Halo Wars 2

Platform: XBOX One & PC
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Developer: 343 Industries
Publisher: Microsoft
Release Date: Q4 2017






In the year 2531 towards the end of 'Liberation of Harvest', a five-year-long campaign to retake the devastated UEG colony world of Harvest from the Covenant in the Epsilon Indi system, we meet the crew of the recommissioned and military refitted colony ship Spirit of Fire.

The Spirit of Fire and its crew are part of the Battlegroup D, a group tasked with providing ground forces with vehicle support, supplies and orbital MAC strikes among other things placing it as a major piece in the battle for Harvest.

During the 'Liberation of Harvest' we meet Sergeant Forge, a "boots on the ground" infrantryman under the command of Captain Cutter, the captain of Spirit of Fire, as he is patrolling the northern regions of planet Harvest.
Alpha Base, which was a UNSC Defense Force military base, is attacked and destroyed by the Covenant, with survivors fleeing to the countryside.
Forge rounds up these survivors and leads them in an assault to retake Alpha Base from the Covenant, returning it to operational status. After retaking Alpha Base, Forge leads a rescue team to assist professor Anders, who is inside a Forerunner relic site to gathering information, under Covenant control trying to destroy the relic before Anders can examine it.

Forge is successful in his task, aiding and protecting Anders who gather information from the Harvest relic showing that the Covenant have been pointed to a second UNSC colony, Arcadia.
Following the Covenant to Arcadia, the crew notice that most of the ships and orbital defense have either been destroyed or badly damaged in battle clashes with the Covenant. Sgt Forge and Red Team, a team of Spartans, are deployed on the ground to assist with evacuation of civilians from Arcadia City.

Anders and Forge begin documenting the city outskirts after destroying a Covenant base protected by a energy shield, only for the Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee to arrive, taking Anders prisoner and wounding Forge, with Red Team arriving too late to assist.

In an attempt to follow the Covenant in the search for Anders, the crew find themselves in orbit of a unknown planet in a unknown location. In the search, both the UNSC and Covenant forces come under attack from a previously undiscovered alien organism - the Flood.
Flood force begins to gather momentum forcing the UNSC to withdraw back to the Spirit of Fire to escape annihilation.

Meanwhile, the Arbiter uses Anders to activate an Forerunner installation known as the Apex Site, revealing a fleet of Forerunner warships which the Covenant plans on reverse-engineering and incorporating into their existing naval forces to crush the humans quickly, without needing to dedicate all of their existing forces to the war. Anders manages to escape via a translocation device, linking up with Forge and his marines who establish a base of operations.
The crew, seeing no other way but destroying the installation and the fleet, denying it to the Covenant to save humanity from near total defeat and extinction, decides remove the Spirit of Fire's FTL drive. The Arbiter attempts to stop them but Red Team and Forge manages to kill both him and his guards and Forge makes the decition to manually detonate the drive inside the Apex causing a super nova chain reaction destroying the Apex Site.

Lacking an FTL drive and unable to return to UNSC space, the crew enter cryonic storage and the Spirit of Fire is left adrift in space.
The UNSC declares the vessel "lost with all hands" on February 10, 2534.

In 2559, after 28 years of bring adrift, the Spirit of Fire was mysteriousy drawn through slipspace and came into orbit above Installation 00.
There the crew will encountered a violent mercenary group called the Banished, lead by a vicious brute known as Atriox.

This is where our story begins.








Atriox:

General Atriox, a powerful Jiralhanae chieftain and the warlord of the Banished.

Atriox was once a member of the Covenant military. At some point during the empire's war against humanity, the Covenant began to use his clan as frontline soldiers. Groups of 40 Jiralhanae would storm enemy positions, clearing the way for follow-up attacks, but typically all of the attackers would die in the process. Atriox emerged as the sole survivor of several such missions. He did not believe in the Great Journey and thus saw no purpose in wantonly warring against the humans. After repeatedly losing his brothers "39 at a time" to enemies he did not feel the need to fight, Atriox developed a deep-seated anger. He eventually refused the San'Shyuum's commands and in reprisal, a Sangheili squad was sent to assassinate him. However, he managed to survive. Shortly after, he rebelled against the Covenant, establishing his own faction known as the Banished. Another Jiralhanae, Decimus, admired Atriox's strength and became one of his generals, serving directly beneath him. When the Banished split from the Covenant, the group took a myriad of armaments and other technologies with them. The Banished became a mercenary organization that waged war against the Covenant, forcing the empire to fight two enemies at once.

Atriox focuses on a cunning and defensive style, supported by heavy cover and invulnerability powers.

Shipmaster:

Let 'Volir is a Sangheili mercenary of the Banished and shipmaster of CAS-class assault carrier Enduring Conviction, formerly serving the Covenant.

During the Human-Covenant War, Let 'Volir served in the Covenant's fleet as shipmaster of CAS-class assault carrier Enduring Conviction. With the dawn of the Great Schism in 2552, 'Volir and his crew left the Covenant and abandoned its religion.
With a powerful carrier and crew of veteran warriors, as well as no desire to join the Swords of Sanghelios or reformed Covenant, 'Volir soon came to the attention of Atriox, chief of the Banished. Atriox offered to fuel Enduring Conviction and supply the crew in exchange for the unquestioning loyalty of 'Volir and his crew. 'Volir reluctantly agreed, and joined forces with the Banished, becoming a mercenary. Although Atriox often teases 'Volir, he is aware that the shipmaster is a powerful tool for warfare with the fleets of Banshee fighters and the platoons of veteran Sangheili warriors 'Volir commands.

