with a scaled-down replica of the Master Chief's Mjolnir Mark VI helmet.

All this could be yours.

Microsoft today announced the details of its Halo Wars launch--including a February release window--and the Xbox 360 exclusive's rollout is planned to be a bit low-key by comparison. The real-time strategy prequel to the first-person shooter franchise will arrive in standard and limited collector's edition packs that cost $59.99 and $79.99, respectively.

For the extra $20, gamers who pick up the collector's edition bundle will also get the upcoming Halo 3 Mythic Map Pack add-on of three new multiplayer levels, an extra in-game vehicle (the Honor Guard Wraith), six cards describing the game's leaders, a "Spirit of Fire" crewmember patch, and the Halo Wars: Genesis graphic novel. Featuring the talents of Phil Noto, Graeme Devine, and Eric Nylund, the graphic novel tells the story of one of the earliest confrontations between humankind and the alien Covenant. Those who preorder either version of the game at select retailers will also receive a code for a downloadable in-game Warthog vehicle sporting flame decals.

Halo Wars is being developed by Age of Empires outfit Ensemble Studios. In September, Microsoft announced that it would be closing the studio after the completion of the project. Some of the core team members will go on to form their own independent studio, the first project of which will be to support Halo Wars after its launch.

For more on Halo Wars, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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184 comments
daddyslttlpiggy
daddyslttlpiggy

I am going to get the special addition mainly because the way I see it unless I have the points to get the map pack I am going to have to go and spend 20 bucks for the points anyway. so I just see it as getting some free things with the game. See when I first heard of this game I thought it was going to be kinda retarded, but after seeing the movies and screen shots I realized that I could not pass it up.

xX2005SocialDXx
xX2005SocialDXx

Cant wait but i am not spending 20 bucks extra. I would just buy the game and buy the 3 maps later on XBL they should release them eventually.

SR71halo
SR71halo

Parred down? It's being made specifically for the console.

jasonbarbour
jasonbarbour

hmm, not to psyched about a parred down console rts... looks pretty simplistic, i'll just wait and see if halo 3: Recons any good...

Fareru
Fareru

Too bad it's coming outafter I got tired of Halo... I might look into it just because it's less shooty shooty and more thinky thinky.

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

might be worth getting, we'll see when the time comes.

TheoleDominion
TheoleDominion

Can't wait to see how the interface works. But I think Ubi has the best concept for consoles so far, voice+controller seems to work pretty well. RPG's need to implement voice technology too, it's alot better than cycling through alot of menus searching for certain spell, weapon, or item. I think actually being able to "say it" works better than the keyboard. "Ready Fireball, "ready cross-bow", or "ready sword of omen" commands is much easier than memorizing your macros once your inventory starts to become over-whelming.

shadowblade99
shadowblade99

Once again, all I want is a game. This extra stuff is for "the birds".

InuHanyou1701
InuHanyou1701

As Pete said below. I want a demo. It's kind of a pity that it will have a collector's edition (A pity for ME not for the world =P) as now I have to pre order it (Don't ask. I don't have a life. Probably obvious by now). I have YET to play a console RTS game that I have enjoyed (Well EndWar being an exception, kinda. It's not your typical RTS after all). Let's face it. The RTS genre is meant for a mouse and keyboard. If you started RTS gaming on a computer, it's almost impossible to convert to consoles. I've never been able to make the transition and I don't know anyone who has (So if you have... good for you). I would be more excited about this game if I had a solid demo and maybe if it were going to be ported to the PC. Fortunately for Ensemble, they made a pretty decent CE. So yeah. I see dollar signs... fluttering out the window.

trw534
trw534

i ll probably get it because its halo and halo is awsome

Zythyl
Zythyl

ahhh hahahaha a pure console rts? NICE one

EvanDonald
EvanDonald

This game looks pretty epic. I'm all for RTS, and this should deliver. Plus a Halo theme, I mean what more could you ask for?

Pete5506
Pete5506

I want demo for this game

ctg867
ctg867

*Sigh* What happened to Spring? Now I'm not gonna have the money to pick this up at launch. Gears 2 and Guitar Hero are on my list for right after Christmas, and I don't think this fits into the equation. Anyway, I'm pissed they cut the Mythic Map Pack from 6 maps down to 3, which means they'll likely overprice it at $10 like the other two when they bring it to Marketplace. Gotta love Bungie continuing to let Microsoft nickel and dime their fanbase to death. As for the mention of the new graphic novel, it's nice they're doing a second and I should be buying that sometime down the line, though I sill have to finish the last Halo novel, along with the new one, and then the comic series when that comes combined in a hardcover book. Halo fiction overload....

