PAX East 2017: The Future of Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 released in the spring, but the team at Creative Assembly is still hard at work on new content for the game. At PAX East 2017, a panel of developers spoke about the upcoming content for the Xbox One’s flagship (and possibly only) real time strategy game.

The developers noted that they had to make adjustments for console, such as exaggerating characteristics to be visible at scale because of the RTS camera. This also gave each faction a more distinctive look, such as the Banished receiving added armour and melee elements to it. There were also universe specific tweaks such as making AI unit Isabel more relatable, so she’s in the trenches with you on the battlefield.

The team stated that they could “pretty much do what they want from a thematic standpoint”, which is apparent in the finished product that retains certain elements of the core Halo shooter series (the iconic units, colour palette) while adding distinct new characters, unit and lore to the overall universe. The Mark of Atriox branding of that entire faction was presented as an example, as was lead antagonist Atriox himself; he was created as the answer to “what if a brute was incredibly smart?”

In the near future, features like ranked leaderboards are coming soon as well as new leaders like Morgan Kinsano of the Hellbringers as part of the season pass (or for individual purchase). Attendees got a sneak peek at her Inferno ability that swept the map with fire as well as her Flame Warthog unit, effective in early rushes and wiping out swarms of opposing infantry units in short order.

The panelists briefly mentioned their interest in a possible Art of Halo Wars 2, a project that I would personally enjoy as an avid fan of Creative Assembly’s visual style and the breathtaking cinematics by Blur. For fans of Halo Wars 2, there’s a lot of exciting content and possibilities down the road for the revived series.

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