The next chapter in the Halo saga doesn’t star Master Chief, isn’t a first-person shooter, and isn’t coming to consoles. 343 Industries’ Halo: Spartan Assault is a top-down, two-stick shooter coming to Windows Phones and Windows 8, and it puts Spartan Sarah Palmer in the starring role.
343 didn’t just settle for dropping a Spartan into an arcade shooter--it is attempting to merge the franchise with the genre to create something unique. As such, it has the typical sandbox feel of a Halo game, with massive, beautiful environments filled with enemies to kill, items to pick up, and secrets to explore. If you see a vehicle, you can jump in and drive around; if you find a group of allies, they’ll fight alongside you. Though it controls like a two-stick shooter (fairly well on a touch-screen device), Spartan Assault looks and feels more like a real-time strategy game where you’re only playing as one character--sort of like League of Legends, except, you know, you’re shooting aliens.
It’ll tie in with the Halo fiction, as well. Spartan Assault is framed as a training tool, with Spartan prospects aboard the Infinity using it to get a glimpse into important battles in order to gain the knowledge they need to wear the armor. The story-driven campaign will pull players through 25 missions, expanding on the story between Halo 3 and 4 and fleshing out the Halo universe. Playing will also unlock exclusive Halo 4 content, giving Halo fans a reason to fire up their Windows 8-powered PC or device. You know, if they have them.
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