Richard7666
Richard7666

UGH. Though I know I should reserve judgement until I've played it, but the notion of playing RTS on console disgusts me. They're always so cumbersome and slow, even with the slickest console-oriented interface you can think up. And the sad thing is that even if it does turn out crap, trillions of Halo fanboys will buy the game anyway, regardless of it's merits or lack thereof.

yourdead211
yourdead211

hatleshorrer: i don't think that is true at all, at the end of this article it even said, "Some of the core team members will go on to form their own independent studio, the first project of which will be to support Halo Wars after its launch." So that means that means that the original development team WILL be helping after it's launch. The only thing that may be different is the people that work on the updates will be working from a different building. Microsoft knows how to run a games business, they would never intentionally piss let go of fans like that.

Shade-117
Shade-117

Awesome guys! I want this game after Gears of War 2 :P!

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

Real time stratigy games always suffer from unballanced races and, Im sure this one will to. Without the original development team no one will be able to release updates to balance it.

tudyniuz
tudyniuz

So another Halo game,should be interesting...

ImOldGreg
ImOldGreg

Nice, I'll be picking up the LE

blackace
blackace

I'm sure it'll get made for the PC after it's been out for the XBox 360 6-8months. The funny thing is the game will probably sell more copies on the game console, then the PC, and that's why it's getting released on the XBox 360 first.

coryf14
coryf14

No pc? WTF are they thinking throwing a strategy game on console. I mean i can see it cuz all the hard core Halo fans play on consoles, but really common. Its going to suck because of the controls. to bad maybe some day developers will learn (yr 2999)

datniccah187
datniccah187

I might check out Halo Wars. If i have a little extra cash sitting around anyway.

kitty
kitty moderator

I think this was posted in the wrong section of gs?

TheoleDominion
TheoleDominion

I love it when people keep saying "RTS aren't made for consoles" or "Don't make this or that for consoles" and developers IGNORE them and keep doing it anyway. It's frickin hilarious..lol. Sorta like the same rebellious outcry when FPS games debuted on consoles. Haven't you learned that whenever enough people in the industry are DETERMINED to make something a success in the console market it's gonna happen. They are gonna keep getting better technology and "tweaks" to make it a reality. It's no longer a question of "if" RTS and MMO's gonna make a home in the console market, it's "when." So bitter PC elitist just need to get over it.

santiagochile
santiagochile

Why is this in the Wii section? I don't see anything about the Wii or Nintendo!! Get with the program!

Zehydra
Zehydra

How did this news article make the wii news section?

Ace237
Ace237

I think I'll preorder it, and then read the reviews to decide whether to pick it up or let it sit for a week and get restocked.

psp_bwoy
psp_bwoy

what happened to halo recon

omegakie
omegakie

Looks epic i'm paying $20 more for halo mythic map pack

alkaline_DnB
alkaline_DnB

I'm impressed with some of the newer games' collector's editions, such as fallout, resistance, and gears. I'm not into RTS games that much, but being persuaded by hype, I'll probably buy the CE for this also.

LinconSixEcho
LinconSixEcho

The game looks good but why is it getting the Mythic Maps before the people who bought Halo 3 to begin with? Now, Bungie says they will announce a release date for the new maps but in the meantime, I don't like it when my hand seems forced to purchase content that is attached to something else.

arcofnightmares
arcofnightmares

MMORPG's and RTS's are never a good formula on the console; perhaps they will prove this wrong.

fatdog100
fatdog100

can't w8 as long as its as good as its suppost to be

vicsrealms
vicsrealms

Might have been more interesting if it hit the PC. Consoles and AOE type games just don't mix very well without the ability to use the mouse....that and FPS games. Can't aim with a bloody controller, I need my mouse and keyboard.

Kvain
Kvain

I'm ready for more information.

Inverni
Inverni

Hmmmm, so with this and Recon there will be 5 games in the Halo series. Something tells me this isn't the end of it either. I have a feeling this game is going to be alright, but nothing special. The only thing that will make it popular is the fact that it's a Halo game. Before you thumbs down this, think for a second. If this were just another RTS (nothing to do with Halo) would you even bother picking it up, or looking at its page for that matter?

prdroog
prdroog

Words cannot describe....RTS games are just about my favorite, can't get enough of them. Just imagine commanding a sea of spartans.... god bless America

kvan33
kvan33

I don't know what is more lame. A Halo RTS or the over use of limited/special/collector's edition packs.

SR71halo
SR71halo

Hey, Battle for Middle Earth 2 worked decently on the 360 and this game is being made EXCLUSIVELY for the console. On top of that, the control cheme is being praised by those who have tested it.

buzzguy
buzzguy

Another one I'm really looking forward to. With Recon and this game on the horizon, the future is still bright for Halo fans. We take a beating from GTA, COD, Resistance, MGS, etc. fanboys, so this is something killer to look forward to.

mehedee
mehedee

release it for pc. i haven't played any halo games. I wish to play this one in pc.

Chimpman_Z
Chimpman_Z

Let the milking of a franchise begin!

klugenbeel
klugenbeel

YEAH! Halo Wars, can't wait...still weary though.