Microsoft has confirmed that Halo Wars: Definitive Edition, a remastered re-release of the 2009 original real-time strategy (RTS) game for the Xbox 360, is coming to Windows PCs as a standalone title later this week.

Launched as an Xbox 360 exclusive back in 2009, Halo Wars wasn't an unalloyed success. While the Halo franchise launched by Bungie and acquired by Microsoft is beloved by fans of first-person shooters, it turned out few fancied trying their hands at a more strategic title; those who loved RTS games, by contrast, scoffed at the idea of playing them on a console and saw the Halo wrappings as little more than a cheap skin on a game designed to fill a gap between 'proper' Halo releases. Poor sales saw the idea shelved until Microsoft, pushing Windows 10 as a 'universal' platform, dusted the franchise off with Halo Wars 2 earlier this year.

As part of the launch, developer Creative Assembly released both the new Halo Wars 2 on Windows and Xbox One and also a polished version of the original, and by now eight-year-old, Halo Wars. Those few with fond memories of the first game in the series, though, were given no option other than to buy the latest release and receive the original as a bundle item - though Microsoft, in its role as publisher, promised to launch the remastered version as Halo Wars: Definitive Edition later this year without giving a first launch date.

Now, Valve's Steam platform has revealed all: the revamped Halo Wars will be available to buy solus on April 20th, with no need to purchase the Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition bundle. While this is likely to save considerable cash over the bundle offer, exactly how much isn't yet known: no price has been announced by Valve nor by Microsoft.

Those looking to pick up the game on PC will need to be running a 64-bit installation of Windows 7 or above on an Intel Core i3 or better with at least 4GB of RAM and an Intel HD Graphics 4200, Nvidia GeForce GT 740M, or AMD Radeon R5 M240 or better graphics card - the modest system requirements being one of the benefits of playing a game released nearly a decade ago. Players will also need 12GB of free hard drive space.

As with other Microsoft titles, though, there's a catch: anyone purchasing the game on Steam will be unable to play with those purchasing from the Windows Store and vice-versa.
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October 14 2021 | 15:04