Get ready for duty, Spartan
The next chapter in the Halo saga doesnt star Master Chief, isnt a first-person shooter, and isnt 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 didnt 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, theyll 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 youre only playing as one character--sort of like League of Legends, except, you know, youre shooting aliens.
Itll 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.
Check out the following slides for additional images and more information.
Environments are varied and alien.
Vehicles play a major role in Spartan Assault.
You're not the only one on the battlefield, other AI roam the arenas.
Cinematics are well-animated.
...and there are a lot of them.
Turrets, shields... everything you love about Halo's world is here.
You can still get kill medals, like a "Killtastrophe!"
Expect to see guns you know, and some you don't.
You'll explore Forerunner environments throughout the game.
Mission scores give you plenty of reasons to keep playing.
Killing frenzy! Riding in the big vehicles is really cool.
Vehicle battles epitomize the "sandbox" style of gameplay.
Hornets are also going to show up during some missions.
The visual style looks very similar to classic Halo games.
Smoke trails and explosions make the world feel alive.
The production value is off the charts, especially when compared to other top-down shooters.
Look at that rocket. Just look at it.
So many wraiths, so many things to blow up.