Microsoft revealed that a beta test has been launched for the real-time strategy game Halo Wars 2 in an effort to provide agog fans a taste of what this new video game has to offer.
The company announced the good news during the E3 press conference on June 13, saying that it is slated to officially hit store shelves on Feb. 21 next year.
Deemed a direct sequel to 2007's Halo Wars, this new title is being developed by 343 Industries, the Halo head studio, in collaboration with the British studio behind the well-renowned Total War PC games, the Creative Assembly.
This news comes fairly hot on the heels of a previous rumor saying that gamers will be able to get first dibs on Halo Wars 2 soon via an open beta, thanks to the screen shot that previously popped up on the web. The image that surfaced on the internet, showing off Alice-130 (Halo Wars' Spartan-II Commando) was shared via NeoGaf and is said to be a still that was lifted from the game's trailer.
An Xbox One product page for the new game also appeared. It seems that the page has gone live early ahead of the game's official launching. The leaked page says that the said beta testing would run until June 20.
Now, Microsoft has confirmed during the press conference that the week-long beta kick-starts on June 13 and ends on June 20.
"One of the top asks from fans was to continue the adventures of the Spirit of Fire," head of 343 Industries Dan Ayoub said during the event. "In partnership with Creative Assembly, we're proud to bring Halo Wars 2 to Xbox One and PC on Feb. 21, 2017."
For the uninitiated, the first Halo Wars game was released in 2009 via Xbox 360. The game was developed by the now-defunct Ensemble Studios.
It is interesting to note that the beta version of the game allows players to try out the title's multiplayer mode with up to six players.
The game gives gamers an aerial view to control the battles. The official trailer for the game shows human forces battling against a new race of aliens named "the Banished." The aliens are headed by a general who looks akin to an angry monkey.
It is expected that, upon the release of the Halo Wars 2 next year, a premium edition will arrive along with remastered version of Halo Wars.
In related news, Tech Times previously reported that Microsoft denied earlier speculation that emerged on the internet suggesting that the company is planning to port Halo 5: Guardians to the PC.
"Our approach is to deliver epic Halo experiences designed for PC gamers and Windows 10, such as Halo Wars 2 and the recently announced Halo 5: Forge," said Microsoft's spokesperson. "There are no plans to port Halo 5: Guardians to PC."
If you are interested in getting a glimpse of Halo Wars 2's official trailer, click the play button below.