Halo Wars add-on leads XBL update

Ensemble Studios may not be around anymore, but its swan song lives on this week with the first batch of downloadable content for the Xbox 360-exclusive Halo Wars. The Strategic Options add-on pack includes three new game modes--Keepaway, Tug of War, and Reinforcement--for the sci-fi...

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Ensemble Studios may not be around anymore, but its swan song lives on this week with the first batch of downloadable content for the Xbox 360-exclusive Halo Wars. The Strategic Options add-on pack includes three new game modes--Keepaway, Tug of War, and Reinforcement--for the sci-fi real-time-strategy game's online multiplayer component. The pack is now available through Xbox Live for 800 Microsoft points ($10).

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Two new games will join the Halo Wars add-on pack on Xbox Live this Wednesday. Vector 2 Games' Blazing Birds satisfies gamers' itch for a robot badminton simulation and is available for 400 MS points ($5). The game features 60 computer-controlled opponents on three different difficulty levels. Along with The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, Blazing Birds was named as a winner of Microsoft's inaugural Dream-Build-Play XNA development contest.

The second game hitting XBLA this week is Gastronaut Studios' Gel: Set & Match for 800 MS points ($10). A match-style puzzle game, Gel: Set & Match offers three different modes. Puzzle and Action mode both support cooperative play, with the former attempting to confound gamers with unique block arrangements and the latter introducing a side-scrolling element where players attempt to keep a path clear of bricks. Gel: Set & Match also supports competitive online multiplayer through a battle mode variation.

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