Halo Wars 2 is an upcoming real-time strategy video game from developers 343 Industries and Creative Assembly. While it is due to release on February 21, the second multiplayer beta for the game is now available to all Windows 10 PC and Xbox One players with a Xbox Live Gold subscription.
Microsoft, which acts as the game’s publisher, says the new beta introduces the Blitz gameplay mode to players for a more action-packed experience. The beta expands on the Halo Wars 2 trial released last summer and will run through January 30.
Although Halo Wars 2 is a typical real-time strategy game, the addition of Blitz mode removes the need to build bases and accumulate resources. Instead, players have to manage a deck of 12 cards in order to select their Leader Power and unit types before the game begins. As the matches kick off, players deploy their pre-selected army.
Players also need to strike the right balance between cheap, weak units and high-tech, expensive units as the game ties each Power to an energy cost. It’s still a strategy game, after all, despite looking like a straight-up action game. Blitz only provides newbies a quick method to jump straight into the more exciting part of the game. RTS veterans, on the other hand, will have the opportunity to engage in deeper strategy through deck building, army composition, and counterplay.
Microsoft says some cards in the game are Leader-specific. For example, UNSC Logistics AI Isabel uses AI holograms to confuse enemies while Captain Cutter provides orbital support from the UNSC Spirit of Fire.
While the new beta only lets players face off against human enemies, the full Halo Wars 2 release will match them against AI opponents through the Blitz Firefight game mode.
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