Halo Wars Is Golden, Demo Drops February 5thS

Ensemble Studios' real-time strategy take on the Halo universe is heading to the printer, with a single player demo of Halo Wars ready to strike Xbox Live Marketplace on February 5th.

The Halo Wars gold master is on its way to manufacturing, well in time for its late February / early March release dates. While excited fans of the Halo series dream of discs sliding out of a giant, magical disc pressing machine, Microsoft is readying a playable demo of the game to help ease the wait. On February 5th the Halo Wars demo will be available for download, featuring the first two levels of the single player campaign along with "Chasms", one of fourteen multiplayer maps shipping with the full game. Note that the multiplayer map looks to be only playable against the A.I. is Skirmish mode, so you'll have to wait for the full game in order to hop online.

Along with the news of the demo, Microsoft Game Studios also launches a new video documentary for the game today, with the first episode now available for download via Xbox Live.

Genre Defining Xbox 360 Exclusive “Halo Wars” Goes Gold

New video documentary series and Xbox LIVE demo details revealed

Microsoft Game Studios and Ensemble Studios announced today that “Halo Wars,” the highly anticipated action strategy game based on the legendary “Halo” universe, is finished and sent to manufacturing! Created from the ground up for the Xbox 360 console and controller, “Halo Wars” combines a peerless control scheme and gameplay with an incredibly rich, epic story set 20 years prior to the story told in “Halo: Combat Evolved.” The result is a commanding experience that is a must-have for “Halo” fans and a title that is sure to become a classic amongst fans of strategy games.

As fans eagerly await launch day, a video documentary series announced today will explore defining themes of “Halo Wars” and give viewers a behind the scenes look at the game’s development and some of the people involved in its creation. The premier episode captures key elements that frame “Halo Wars” gameplay: the controls, perspective and strategy. The “Halo Wars” video documentary is available for download on Xbox LIVE and can be viewed at Xbox.com/Halo.

In addition, the recently announced Xbox LIVE public demo for “Halo Wars” will be available beginning on Feb. 5 at 2 a.m. PST in Xbox LIVE enabled regions worldwide. In the demo, players will be able master Ensemble’s groundbreaking control scheme in optional beginner and advanced tutorials or jump right into the action to experience the beginning of the “Halo Wars” story with the first two campaign missions. The demo will also include “Chasms,” one of “Halo Wars’” 14 multiplayer maps, wherein players can battle it out in Skirmish mode vs. A.I., playing either as the UNSC with Captain Cutter’s leader powers, or as the Covenant with the Prophet of Regret’s own unique abilities. Don’t forget to set your Xbox to download this demo!

“Halo Wars” is rated T for Teen by the ESRB and 16+ PEGI, and will be available starting Feb. 26 in Asia, Feb. 27 in Europe and March 3 in the Americas. For more information, visit Xbox.com/Halo or HaloWars.com.