If a leak published on Reddit is correct, the Halo Wars 2 pre-alpha build may already be in testing, as seen when it accidentally leaked onto the Xbox Store. The game only has a teaser trailer out, and no official release date beyond Fall 2016.
Halo Wars 2 is the sequel to the first Halo Wars game, which came out for the Xbox 360 in 2009. It won praise for being one of the first games on a console to do an RTS game well, and was certainly better than Stormrise, which attempted to do the same in March of that year but failed horribly despite having promising mechanics because of bugs and other technical issues.
Halo Wars 2 is going to be developed by Creative Assembly, the masters of real-time strategy and creators of the Total War franchise. While they also developed Stormrise, they’ve won praise for their console efforts before with Spartan: Total Warrior, Viking: Battle for Asgard, and 2014’s survival horror masterpiece Alien: Isolation.
However, at the same time, the leak should be taken with a grain of salt for a number of reasons. Though the game’s code name, “Hogan,” could just be a developmental thing, there’s no real reason for it considering Halo Wars 2 was announced in August of last year.
The Halo Wars 2 pre-alpha (if that’s what it is) is also being tested by 343 Industries, the developers of Halo. Since Creative Assembly is the primary developer, why does 343 Industries have it when they’re only assisting in the development?
However it goes, Halo Wars 2 is slated to be coming out sometime in the fall of this year. We’ll most likely see some footage of it at E3, and we’ll probably get even more of it as the game gets closer to its release date.
In the meantime, if there’s a Halo Wars 2 pre-alpha build somehow on the Xbox Store, don’t try and download it yourself because I doubt that it’s still there (or, to be honest, if it’s even legitimate.)