In a recent blog post on Halo Waypoint, Jeremy Cook and Kevin Grace, art and story leads for Halo Wars 2 respectively, talked about the upcoming RTS launching on both Xbox One and Windows 10.
Cook explained how for the art direction they wanted to hit a balance between familiar and new, by both keeping recognizable personalities of units and vehicles and still keeping the ability to discertain between them when zoomed out. With Halo Wars 2 they also needed to match Halo’s sense of scale, which is done by using the camera’s perspective to give glimpses into the endless chasms of Forerunner technology.
As for the Brute faction The Banished they had to keep the Covenant past intact, if modified to match the Brute aesthetic of spikes and bombastic plasma weapons running at max. They will be easy to tell from the more refined USNC faction, who roll in with Pelicans dropping off clean looking Warthogs and other vehicles.
Grace got to speak about how Halo Wars 2 brings Captain Cutter and the Spirit of Fire back to The Ark structure, last seen in Halo 3. He didn’t get into too many details but did call out the leader of The Banished, a Jiralhanae named Atriox who is both, “a tactical genius and physical powerhouse. [he] really is in many ways the personification of the chaos currently gripping the Halo universe…“