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.
It's bad enough that it isn't on the Xbox 360, but its even worse that the only OS it works with is Windows 8. Would it really have been that difficult to make it compatible with Windows 7 as well? I'm not "upgrading" to Windows 8 for just one game.
I miss when I got excited about a new halo game. I got into video games because of Halo CE, it's personally sad for me to see Microsoft do this to Halo; it deserves better than this. I've already made the decision after playing Halo 4 I'm finished with Xbox and am moving to playstation instead.
Sounds like a great game.... its just on the wrong freaking platform!
I don't think the company is letting down it's core gaming base. This isn't a big AAA FPS. But having it be an exclusive for the PC on Windows 8 sounds ridiculous to me. I refuse to upgrade from windows 7 to 8!
That being said i like the idea and it looks like it could be fun. I'll be waiting for it to come out on another platform.
I like the concept and like how the Halo universe keeps expanding. I don't like the Windows 8 release idea.
I agree JeffM. I love the idea of this game but am dumbfounded by the platform decision. I hope you are right in that a XBLA release will happen.
Here's what I think: I want to play a Halo game. I'm willing to put up with Windows 8. This isn't a Halo game -- it's just a top down shooter with the IP being freely used. Halo 3. Is that so hard to understand? We've been beating the dead horse for over half a decade. Halo 4 and Reach are what sells the Xbox 360 these days, so you can't even use that as an excuse. I even heard there was apparently some controversy about whether or not Halo Anniv. would release on PC. Just give us something that's actually a core title, Microsoft. I think if you give us Halo 3 and maybe ODST as DLC and/or Halo Wars, we'll be good. You can keep Reach and Halo 4 as your exclusives, just give us the finale to the unfinished trilogy you left PC fans with. We put up with -Vista- to play Halo 2. I don't think we're asking a lot here.
I am pretty sure by the time this game comes out for xbox one, they will make a game exclusively on Windows 9
That needs to be the surprise announcement at E3: all Windows 8 games will be cross compatible. Make it so!
Well so much for my hopes of another RTS like Halo Wars. I cant believe they decided to put chose to put aside the TV show and Halo 5 even just for a little bit to make this game.
Gay!!! 343 use your resources on a spin-off that I actually want to play! Make a game in the early years of the Covenant War or even before the Covenant War in the perspective of Sgt. Johnson; make him have badass one liners and laser eyes!!! That's a game I would play other then Halo 5; hell that's a game I would by the Xbox One for!
I too am boggled by the fact that xbox 360 is not first on the list of available platforms. I will patiently await it's arrival. Halo 5 will be out probably in the launch window of xbox one. we will see next week
The game looks cool for a mobile platform, but I'll be interested in how well it ties in Halo lore.
Maybe it's going to be one of the new games announced at E3! Of course that would be so dumb not to just announce it when they announced the Windows 8 version.
I don't know. While reading this article I was thinking this looked pretty cool and a good mix up from all the FPS on the market... only to read further that I wouldn't be able to play it (initially). Fingers crossed that I'll be able to play it in the future. (To be honest I was really hoping for a Halo Wars sequel even though I knew Ensemble no longer existed. I thought maybe 343 would develop a sequel).
Making it exclusive to windows tablets is a poor business decision. They would make more money by putting it on ipad and android too. No one is going to buy a windows tablet just for this game.
Yay more GAYlo!