Here's Halo, but maybe not the Halo you were looking for. Announcing Halo: Spartan Assault, a top-down action shooter developed by Vanguard Games in conjuction with 343 Studios. However, this one's not coming to the Xbox 360 or Xbox One -- Halo: Spartan Assault is exclusive to Windows 8 devices and the Windows Phone 8. Not exactly the Halo we were expecting from E3 this year, but I imagine we'll take it.
Where does Halo: Spartan Assault fit into the big picture? Well, Spartan Assault takes place between Halo 3 and 4, where you take on the role of either Commander Sarah Palmer or Spartan Davis aboard the USS Infinity as they participate in never-before-seen battles with the Covenant. Here are the bullet-point features that Microsoft put in their press release:
- 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, 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 armor abilitie
- Only on Windows. Available only on Windows 8 PCs and tablets and Windows Phone 8 devices.
If you're one of the lucky minority who invested in a Windows 8 upgrade for their PC, or purchased a Windows 8 tablet or phone, then you're getting a special Halo present straight from 343 and Microsoft. If you're one of the majority and haven't even thought about Windows 8 then well, now you have to think about upgrading purely because Microsoft thinks an exclusive Halo game is the only way to get the platform to sell.
Halo: Spartan Assault will be a available in July later this year for the low price of $6.99, via download only.
Announcement trailer - YouTube