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For those who haven't seen the Halo: Spartan Assault trailer or any of the announcements on it: Halo: Spartan Assault is the first mobile Halo game designed for any Windows 8 devices including the Windows Surface, the Windows 8 phone, and any laptop or desktop running the Windows 8 OS. The game itself is a twin-stick top down arcade shooter which seems to have been heavily influenced by Halo 4 and Halo Wars. The story line focuses on Commander Palmer's early days, following the events of Halo 3, where members of the Covenant have broken a ceasefire treaty between the Humans and the Sangheili, resulting in a UNSC military response - with the conclusion of this conflict not ending well for either party. Players will step into simulators, much like those seen in War Games, in order to play through Commander Palmer's past conflicts as a series of advanced training regimes, whilst at the same time unlocking a wealth of knowledge on the foundation of the infamous SPARTAN-IV program. The game is currently being developed in tandem by 343 Industries and Vanguard Games, with a projected release of THIS July on the Windows store for the price of $6.99.
My first impressions were awe and excitement. Halo, Microsoft's flagship franchise, had finally moved from it's long seated position on the Xbox to other platforms AND without any errors or difficulties. Granted, at the moment they are still only Microsoft platforms but the change is still a landmark occasion, and a possible sign of further expansion (hold faith Apple junkies). From my experience of the first few missions, Halo: Spartan Assault was perfectly designed for the Windows Surface and also worked great on the Windows 8 mobile devices offered for demo. The movement was really smooth, and after a quick view of the layout and spawn points I went from walking into walls and shooting my ammo reserves into a fully fledged Spartan capable of slaughtering multiple slit-lips and grunts with great speed and ease. The menu and navigation through the game was quick, smooth, and simple, unlike multiple mobile arcade games I've encountered in the past where a maze of options and questions seem to block your access to the next mission. But, what was even more impressive than the satisfying sound of legions of Covenant falling to their death, was the customization available in the game. Players could customize their primary and secondary slots with other favored Halo weapons such as the sniper rifle, the rocket launcher, or the spartan laser. The game also included amour abilities and power ups like those seen in Halo 4, which gave a unique edge to the combat and game play; allowing players to customize their role in the game from straight up aggressive combat to defensive and tactical maneuverability.
Overall I have to say I'm really impressed with Halo: Spartan Assault, it's easy lag free play-ability and great story-line which slots itself perfectly into the standing Halo story-line without any conflicts has made it a great success. I'm definitely buying this game when it's released, though the real question is, will you and other Halo fans be buying it too? or is the restricted number of devices too off putting to invest in such an awesome game?