Just when you thought Microsoft was out of surprises a new expansion for Halo Wars 2 is announced. Called Awakening the Nightmare, players will be forced against the deadly alien race known only as the Flood. In the trailer we see two Brutes explore what appears to be a crashed ship or abandoned base of some kind by themselves. This obviously doesn’t work out for them and duo is quickly infected and become Flood versions of their former selves. While details are limited we do know that players will control the Banished, which is a Covenant army that is pitted against the Flood.
For those unaware, the Flood make up one of the three original factions in the Halo franchise and are perhaps the deadliest. These parasitic species are able to infect and completely overtake a planet by converting the lifeforms into Flood variants. It’s because of these creatures the Halo Rings were created, as the Flood have always been seen as the most dangerous life form in existence. Given their noticeable absence in recent Halo titles, this is a welcome return for fans of the series.
Sadly, it doesn’t seem like you can directly control the Flood army which is a bit disappointing given how much fun it would be to infect your opponents. We do know that new leaders and units will be introduced, however, information is currently limited on this front. There is also no definitive date set for Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare, as it’s simply slated for sometime in the fall this year.
What’s curious is why Microsoft would omit this announcement during their E3 press conference, as it’s one of their few exclusives currently out. While it certainly wouldn’t have stolen the shown, having an expansion for a rather beloved RTS could have helped them keep the moment going for current game releases. Now, all we have to do it wait and see what terrors these creatures bring us.