Hello. It's 2013. That's why the next Halo game runs on tablets, has microtransactions and touch controls. It's a top-down dual-(virtual)-analogue shooter. It's canon, nestling between Halo 3 and Halo 4.
It's all combat chopped into short missions, replete with the mix of shooting, grenade-throwing, melee and equipment that's been part of the franchise since Halo 3. Plus vehicles.
And you don't have to use touch controls. Controller support is coming.
And you don't have to play it on a phone or tablet, since it will also run on PC.
And you don't have to use the microtransactions, since you can spend just $US7 on the game and grind your skills to get better instead of paying for an instant boost.
It's just that...
...if you're comfortable riding the currents of modern gaming
...if you're the kind of person who says, "Hey, there have been six Halo first-person shooter games and I think the world could use a change of Halo genre,"
... if you're a kid whose parents block you from Halo games that sport an increasingly-inappropriate M rating and would be excited about this new game because it is merely rated T (like Halo Wars!)
...well then there's just one more thing for you to swallow: the game is coming to a phone you probably don't have (Windows Phone) and an operating system PC gamers love to hate (Windows 8). UPDATE: Not all PC gamers hate Windows 8. Some say it runs games really well. OK... "the operating system some PC gamers love to hate."
Look, I want to be excited about this, but until the people making the game say it's coming to iOS and Android (they're not saying one way or the other, sticking to just what they've announced), it's kind of hard to be.
Official fact sheet:
Title: “Halo: Spartan Assault”
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer(s): 343 Industries and Vanguard Games
Format: Digital download available only for Windows 8 PCs, tablets and Windows Phone 8 devices
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Price: $6.99 ERP1
Availability: July 2013
Product Overview: Available only for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, “Halo: Spartan Assault” is a new top-down action shooter that brings a “Halo” video game to touch-based devices for the first time in franchise history. Developed by 343 Industries in conjunction with Vanguard Games, “Halo: Spartan Assault” provides an accessible, pick-up-and-play experience for fans and newcomers alike.
Set between the events of “Halo 3” and “Halo 4,” “Halo: Spartan Assault” is a new chapter of the award-winning “Halo” universe that explores the first missions of the Spartan Ops program and dives deeper into the backstory of Human-Covenant wars. Play through the eyes of either Commander Sarah Palmer or Spartan Davis stationed aboard the UNSC Infinity as they fight never-before-seen battles against Covenant forces.
With rich storytelling, intuitive controls, and best-in-class action, audio and graphics, “Halo: Spartan Assault” brings the epic scale and action of the “Halo” universe to mobile devices through unrivalled action and intensity.
Features: Top features include the following:
- · Original “Halo” gameplay. An action-packed, single-player campaign spanning 25 missions in battles never before experienced in the Halo Universe, all played from a top-down camera view
- · New and immersive storyline. An original story set between the events of “Halo 3” and “Halo 4,” experience a new war with the Covenant, the first missions of the Spartan Ops program and the rise of Commander Sarah Palmer, all with best-in-class graphics and audio
- · Built for simplicity. A unique fusion of touch and consolelike controls for easy pick-up-and-play gaming, with the added flexibility of keyboard and mouse controls on Windows 8 PCs and tablets2
- · Integration with “Halo 4.” Earn experience points (XP), all-new Achievements, and unlock emblems for your “Halo 4” Spartan career, with additional integration features available after laun
- · Nonstop competitive fun. Compete against friends in Leaderboards or hone your skills against an onslaught of Weekly Challenges while collecting more than 40 in-game Achievements and Med
- · In-app purchases. Grind to earn upgrades or speed up your training by purchasing credits for boosts, unique weapons or armour abilitie
- · Only on Windows. Available only on Windows 8 PCs and tablets and Windows Phone 8 devices.