Halo Wars coming in the first half of 2009

After it was a no show at this year’s Microsoft E3 presser, some people began to wonder when exactly we might be getting are hands on the hotly anticipated Halo Wars. Some speculation pointed to a release date as far out as 2010, but last week lead designer David Pottinger revealed to 1UP that the game will not be pushed back into 2010, but will in fact be ready for release in the first half of 2009.

Perhaps in an effort to put our mind at ease, Microsoft and Ensemble have released two new Halo Wars trailers, the first (above), entitled “5 Long Years” is fully rendered in CGI and tells the story of the arduous undertaking to free the planet Harvest from the grips of the Covenant. The second (below) of the trailers is the real treat, because it’s actual gameplay footage and shows off some pretty visceral action, and if it’s any indication of the final game we’re in for a truly epic Halo experience. Not enough? Then head over to our Halo Wars gallery and check out 12 new images, both CGI stills and in-game screenshots, as well.

[See also: Halo Wars gallery]