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New maps for Halo Wars coming July 21st

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gr3_finalEnsemble Studio’s Halo Wars has been out for about five months now, and in what has become the normal practice for RTS games, it’s time for some downloadable content. It’s not a full blown expansion, but rather a series of maps of various difficulties and sizes.

We liked the initial game, and having played it quite a bit myself, I can honestly say the gameplay is engaging. This is surprising to me, since I’m a fan of the keyboard and mouse school of RTS. The new content pack (available for 800 points, roughly $10) will contain four new maps, and a new achievements worth 100 points each. Here’s the specifics from the press release:

New Melees & Playgrounds Await Fans in the “Historic Battle” Game Add-on Pack for “Halo Wars”

UNSC or Covenant legs, mobilize your troops and report for duty at your next assignment in “Halo Wars,” the best selling real-time strategy game on any current generation console. Microsoft and Robot Entertainment expand the field of engagement with four new multiplayer Skirmish maps that highlight key turning points in the UNSC/Covenant war. Take on ruthless A.I. or live opponents in these brand new battlefields with the “Historic Battle” Game Add-on Pack, available on July 21 for 800 MS Points in all Xbox LIVE enabled regions.

“Historic Battle” expands the universe for “Halo Wars” fans with four new multiplayer maps with varied terrains for players to find their competitive edge by using unique features of each map. The four new maps include:

· Barrens (1v1 Map): Difficult terrain channels units into killing zones. The side that controls the Forerunner artifacts will have the advantage.

· Blood River (1v1 Map): Secure base locations on nearby cliffs overlook this naturally red-tinged river. The soldiers that fought over its two narrow crossings gave the river its name, which has since taken on a greater meaning.

· Glacial Ravine (3v3 Map): A snow-topped mountain range forms a natural barrier that cuts this region in half. Control of the two energy walls at the narrow central pass often determines the outcome of the battle, though clever use of the Sentinel Factories may play a role as well.

· Memorial Basin (2v2 Map): The high ground in the middle offers good cover for infantry, while the generally open terrain transforms organized battle plans into bloodbaths.

“Historic Battle” also adds four new Achievements worth a total of 100 points:
· Tour Coming Through: Hot drop 50 squads to your Covenant Leader in a single game on Memorial Basin (30 points)
· Never Leave a Man Behind: Finish a game with 5000 net resources contributed to your teammates on Barrens (15 points)
· Drain Cleaner: Kill 20 enemy squads with a continuous Covenant Leader Power on Memorial Basin (30 points)
· Killjoy: Disrupt 5 active Leader Powers in a single game on Blood River (25 points)

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