announced that Halo Wars, the Halo-themed RTS from Ensemble Studios, will launch in February 2009. Furthermore, the company has announced that a limited edition version of the game will be released and detailed its contents. Retailing for $79.99, the limited edition of Halo Wars includes:
- Three new Halo 3 (not Halo Wars) multiplayer maps. The maps include Assembly, Orbital, and Sandbox. You might recognize those maps as the upcoming Mythic Map Pack.
- Halo Wars: Genesis -- A graphic novel by Phil Noto, Ensemble's own Graeme Devine and Halo novelist Eric Nylund. The novel details the first human conflict with the Covenant and "centers around the Spirit of Fire on a mission to discover why the Covenant are so interested in the world of Harvest."
- The "Honor Guard" Wraith in-game vehicle
- Six "Leader Cards." Trading cards, we're guessing, or something like them.
- Spirit of Fire Patch. You know, the iron-on kind. Have fun explaining what it means to your non-gaming friends.
While we're intrigued by the graphic novel, we have to admit the inclusion of the Mythic Map Pack is a pretty crafty move. The announcement says that those with the Halo Wars LE will be among "the first to experience the Mythic Map Pack," which implies that they can get their hands on the maps before they become available to the general public. We get the feeling that a lot of Halo players are suddenly very interested in RTS games.