- “Halo Wars is set in the year 2531 right as UNSC forces retake a planet called Harvest from the alien Covenant. The story of Halo Wars is told through the eyes and ears of the crew aboard Spirit of Fire, a UNSC support vessel. As the ship approaches the planet Harvest to begin a dangerous and urgent mission, Captain Cutter reflects on the long and bloody battle to retake Harvest from the Covenant...”
Five Long Years is a Halo Wars trailer released on the July 14, 2008 depicting the five-year-long struggle to reclaim Harvest from the Covenant. It is also the introductory cinematic of the game.
- Cutter: "Captain's report, February 4th, 2531. Five years. Five long years. That's how long it took us to get Harvest back."
(Several marines race through a battlefield and are successfully gunning down a group of oncoming Elites. A Marine gets killed when a nearby wall explodes and debris and plasma engulf him. The surviving Marines recover quickly and start to move forward.)
- Marine: "Go, go, go!"
(They confront a Lance of slowly advancing Elites whom are separated by a wall of debris, a few of the marines yell out as they arrive. One Marine quickly joins in and starts to fire upon the Elites, only to be shot by a plasma bolt to the chest.
- Marine: "I've been hit!"
- Marine: "Keep firing!"
(Three marines fire their weapons. The camera then cuts to a shot of several Pelican dropships arriving with several Warthogs racing through the drop zone. Marines then charge out of one of the landed Pelicans. There is a cut to a Marine hitting an Elite from behind, so that it falls down and is shot dead by another Marine. Then it cuts to a panorama, showing nine Marines cheering and a Warthog overlooking the battlefield; a destroyed city with a burning Covenant Destroyer in the distant sky, presumably shot down by UNSC forces.)
- Cutter: "At first, it was going well."
[Fade to Black]
- Cutter: "Then setback after setback..."
(An Elite pierces a Marine with its Energy Sword. UNSC troops are overwhelmed by plasma fired by Elites and Banshees. The camera then cuts to a scene where three Elites jump over a crumbled wall, the two in the background wielding plasma rifles, the one in the foreground activating two energy swords.)
- Cutter: "... loss after loss..."
(Two Covenant Destroyers begin to glass Harvest)
- Cutter: "... made what was going to be a quick and decisive win..."
(A surviving Marine attempts to crawl to safety when an Elite approaches and slaughters him with his Energy Sword.)
- Cutter: "... into five years of Hell."
(Camera turns toward the skies and another ship appears and activates its energy weapon. White follows.)
- The trailer is 1 minute and 29 seconds long.
- The marine who is killed by the Banshee screams the Wilhelm scream as he dies.
- The trailer was made available for free on the Xbox Live Marketplace on July 19, 2008.
- The Pelicans have the Legendary symbol on the nose of their hulls.