Microsoft debuts an unusual pair of live action trailers for Halo Wars 2, which feature protagonist Captain James Cutter matching wits with the fearsome Brute commander, Atriox.
The Halo series has long upheld a tradition of flashy live action trailers promoting its newest releases, like the classic Starry Night trailer for Halo 3, and the Remember Reach campaign. Now, Microsoft has debuted a pair of live action trailers for Halo Wars 2 — and they’re somewhat unusual.
The War of Wits campaign for Halo Wars 2 drops the expected sci-fi action for something altogether more bizarre. Captain Cutter and Atriox do go head-to-head, but their chosen battlefields are a little more mundane than fans might be anticipating.
In the first clip, the pair contest the use of an armrest on a busy flight. Cutter concocts a scheme to usurp the much bigger Brute, but is ultimately beaten when Atriox reveals that he had already licked the armrest to claim his territory — twice.
As you can tell, this campaign takes a much more light-hearted approach to the franchise than we’ve seen in previous promotional materials. From what we’ve seen of Halo Wars 2, this tone doesn’t carry over into the game itself, but it certainly makes for a humorous commercial.
Plus, while the campaign isn’t entirely accurate to the game’s more serious storyline, it does maintain some of the same cast. Gideon Emery reprises his role as Cutter, and Atriox looks just as fearsome and intimidating as he does in-game.
Of course, it’s difficult to be too scared of Atriox when he’s selling used cars, which happens to be his profession in the second of the two clips released today. Cutter manages to get a good deal on on his chosen motor, even if it turns out to be something of a clunker once he gets it off the lot.
We’ve seen plenty of ads that put a humorous spin on the games they’re promoting before, but it’s not a strategy that’s been employed by Microsoft all too often. These commercials are genuinely funny, and they’re likely to raise awareness of Halo Wars 2 in a way that more conventional trailers wouldn’t.
Between open beta access and this campaign, Microsoft is doing everything in its power to ensure that Halo Wars 2 sells better than its predecessor did. It’s already been confirmed that the strategy title is the only Halo game scheduled to hit the Xbox One in 2017, so hopefully fans desperate for more of the franchise won’t be perturbed by a change in genre.
Halo Wars 2 is scheduled to launch for Xbox One and PC on February 21, 2017.