The Shipmaster favors stealth, teleportation tactics, and rapid assaults against his foes.

Decimus:

Decimus is a Jiralhanae general within the Banished, serving as a lieutenant to Atriox.

Decimus once served the Covenant's military, fighting against humanity during the Human-Covenant War. When Atriox rebelled against the San'Shyuum and established the Banished, Decimus respected the strength Atriox demonstrated and joined the faction, becoming a general serving directly under Atriox himself. When the Banished occupied Installation 00 by 2559, Decimus was placed in command of a military base on the installation. When UNSC Spirit of Fire arrived at the Ark in 2559, the ship's crew destroyed one of Decimus' bases and created their own.

Decimus is a berserker who relies on hard-hitting rushes while siphoning their health away.

Cutter:

Captain James "Jim" Gregory Cutter was a senior officer in the UNSC Navy who served during the Insurrection and in the early years of the Human-Covenant War. He commanded the UNSC Spirit of Fire, a Phoenix-class support vessel in Vice Admiral Preston Cole's Third Fleet.

Cutter entered the UNSC School of the North Star on September 15, 2500, where he studied astronavigation and political science. He was then sent to the Officer Candidate School on June 19, 2504 where he was taught in command and navigation. He entered the Naval service as a lieutenant and junior navigation officer aboard the Stick, a diplomatic attaché vessel assigned to UNSC Brilliant Shores, on November 16, 2507. He was later transferred to UNSC Final Summit on January 9, 2514, whereupon he was appointed the ship's chief navigation officer.
He achieved the rank of commander upon his transfer to UNSC Glasgow on August 8, 2519. On May 22, 2524, he received a Bronze Star for his actions aboard UNSC Glasgow against terrorists in the Epsilon Indi system; this gave him the attention of UNSC command. Cutter also served on two other ships during his career before he was given the rank of captain and command of an unidentified ship.
Between 2524 and 2525, Cutter had an extramarital affair with a woman on Tribute. This liaison produced a son, Daniel Clayton.
Shortly after the outbreak of war with the Covenant, Cutter was handpicked by Vice Admiral Preston Cole to command the Spirit of Fire in her new role as center of repair, supply, and forward deployment operations for Battlegroup D, Third Fleet. On August 8, 2525, Cutter arrived aboard Spirit of Fire. As the commanding officer of the Spirit of Fire, he was known to have walked the ship at night to check on his crew. He was so well respected that Inner Colony coffee houses gave him free coffee beans to take with him on long deployments. Cutter's father also toured the ship with his son not long after Cutter was made captain of the ship. His father was impressed and reconciled with James, saying "I guess you knew something, after all. Your mom would be proud".

As Captain of the Spirit of Fire, Cutter can send in powerful orbital support, drop in specialized UNSC units, and enhance currently deployed units.

Isabel:

Isabel is a smart artificial intelligence of the United Nations Space Command, serving as a logistical AI on Installation 00.

Isabel was created in March 2556 by scanning and replicating the neural pathways of Anarosa Carmelo, a test pilot who was killed in an accident. Isabel did not begin her first assignment until early 2558, however, when she was tasked to manage logistics at a research outpost on the Forerunner Installation 00, where she was in charge of food supplies, life systems, and power management. At some point, the portal from the Ark to Earth shut down without warning. A month later the Henry Lamb research outpost was attacked by the Banished, led by Atriox. Though Isabel witnessed the deaths of the outpost's personnel, she survived the attack and remained hidden from the Banished.
Isabel issued a distress beacon which was later encountered by UNSC Spirit of Fire, which had arrived over the Ark through unknown means in 2559. Spartan Red Team was deployed to the Ark to investigate the beacon, where they came across Isabel. They extracted her from the outpost and took her with them back to Spirit of Fire, where she informed Captain James Cutter and his crew about the state of the galaxy.

Isabel improves the effectiveness of vehicles using her database of the latest UNSC tech, and employs hacking and distraction powers in battle.


Anders:

Professor Ellen Anders, Ph.D is a human civilian researcher. She was recruited by the Naval Intelligence Section Three as a consultant in early 2531, and was part of the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire at the time of the ship's disappearance in that year.

Aboard the Spirit of Fire, Anders was loaned the Observation Deck for a workspace, claiming the view of surrounding space "added perspective to her work". Her assigned minder, Sergeant John Forge, was somewhat less agreeable with her, as the two were basically polar opposites and bickered constantly.
After getting some unexpected readings on an EM band in Harvest's north pole, Anders requested that a Hornet squadron en route to Rally Point Baker be diverted to investigate. A large Covenant ground force was subsequently discovered, and Sgt. Forge was dispatched to observe further. A structure of unknown origin on the surface, the target of Covenant excavation, drew her attention, and Anders resolved to investigate further in person, despite protests from Forge. Captain Cutter supported Anders, but ordered that she be extracted should there be any sign of danger. Upon entering the Relic, she uncovered only a holographic map of the Galaxy, not quite "what [she] expected". A Covenant ambush interrupted her examination of the structure, but was successfully repelled by Forge and Anders' Marine personal security detail. After examining the artifact, she realized that the map had led the Covenant to Arcadia, and upon her recommendation, the Spirit of Fire set course to the planet with all due speed.
Before departing Harvest, Anders sent her father an analysis of Homer's Odyssey, actually a coded report of her discoveries, that slipped past ONI censors, leaving the analysis unchanged to her father.

Anders' scientific expertise allows her to field Sentinel units and makes all of her upgrades faster and cheaper.