In 2009 Microsoft Studios brought an interesting experiment to Xbox fans. They took the console’s most beloved property, the first person shooter Halo, and envisioned that universe within a real-time strategy game. The resulting game, developed by Ensemble Studios, had some mixed reviews but overall there seemed to be a general consensus that Halo Wars was one of, if not the strongest, RTS games on consoles. The largest debate seemed to really be whether or not an RTS even belonged on a console given the genre’s natural predilection for the strengths of a mouse and keyboard control scheme.
Hot off the release of Halo Wars 2, Microsoft has now announced Halo Wars: Definitive Edition will be available stand-alone for Xbox One, Windows 10 and Steam. The game will be available April 20th and is described as an “enhanced version of the original Halo Wars that runs natively on Xbox One and Windows, featuring improved graphics, additional Achievements and includes all of the DLC created for the classic real-time strategy game.” Halo Wars: Definitive Edition was previously only available to owners of the Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition. The change will bring the title to a larger base outside those that spent the extra for all of the Halo Wars 2 bells and whistles.
Halo Wars takes place roughly 20 years before the events of Halo: Combat Evolved which introduced the Master Chief. It details the early struggles between humanity and the Covenant after their initial conflicts on the human colony Harvest. The main characters include Captain Cutter (who continues to play a prominent role in the sequel) in cutscenes and overall direction during the missions and Sergeant Forge voiced by Nolan North. Forge is the classic marine “boots on the ground” although you will control many units other than forge including a contingent of Spartans. In a little foreshadowing to Combat Evolved, the Flood also play a role in several of the latter levels.