Halo Wars 2 was revealed back at Microsoft’s E3 2015 conference as a follow up to the 2009 RTS game based in the Halo universe. Halo Wars 2 is an exciting new strategy game packed with fast-paced action, massive battles, and an all-new Halo story, coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 in fall of 2016. Developed by Creative Assembly, a SEGA company and the creators of the popular Total War™ series, in partnership with 343 Industries, Halo Wars 2 is the sequel to the game that redefined real-time strategy on consoles.
Thanks to the twitter user @LifeLower, we may have got our first look at an official image from the game.
— lifelower (@lifelower) June 3, 2016
The artwork is definitely very interesting and there’s some details in there that we can dissect to gain an insight into the story and setting of Halo Wars 2.
First of all, we can see what is known as The Ark in the background of the picture leaked by LifeLower. Installation 00, also known as The Ark, or The Lesser Ark, is an enigmatic Forerunner installation from which all the Halo Installations across the galaxy can be activated simultaneously. In addition, it functions as a safe haven from the Halo network’s strategic pulse, as well as a facility to construct and repair any of the Halo Array. A NeoGaf user Kalentan noted that “The UNSC wanted to use it after taking control of it after the book events in 2555… But the Spirit of Fire was still reported MIA in 2558. So this must be post Halo 4 maybe during Halo 5.”
We also see Brutes take centre stage in the leaked artwork. The Jiralhanae, known by humans as Brutes, are the most recent members of the Covenant. They are a large, bipedal, giant ape-like species from Doisac. The Jiralhanae have been part of the Covenant since before the destruction of the UNSC agricultural colony on Harvest, and were always feared by the Sangheili for their monomaniacal behavior. You last see them in Halo 3 when the Arbiter kills Truth with an Energy Sword and then then the brutes go missing. It seems inevitable now though that the Halo Wars 2 story will see a return of the Brutes in full force at The Ark.
I also put together this graphic with all the things I was able to dissect from the leaked artwork:
Let me know if there’s anything I’ve missed or if you’ve got some theories of your own!