‘Halo Wars 2’ Open Beta Live On Xbox One, Release Pushed To 2017

As last week’s leak predicted, Halo Wars 2 was featured on stage during Monday’s Xbox E3 media briefing along with an open beta for the real-time strategy title. Microsoft added some additional details along with a slight downer of a delay into early 2017.

The Halo Wars 2 multiplayer beta is available to download now from the Xbox Store and will be available through Monday, June 20. The beta is a 13 GB download, so plan your hard drive space and download accordingly.

Unfortunately, the Halo Wars 2 beta will not be available for Windows 10 PC players. Fortunately, developer Creative Assembly and 343 Industries will have more events planned in the future.

“We’re working hard to make sure that the PC experience lives up to expectations, and we simply couldn’t get a beta ready in time for E3 that would address the variety of specs across PC rigs. We will be doing a second beta closer to launch that will be available on both Windows 10 PC and Xbox One. We’ll also have the Windows 10 PC version playable across myriad events throughout 2016,” 343 Industries’ Dan Ayoub stated.

The multiplayer beta available this will feature two different game modes. Domination will be playable from Monday, June 13 through Thursday, June 16. This is the classic RTS mode from the original Halo Wars that tasks players to build their bases and armies to battle for control of the map.

Other multiplayer modes planned for the full release include Skirmish, Strongholds, and Blitz. Skirmish can be played solo or co-operatively against AI opponents to test different strategies. Strongholds is an online only gametype with the objective to control more bases than your opponent when the timer stops. Finally, Blitz is an all-new solo and online multiplayer mode that will be detailed later this fall.

Deathmatch will be moved into the Halo Wars 2 beta on Friday, June 17 and run through the final days of this first beta. In this mode, players will fight until only one remains standing versus fighting for map control. Building up your base and army is still key, however.

Developer 343 Industries states this is a true beta and not a “marketing beta.”

“Getting feedback and telemetry in a public beta setting will be crucial to our gameplay tuning for launch, so we wanted to give everyone access to the game as soon as we could,” Ayoub explained.

Creative Assembly will have plenty of time to polish up Halo Wars 2 as 343 Industries also announced the release of the game has been pushed back to early 2017. The delay is not because it is not ready to launch, but to give the game “room to breathe.” The move is understandable as the holiday 2016 season is already packed with a large amount of titles, which might squeeze out a niche title such as this.

Halo Wars 2 (Xbox One)
[Image via Xbox]

Additionally, 343 Industries announced that an upgraded Halo Wars: Definitive Edition will be included as a bonus for those who purchase Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition. The Xbox 360 title will be enhanced with improved graphics, new Achievements, and all of the original DLC. It will also run natively on the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs versus the emulated method currently supported.

Here is the official description of Halo Wars 2.

“In Halo Wars 2, the Spirit of Fire and her crew, led by Captain Cutter, face a deadly new faction known as The Banished. Their chief, the Brute warlord Atriox, is both a deadly warrior and brilliant military leader in control of a massive army. The key to victory is knowing your enemy, but Atriox is a threat no one is prepared for.”

The E3 multiplayer beta trailer description adds, “Build and command powerful armies of vehicles and troops in epic battles on the biggest Halo battlefield ever. Experience an all-new story across 13 action-packed campaign missions. Play with or against friends, or matchmake with the Xbox Live community in a variety of multiplayer modes supporting up to 6 players.”

What do you think of the Halo Wars 2 announcement at E3, the open beta, and the delay? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Xbox]