A New 'Halo' Strategy Game Is the Biggest Surprise from Gamescom So Far

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A New 'Halo' Strategy Game Is the Biggest Surprise from Gamescom So Far

Microsoft's making 'Halo Wars 2', another 'Halo' real-time strategy game.

Microsoft today announced Halo Wars 2, a real-time strategy game set in the Halo universe. It's easily the biggest news to come out of the first day of Gamescom, the biggest gaming conference in Europe.

The game is being made by the current, main Halo series developer 343 Industries, and Creative Assembly, which has more than a decade of experience in the real-time strategy genre with its Total War PC game series.

We don't have many details on the game at this point other than that it will release on Xbox One and Windows 10 in fall 2016, and that it will tell an entirely new story in the Halo universe, but the most interesting thing about it at this point is Creative Assembly's involvement.

The studio is known for a very specific type of strategy game, which always features sprawling maps, battles involving hundreds of units, and complicated management of armies. The first Halo Wars was more simple than that (like an Age of Empires game), and it's hard to imagine how the studio can design something similarly involved so you can handle it with just an Xbox One controller (as opposed to a mouse and keyboard), but maybe that's the kind of problem that will make it interesting.

Microsoft first tried spinning Halo out into a strategy game in 2009's Halo Wars, which was made by the original Halo developer Bungie, and Ensemble Studios, known for the Age of Empires strategy series. It got good reviews, but didn't exactly set the world on fire.