Xbox One owners can play a new Halo game right now. But it’s not the next entry in Microsoft’s massively popular first-person shooter series.
The publisher announced today at its lead-in event for the Electronic Entertainment Expo tradeshow in Los Angeles that it’s kicking off the open beta to Halo Wars 2 (coming to both Xbox One and PC), a real-time strategy game set in the Halo universe. Starting today, players can download the multiplayer beta from the Xbox Games Store. It debuts February 21, 2017, said Dan Ayoub, the studio head of 343 Industries (the internal studio in charge of the Halo franchise).
The developer behind Halo Wars 2 is Creatively Assembly, a studio that specializes in creating RTS games like the Total War series. Microsoft first revealed it in Germany during the annual Gamescom fan convention. The first Halo Wars debuted on Xbox 360 in 2009 from the now-defunct Ensemble Studios.