Halo Wars 2 Ending Explained
Halo Wars 2 - Atriox
(Last Updated On: February 21, 2017)

Microsoft, Creative Assembly and 343 Industries have finally delivered the sequel to Halo Wars. With Halo Wars 2 for Xbox One and PC, the game offers players plenty of answers in terms of what happened to the crew at the end of the first game when they exited from the Shield World, but it also leaves plenty of questions in terms of where they’re going next, and sets up Halo fans on what to expect from Halo 6.

Halo Wars 2 starts with the Spirit of Fire’s crew coming out of cryosleep after 28 years. They were pulled through a slipstream portal toward a giant space structure known as the Ark, which is controlled by a Covenant outcast named Atriox. The Spirit of Fire crew they find themselves out-teched and out-gunned by the Brute Atriox, which becomes readily apparent after they send a small Spartan team to investigate the surface of the Ark where Atriox personally attacks the Spartans, wounding them in the process.

Despite being overwhelmed by Atriox’s forces, the Spartans manage to escape the bunker after retrieving an AI named Isabel, who explains to them that Atriox is a fierce warrior who has been through countless battles. He and his men were originally meant to be expendable under Covenant command, but instead Atriox rebelled and recruited mercenaries, criminals and other disillusioned Covenant forces to join him, they became known as the Banished. He plans on using the Ark to not only take out the humans, but also destroy the remains of the Covenant forces as well.

Halo Wars 2 - Halo Ring

Captain James Cutter from the Spirit of Fire is warned by Isabel that his carrier and crew are no match for Atriox and his army, but Cutter decides to use hit-and-run tactics against Atriox’s second-in-command, Decimus, eventually weakening them with small skirmishes. Eventually they manage to take out the controls for the Ark’s inter-system portal mechanisms while also defeating Decimus and his troops. Atriox had been using the portals to quickly send his troops around the Ark, and without it his forces can no longer quickly get to the Spirit of Fire’s ground forces.

Atriox retaliates by sending a carrier to attack the Spirit of Fire, destroying their weapon systems in the process. While Cutter and the rest of the crew still don’t know exactly what he’s up to, they hatch a plan to have Isabel and the Spartan team infiltrate the carrier. But first they plan on wiping out the Banished operating base underneath the carrier and then use Isabel to take command of the carrier after being carried on board by the leader of Red Team, Spartan Jerome.

The plan is successful, and Cutter’s forces manage to cut through the Banished’s outpost, securing a teleporter into the carrier where Jerome allows Isabel to take command of the carrier’s weapon systems. She uses the Banished’s carrier to attack an old Forerunner station on the Ark. The plan works and the Forerunner Sentinels emerge from within the Ark to attack the carrier. Isabel goads the Sentinels to cut through the ship, splitting it in half while Spartan Jerome and Isabel make an escape.

This move infuriates Atriox, who quickly diverts his attention to a Halo ring that Isabel and professor Anders pulled up from the Ark, doing so in hopes of using it to teleport back into UNSC space.

Halo Wars 2 - Guardian

Atriox, however, plans on using the Halo ring as a weapon; Cutter plans on using the Halo as a way to warn the rest of the UNSC about Atriox. A battle ensues for control of the Halo, with Spartans Alice, Jerome and Douglas helping lead the charge to take the control room at all costs.

While a massive fight ensues, professor Anders is escorted to the control room of the Halo ring where she manages to open a worm hole but she doesn’t have time to leave the ring, and she ends up teleporting with the ring within range of UNSC forces. Before the Halo ring teleports, Anders promises to return for the Spirit of Fire and the rest of the crew.

Captain Cutter, Red Team and the rest of the Spirit of Fire make plans to hold out for a few more weeks while waiting for Anders and additional help to return. Meanwhile Atriox is angered that Isabel and Anders managed to steal a Halo ring from the Ark, and gathers his massive army for an attack. The game fades out as the credits roll.

In a post credits scene professor Anders is seen exiting the Halo’s control room and walking through the forest on the Halo’s surface, only to see one of the massive Guardians in the sky that Cortana unleashed at the end of Halo 5: Guardians.


