Microsoft recently announced that Halo Wars has gone gold and is all set for its release on March 3rd. The game really snuck up on us all quiet-like, eh?

Yes, the Halo real-time strategy game hasn’t garnered a whole lot of attention from the gaming community, but just the name alone will ensure it sells well. Will regular Halo fans dig their favorite series in an RTS setting? Will the controls (built specifically for the Xbox 360) do a better job than most other console RTS ports? Can the guys behind Age of Empires create another classic? One thing’s for certain for this author- I’m way more interested in getting my hands on this game out than the Halo 3 expansion.

Those of us who aren’t completely convinced that this will be a purchase will be helped by an Xbox LIVE public demo that will be available on February 5th (at 2:00am PST, for those of you who need to be on top of it). The demo will come with a tutorial and the first two campaign missions, as well as a multiplayer map (Chasms) for online play. That’s one map out of the 14 (!) included with the final game… good to see they’re not skimping.

For more on Halo Wars check out the latest video on the official Xbox site.