The lights are on
Today's announcement of Halo:
Spartan Assault introduced gamers to a surprising change for the series.
However, I'm less concerned with the shift in genres as I am the platform it
was announced for.
Halo: Spartan Assault is a top-down twin-stick shooter set
between Halo 3 and Halo 4. Players take on the role of either Commander Sarah
Palmer or Spartan Davis over 25 campaign missions in all-new battles between
the UNSC and Covenant forces. Despite being a downloadable title, Spartan
Assault appears to offer all the things a Halo fan could want: An XP system,
unlockable weapons, customizable load-outs, vehicular combat, and a variety of
leaderboards, Achievements, and medals. Playing the game can even earn you XP,
Achievements, and emblems in Halo 4.
I'm all for Microsoft and 343 Industries experimenting with
different genres for its flagship series, and the top-down shooter genre seems
like a perfect fit for some uncomplicated Halo action. Our own Tim Turi got a
chance to play Spartan Assault, and walked away impressed. So what's the
Nothing – unless you're an Xbox 360 owner, as the announcement
for Halo: Spartan Assault revealed that the game is coming exclusively to
Windows 8 PCs, tablets, and Windows Phone 8 devices. I understand that
Microsoft dreams of a world where everyone chooses Windows products over Apple
and Android, but why on earth would you not also release the game for the
console you already have on the market (which could always use more first-party
games), and the console you're going to release later this year?
I'm going to go ahead and assume that a future XBLA release of
Halo: Spartan Assault is inevitable, and that the insistence on Windows 8
exclusivity is only a short-term attempt to drum up gaming interest for
Microsoft's other platforms. If that's the case, however, the charade seems
ill-timed. Last month's Xbox One reveal was criticized by core gamers (and even
developers) for focusing on television, sports, and other multimedia
capabilities instead of games. We all assume that's a mistake Microsoft plans
to correct at E3 next week, but in the meantime the company announces a
surprise Halo game and doesn't make a single mention of Xbox 360 or Xbox One?
That doesn't strike me as the way to win back alienated gamers – or convince
Halo fans to take a chance on a new side project.
What do you think? Are you ready for a twin-stick Halo game,
or do you think 343 Industries should focus on Halo 5 instead? Is the game's Windows 8
exclusivity a smart move by Microsoft to draw tablet and Windows Phone owners
into gaming? Or is the company letting down its core gaming base? Share your
thoughts in the comments below.
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
Looks cool, but this game won't sell well on those platforms (windows 8 devices).
I think they should of made Halo Wars 2.
Pretty neat. Not my genre, but pretty neat. The whole thing about Xbox One not focusing on games is the entire point, though, not some "mistake" they're going to fix. It has been known for a while (and often cited by this publication) that Microsoft plans for Xbox to become an all-in-one multimedia entertainment device, and just as many people use Xboxes to watch Netflix as play games.
The fact that its a Windows 8 game should tell you how people feel about it.
I was very excited to hear that this would be for the PC...
And then they said Windows 8.
i think microsoft is doing a good job of stalling for the halo 5 announcement
This has to be marketed to people who already have Windows 8. Because Microsoft can't possibly believe that a $7 Halo game is enough of an incentive to spend $120 on a Windows 8 upgrade. Right?
Windows 8 is the latest operating system, complainers should stop being backwards luddites.
I Personally am disappointed. I had thought Halo: Spartan Assault was going to be the next Halo wars.
Halo fans are going to have a ***-fit...expect the 360 announcement sooner-than-later
IS MS in the business of pissing on gamers, lately?
I don't play twin stick shooters. And I have zero interest in using win 8 anything.
I'd like them to focus on 5, but if they can make them both good, go for it.
Sad attempt at trying to make their tablet anything but a total flop. Nothing more to it. Whether we're talking tablets or phones they just took too long catching up to Apple and Google.
microsoft keeps screwing themselves...
want it but ill wait for xbla release
I agree with everything you said Marchiafava. I'm sure it will come to the Xbox at some point, but leaving out their core platform during the game's launch is a rather dumb move in my opinion. This game will not sell Windows 8 devices so keeping it off of the Xbox only serves to disappoint Halo fans such as myself. I look forward to playing it as an XBLA title eventually, but currently it feels like I just got screwed by Microsoft. Not nice Microsoft, not nice at all.
I'am a big Halo fan so it has me interested but like I said on the original reveal article I have no device that runs windows 8.