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.
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.