Building off of the hit franchise and 18 months in the making, Halo: Spartan Assault is Microsoft’s attempt to capitalize off of the famous first shooter game for mobile. Instead of just “porting” the FPS model over though, a paradigm that is difficult to translate onto tablets and smartphones, Microsoft and 343 Industries opted for a third-person overhead view, which is more arcade style. The game’s timeline takes place in the four years between Halo 3 and 4.
In addition, the developers spent months honing game play to make the frame rate as high (and smooth) as possible and just as importantly, ensured that the game controls were fluid and flexible. From our last 24 hours playing with it, we can confirm that as a “casual gamer”, we found the game highly accessible and extremely well-polished.
From the game description:
“Halo: Spartan Assault brings the excitement of Halo combat to touch-based devices for the very first time. Battle your way through 25 action-packed missions against the Covenant as you explore the origin of the Spartan Ops program and Halo 4's Spartan Commander, Sarah Palmer.”
And don’t let those 25 missions fool you as Halo: Spartan Assault isn’t a one-off game for Microsoft, but rather the beginning of this game’s story. In the future, we can expect more missions and add on packs to be released, ensuring the game’s longevity long after you beat all of those levels (2.5 hours of gameplay).
In addition to Windows Phone 8, the game is also available for Windows 8 PCs and Tablets (including RT), scaling up the action to your larger screened devices.
- 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 console-like controls for easy pick-up-and-play gaming, with the added flexibility of keyboard and mouse controls on Windows 8 PCs and tablets.
- 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 launch.
- 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 Medals.
- Only on Windows. Available only on Windows 8 PCs and tablets and Windows Phone 8 devices.
Finally, the game also supports optional in-app purchasing to gain more credits (credits are earned with normal game play too). We wrote about the IAP system back in June, noting:
“Those credits can be spent on different equipment to customize your loadout with prior to starting a level. Loudouts include both primary and secondary weapons, armor abilities, and boosters. A few armor abilities we know of: a health regeneration field, overshield, and sprinting. As for boosters, they make the game easier to play by increasing the damage that players deal and other beneficial effects.”
Overall, Halo: Spartan Assault for Windows Phone 8 was a worthwhile wait. Microsoft and Windows fans finally have a notch on their belt of one more “must have” game and the title should appeal to everyone from casual gamers to the hardcore user.
Pick up Halo: Spartan Assault here in the Store for $6.99. Windows Phone 8 only, 1GB of RAM, 691 MB.
In the US, restricted to Verizon wireless customers only for 30-days. 512MB devices to receive support in August, 2013.
Head to the Windows Phone Central game zone to discuss Halo:Spartan Assault, get help or look for tips! forums.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-games