(Written for the video version)
Halo Wars is a real-time strategy game made by Ensemble Studios. This was the first venture outside of the first-person shooter genre and with a company other than Bungie Studios. The writing is cornier than ever, though the dialog never quite tops Halo 3’s “to war”, and despite involving epic things like a Dyson sphere contained in a planet, it’s actually a very simplistic story. It’s a prequel to the main trilogy, set twenty years prior to the events of Halo: Combat Evolved.
It starts out with Captain Cutter of the ship Spirit of Fire narrating about how hard it’s been to reclaim the planet Harvest from the Covenant. Despite the UNSC feeling they own it now, they’re still fighting Covenant off the surface. He then talks to the ship’s AI, Serina, about preparing for dropping troops.
Serina is probably my favorite character in the game, an aloof and sarcastic AI who lampshades some of the cornier aspects of the plot. Her avatar design is much less sexual than Cortana’s. While Cortana’s a naked hologram, Serina wears a normal outfit. She comes off as just a woman, a digital member of the crew, in contrast to Cortana’s appearance setting her apart from the others, though they considered Serina’s clothes having a similar style at one point.