A real-time strategy game based in the Halo universe has been announced. The project, entitled Halo Wars, will be designed by Ensemble Studios (Age of Empires) "exclusively for Xbox 360" (read: no PC).
This announcement comes weeks after Bungie issued a cease-and-desist to the Halogen project, a C&C: Generals mod based in the Halo universe. It was at this time that 1UP's Luke Smith predicted an official Halo RTS in collaboration with Ensemble Studios. Somebody buy this man a drink, because he nailed it.
After bringing Scott Henson, Director of the Game Development Group at Microsoft, up to speed on the Halogen incident, he assured us Halo Wars "has absolutely nothing to do with that" (whether he meant the mod's shut down or the game's inception is vague).
The original Halo: Combat Evolved, in earlier stages of development, was a real-time strategy game in the vein of Myth, another Bungie RTS. You can read all about it in the pages of Bungie's lore. While we're very intrigued by the thought of a Halo strategy title, we're a bit concerned about how it will play on an Xbox 360 controller. Must ... use ...
[Update 1: The Halo Wars official website has also just gone live, with a pretty (yet entirely pre-rendered) trailer. The FAQ explains that Halo Wars takes place before the events of Halo 1 and its controls have been built "from the ground up" to work with the Xbox 360 controller.
We have also embedded the trailer below, via Game Videos.]