With the open beta finally available for Halo Wars 2, a new gameplay tutorial shows off the new mode Blitz and how it changes traditional RTS gameplay.
After a very successful open beta period last summer during E3 2015, the tactical real time strategy title, Halo Wars 2, is now only a month away from release. To give players another chance with the game prior to release and to hopefully build more momentum, a new open beta period has begun. This time around however, this second test features the recently revealed Blitz, a card-based game mode that shakes up the core foundations of the standard gameplay in Halo Wars 2. To help players get acquainted with the nuances, a 6 minute gameplay tutorial has also been released.
Inside a Halo Wars 2 Blitz match, players will find that many traditional RTS pillars have been streamlined such as base building, skill trees, and resource gathering. The focus here is on fast paced battles and earning points by capturing and holding control points on the map. Instead of traditional base building, cards can be played from a premade deck based on a specific leader and their distinctive play style. Resource gathering is also replaced by an energy system, which dictates how much energy must be spent in order to activate particular cards. Players can earn more energy by finding it scattered across the map and waiting for it to replenish over time.
The gameplay video shows off James Cutter, a USNC Captain of the Spirit of Fire, and a returning character form the first game. Cutter’s specialty focuses on orbital support and specialist USNC units like ODST infantry and Hellbringers. In the tutorial, players go over core mechanics such as energy canister collection, capturing nodes, card basics, and scoring points. Interestingly enough, some cards contain special attributes which are seen as a keyword on the card description. In the tutorial, Blast is activated when a unit dies, causing a massive explosion while Rally provides a damage buff to nearby allies.
The open beta is active for 10 days, starting today and wrapping up on January 30. While all progression and unlocks won’t carry over to the full, retail experience, players can earn additional card packs for simply logging in to the beta one time and a second one for completing your first Blitz match, win or lose.
Like other first party Microsoft games such as Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4, Halo Wars 2 is also available as an Ultimate Edition for $80, which lets users access the game 5 days early on February 17. It also comes with the season pass and the definitive version of the original Halo Wars title. Microsoft’s Play Anywhere initiative, which lets players play certain games on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC at no additional cost, is also enabled for this game.
What do you think of this new game mode? Are you planning on picking up the game when it launches next month? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.
Halo Wars 2 launches on February 21, 2017 for Xbox One and Windows 10.