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Phasmatis75

    Sounds like a disaster like 5 was. Thanks for the rundown.

    • Actually… the story itself was really short. They didn’t do much or go anywhere. However, it was portrayed in a way that was very similar in tone to the original Halo: Combat Evolved… in fact, that’s what it most reminded me of.

      • Phasmatis75

        Presentation wise it looks okay. I can’t argue against it, I’m talking more context wise, but it’s not its fault it is stuck in 343’s Halo verse.

        • Oh well yeah… you can tell Blur and Creative Assembly are desperately trying to salvage the hot mess that 343 created since Halo 4. I don’t think it will ever be great again unless they bring in a new and more passionate team who really understands what made Halo popular to begin with.

          • Phasmatis75

            I mean yeah credit where credit is do, I’d at least be willing to play their game, which is more than I can say about the train wrecks that have been the main series.

            Cortona is now the villain, previous lore doesn’t matter. I’m sure you’ve seen the comparison video between 343 and bungie. Yeah 343 killed Halo. Smartest thing to do would be to declare everything past reach non canon and start over, but that would just be the nail in the coffin for the series.

          • I wouldn’t have minded if Cortana was the villain if they had maintained that she was still corrupt… flawed, or some distorted representation of that. I could have been okay with that.

            I also wouldn’t have minded if Locke was an alt main character to Chief but they made him a ruthless, conniving, untrustworthy, killer who was loyal only to ONI. This would have made for one really epic showdown.

            Instead, 343 seems to be writing Halo like freaking fan fiction from Tumblr.

          • Phasmatis75

            Agreed it’s all one giant mess. They tried to be edgy in 4 with digital consciousness and then screwed it up. Only to then 180 back to the enemies were just super evolved servant races. (with zero originality to their design).

            Then in 5 and you’ll have to excuse me I haven’t played the games because 1) the xbox one doesn’t have anything I’d consider worth playing other than a handful of also on PC titles and 2) 343 are horrible developers. That aside then they go with Cortona is rampant and survived the ending of Halo 4 (which should have killed both her and Master Chief based on lore on those light bridges and physics in general). Then someone she convinces all the AI to turn on humanity except for a handful of them and shockingly 1) we didn’t have fail safes in place 2) they weren’t able to go you know what, no that’s just stupid to Cortona.

            I think Microsoft is entirely displeased with how the series has shaped up. It used to be their console pusher now outside people who own xbox one it’s consider a laughing stock that just gets worse with each iteration. When handed away from 343 surprisingly something decent can be developed, but it’s largely too late for the franchise.

          • Jordan Krumrey

            Halo 4 story was absolutely fine and was IMO the strongest of the main series games (took until game 4 to get some actual character development!…well, outside of the Arbiter). Halo 5 story was fubar, however. It showed clear signs of re-writes and failed to continue the path that Halo 4 set forth on, which is unfortunate. Halo 5 oozed of outside interference from Microsoft if you ask me. Based on the Hunt the Truth series and the Halo 5 marketing campaign, it seemed 343 had a direction they wanted to go with Halo 5 and had to scrap it at the last minute for some reason or another. Because the final product of Halo 5 does not align with what they were seemingly building in to.

            I will say this, between the disappointment of Halo 5 campaign and Halo: Escalation series, I am losing faith in 343 real fast after what I thought was a good start with Halo 4 campaign, Hunt the Truth, and Spartan Ops

          • Phasmatis75

            Well since objective reality is still a thing that trumps subjective reality you are simple wrong based solely on metrics and objective standards. As a future reference, your feels do not quantify as a legitimate argument.

          • Jordan Krumrey

            Wrong about what? What a terrible reply on your part. It’s kind of hard to be wrong about an opinion. As for Halo 4 it’s campaign was generally very well received if that is what you are referring to as being wrong.

          • Phasmatis75

            Actually you can in fact hold a wrong opinion. There is a difference between “I liked this” and “this has X quality”. Simply put saying it’s your opinion does not shield it from examination or criticism. Nor does it make it right by default. Hence Objective verses Subjective reality.

            I’m also going to guess you’re a millennial. Am I right?