Halo Wars 2

343 Industries and Microsoft have been keeping a close lid on Halo Wars 2, the RTS spin-off from the main first-person shooter series. The upcoming strategy title will have more than just a standard PvP and campaign mode, though. The developers revealed they have a mode in the game that's nothing like a standard RTS.

DualShockers is reporting that 343 Industries revealed the new mode during the PAX West weekend in Seattle, Washington, which took place between September 2nd and September 5th. Studio head for 343 Industries, Dan Ayoub, took to the stage to tease the new mode for Halo Wars 2, saying...

One of the modes, which I can only tease for the time being, is actually a completely new way to play a RTS. It really takes standard RTS gameplay and turns it on its head. And that's a mode that can be played in a shorter time frame as well, like five, six, seven minutes.

Speculation has already run rampant about this new mode for Halo Wars 2. What could it be? How does it turn the RTS genre on its head? What sort of gameplay is Ayoub talking about? What does he mean by saying it can be played in a "shorter time frame"?

A seven minute game session is most certainly not a hallmark feature of the typical real-time strategy model, especially for a game like Halo Wars. Most matches go anywhere between 20 minutes to 40 minutes on average unless it's a short campaign mission that only requires you to complete a simple task.

But an actual game mode where the matches last between five and seven minutes? What sort of madness is this?

Technically, it could be unit based. Players taking control of specific units in hopes of killing other units, sort of like a standard FPS deathmatch but instead it's an RTS deathmatch.

Ayoub doesn't actually give a name to the mode, but thinking within the confines of a match using gameplay mechanics that limit the sessions to up to seven minutes obviously means that we're completely excising the standard base building paradigm from the Halo Wars arsenal. Also, you may as well truncate the resource gathering as well, since both base building and resource gathering go hand in hand. If you remove those two elements then you greatly dwindle the amount of play time invested into a match. The question becomes: how do you complete matches in the mode without building up resources?

The whole thing could be played with a specific roll out of units designated to each side, and players may have to play the matches similar to a MOBA instead of an RTS (even though MOBAs actually spawned from the RTS framework). It could be a stripped down mode focused more on PvP objects. Heck, maybe it's a race mode, where you quickly build a vehicle and have to get from one side of the map to the other? Who knows?

Anyway, we'll have to wait for more info from 343 Industries about this mysterious new mode for Halo Wars 2. The game itself is due for release next year on February 21st for the Xbox One and on Windows 10 for PC.

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