Artist releases material from a reportedly scrapped ‘Halo Wars 3’ pitch

Microsoft and Creative Assembly released Halo Wars 2 earlier in 2017 and while the strategy game helped move the universe’s story in a new direction and saw the return of some of our favorite characters, it didn’t impress us like the original did. A third game is likely a few years away, but scrapped artwork reportedly created for a sequel has us hoping Microsoft gives it the green light.

Creative Assembly senior concept artist Brad Wright posted several detailed pieces of artwork on the website Art Station, showing off a variety of spaceships and massive battles between the United Nation Space Command and Covenant fleets. While we’ve seen space battles in the shooter Halo: Reach, they haven’t been featured in either Halo Wars game.

“We did some proposals for Halo Wars 3,” Wright said, according to a Eurogamer report. “I had to introduce space battles into the game style, as well as having your capital ship as your home base to prep your ground forces.”

The quote has since been removed, and the images are now attributed to Halo Wars 2 on the Art Station page.

A few of the images show off highlighted areas of UNSC ships, which seem to correspond to the interior rather than areas on its hull. Presumably, this version of the game would have featured base management similar to Fallout Shelter, instead of the mission-to-mission structure of the first two games.

Upgrade options can also be seen, with the “port engine” capable of taking a thruster surge module or a new coolant venting system. On “bridge command,” we can also see options for communications systems, the engine, as well as the MAC cannon — this weapon is what larger ships typically fire at enemy Covenant fleets in other Halo games and books.

Creative Assembly took the reigns on Halo Wars 2, with the original game developed by the now-defunct Ensemble Studios. When Halo Wars‘ development began, it was envisioned as a new intellectual property for Ensemble. Microsoft ultimately decided to insert it into the Halo universe, which is fitting, as the first Halo actually began its life as a strategy game. You can read a whole lot more about Halo Wars and Ensemble’s ultimate fate in the book Blood, Sweat, and Pixels.

Another canceled Halo game surfaced recently, though it was quite different from anything we’ve seen in the series thus far. Developed the N-Space, Halo Mega Bloks would have been a third-person action game made entirely of the plastic building toys. We’ll still cross our fingers for it to make it to players eventually.

Halo Wars 2 is now available for Xbox One and Windows 10.