Ensemble: Halo Wars ‘will be huge’ in 2008

If the much-trumpeted arrival of Halo 3 didn’t quite appease the need for all things ‘Halo’ then it’s likely that you’re looking forward to getting your plasma-scarred hands on Halo Wars, the real-time strategy epic currently being developed by Ensemble Studios.

Set to arrive as a definite departure for the popular sci-fi series, the RTS experience promises to deliver the trademark atmosphere created by Bungie’s hugely popular first-person shooter trilogy, while also introducing fans to a wealth of new content features and gameplay aspects.

But, in a gaming market where real-time strategy traditionally works best on the PC, can Halo Wars (an Xbox 360 exclusive) generate the same level of expectancy in console owners as was enjoyed by its groundbreaking FPS inspiration?

Well, Ensemble certain seems to think so (but then it would, no?). Specifically, lead designer Graeme Devine has recently turned the spotlight of attention onto Halo Wars now that Halo 3 fever has subsided to allow it room to shine. When asked by GameTap why Halo Wars will be one of 2008’s biggest releases, Devine duly offered that:

“I think we’ve got magic in the disc. We’ve worked on the controls, gameplay, and story for this game being very much aware of what has gone before us. I was down in playtest yesterday and actually did not get to sit down and play because folks were spending their lunches playing the game. I know we’re doing well when that happens.”

He also added that the Ensemble team has “worked hard on telling a new story, making the game accessible, focusing on the combat, and getting that magic “Halo” feeling,” just right in order to be befitting of such an enormous gaming franchise. “We’re fans too.”

With a console-based control scheme six months in the making prior to the game’s official green light, Halo Wars could well be the 2008 offering that sees RTS titles finally breaking through the PC-only barrier and opening the genre to a whole new demographic. Factor in an intriguing prequel storyline and the tantalising opportunity to command existing and never-before-seen units from the Halo universe, and Devine’s unbridled enthusiasm suddenly seems much more grounded.

“I believe we will be huge not just because I believe,” he teased in closing, “but because when we put the controller in your hands, you will believe too.”

Click HERE for the full interview with Graeme Devine.

Want to believe? Check out this Halo Wars taster clip as you prepare for its 2008 arrival.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.

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