Halo Wars 2 is getting a digital expansion called Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare, and will be releasing in Q3 2017.
Announced earlier today, and surprisingly absent during the Xbox E3 2017 Briefing, the Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare trailer teases a not only a new single-player campaign played from the point-of-view of The Banished, but also the return of one of the franchises most deadly foes - The Flood.
Expanding on the epic story from the main game, Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare lets players battle through a brand-new series of campaign missions from the perspective of the Banished and experience their desperate struggle against a terrifying and ancient enemy – the Flood.
Bookending the Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare campaign will be gorgeous new cinematics by our friends and partners at Blur Studio, bringing the adventure to life in incredible detail.
According to a Halo Waypoint news post, the expansions will also feature a new mode called "Terminus Firefight", which will be "a unique game mode" where up to three players will be able to build bases and armies to defend their Forerunner terminus node and said bases "against an ever-increasing and intensifying hoard of attacking enemies"
Terminus Firefight will also add new defensive measurements; such as spike floors and barricades, to go alongside the classic Halo Wars 2 gameplay in order to provide a new defense-style twist to the firefight mode. The expansion will also support HDR (added with the Sgt. Johnson DLC in May), and bring with it two new Banished Leaders, and two new standard multiplayer maps - with the maps being available for free to all Halo Wars 2 players, "independent of the expansion."
Sadly, this full expansion for Halo Wars 2 is not a part of the Season Pass, and while Halo Wars 2 is required to play the content, it will have to be purchased separately at a price of $19.99 USD - currently $27.67 NZD via a direct exchange, but likely between $30 and 40 NZD, no official New Zealand price has been announced at this time.
Other information provided in the post includes the fact that The Flood will not be a playable faction; when the expansion takes place with regard to the core game's campaign, and how The Flood managed to get on the Ark (despite issue #6 of the comic Halo: Escalation showing The Flood already being on board The UNSC Spirit of Fire):
Q: When do the events of Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare take place?
A: The events of Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare take place just a few months after the end of the events in Halo Wars 2. The war for control of the Ark continues to rage on and the Banished will do anything to regain the upper hand over Captain Cutter and the brave troops on board the UNSC Spirit of Fire. This willingness to risk it all, however, can have serious consequences in a place as ancient and dangerous as the Ark.
Q: How did the Flood manage to get to the Ark?
A: During the events of Halo 3, the Flood took control of High Charity, the planet-sized satellite and capital city of the Covenant. The Flood crashed High Charity on the Ark in an effort to thwart its ability to fire – and rebuild – the Halo rings. While most of the Flood threat was destroyed in the crash of High Charity and in the explosive end of Halo 3, even the smallest remaining spore of Flood can take over the galaxy, given enough time.
Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare will be releasing during Q3 2017 on Xbox One and Windows 10.