Since the conclusion of the original Halo Wars seven years ago, we’ve followed the Master Chief on his numerous adventures, relived the harrowing tale of Noble Team, witnessed the rise of the Prometheans and watched Cortana take on a new mantle. All the while the UNSC Spirit of Fire and her crew remained both literally and figuratively in stasis.

Now, after years of planning, development and community support, we’ll soon rejoin that fabled crew on their next adventure in Halo Wars 2. To learn more about the game’s journey from concept to near-release, we spoke with members of the team at 343 Industries and Creative Assembly about the new villain Atriox, the innovative Blitz game mode and how honest (and critical) feedback has helped keep the team on target.

Read more: From Concept to Release, the Journey of Halo Wars 2 - Xbox Wire