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Halo Wars 2 is a continuation of the strategy published in 2009 on Xbox 360. The first parts was developed by already non-existent Ensemble Studios primarily known for the Age of Empires series, although they also created Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds. The second instalment is co-developed by 353 Industries, which took the Halo franchise over from Bungie Software, and Creative Assembly – the fathers of the Total War series. Halo Wars 2 opens a whole new chapter in the universe, and offers quick and exciting gameplay, which features large-scale battles.
The action of Halo Wars 2 takes place in 2559 – 28 years after the events from the first instalment, and a few years after Halo 5: Guardians. The crew of the warship Spirit of Fire wakes up from cryogenic sleep not knowing the outcome of the war with the Covenant. After receiving alarm from the Ark – the installation that produces Halo rings – soldiers are attacked by aliens known as the Banished, and a new story begins.
Halo Wars 2 put out is a real-time strategy. Gameplay consists in completing various missions, and involves e.g. building a base where you train soldiers and create units. Combat rules are based on the rock-paper-scissors principle. Therefore, earthbound vehicles are efficient against infantry, which is effective against flying units, which are great at fighting earthbound vehicles.
The Blitz mode is a distinguishing feature of this game – it combines elements of a card game and a real-time strategy. Instead of managing resources, buildings, and units, you use cards, earned during the campaign and by completing everyday challenges, that symbolise particular units and buildings.
Apart from the campaign, Halo Wars 2 features multiplayer. The developers introduced a number of 3 vs 3 game modes. So, you can wage war against your opponents in Deathmatch, Strongholds, Domination (control particular points), and Skirmish (fight against AI – alone or in co-op). Additionally, multiplayer introduces new units with explosives and leaders with special skills.
Halo Wars 2 belongs to Xbox Play Anywhere. This means that if you buy a digital version of the title on one platform, you get the second copy for free. Also, the two platforms share the progress and achievements.