I really enjoy playing Halo. I have logged countless hours in Halo 3 and now Halo 4. In Halo 4 alone, my total play time currently at 2 days, 15 hours and 40 minutes. And Ragnarok is my favorite map (which I played heavily in Halo 3 as the Valhalla map). So as you can imagine, when we announced Halo: Spartan Assault in June, I got pretty excited. And today, Halo: Spartan Assault is now available for download for $6.99 (U.S.) in the Windows Store.
Late last week, I was given the opportunity to give Halo: Spartan Assault a try and installed it on my Dell XPS 10 tablet. Halo: Spartan Assault will work with many of the great Windows 8 tablets today – including Surface RT and Surface Pro.
From a storyline perspective, the game takes place between Halo 3 and Halo 4 with the first missions of the Spartan Ops program – diving deeper into the backstory of Human-Covenant wars. You play as either Commander Sarah Palmer or Spartan Davis stationed aboard the UNSC Infinity and you battle against Covenant forces with 25 missions (as part of 5 operations with 5 missions each). As you play, you can compete against friends in Leaderboards, take on Weekly Challenges and earn more than 40 in-game Achievements and Medals accruing to your gamerscore and Halo Waypoint career.
On a tablet, the game is played with your thumbs which sort of mimics how you would use an Xbox controller which made it super easy to learn how to move about in the game (however, you can also play with a mouse and keyboard too). Your left thumb will move you around in the game while your right thumb is used to fire your weapons and the opposing enemies you will run in to as you play missions.
Halo: Spartan Assault feels like a Halo game – which you might not expect for a top-down action shooter on a tablet. There are a lot of familiar elements in Halo: Spartan Assault if you’ve played Halo on the Xbox previously. The music that starts playing when you first begin the game is the first sign of Halo awesomeness. I immediately smiled when the storyline began to unfold. When you select a mission, you first stop at the “Armory” where you choose your “loadout” (a primary weapon and secondary weapon) as well as armor ability and “boosters” – just like you would in Halo 4.
You can purchase within the game “credits” for boosts, unique weapons and armor abilities you would pick in the Armory.
Also like in Halo 4, as you play Halo: Spartan Assault you earn experience points (XP). Even as you play the game, you’ll notice your radar at the top left for approaching enemies – something also seen in Halo 4.
And Halo: Spartan Assault also integrates with Halo 4. Not only will you be able to earn 50,000 XP towards your Spartan career in Halo 4 (I have work to do here), but you will also unlock a unique emblem for your Spartan career. Additionally, as you play Halo: Spartan Assault, you will unlock exclusive bonus content in the Halo 4 “Champions Bundle” or “Bullseye Pack” (available Aug. 20th), including a new weapon skin, two armor skins and a Spartan stance.
Halo: Spartan Assault is absolutely fun – whether you’re heavy into Halo already or not. You will find me playing this game quite a bit – especially when my fiancée’ wants to spend “quality time” together watching wedding shows on TV. “I’m paying attention honey, I promise!”
For more on Halo: Spartan Assault and other hot apps for Windows 8, see this page on Windows.com!