Halo: Spartan Assault
|Halo: Spartan Assault|
Halo: Spartan Assault is an isometric shooter video game developed by Vanguard Games in collaboration with 343 Industries; it is the eighth game in the Halo series. Originally designed and released for Microsoft Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, enhanced ports of the game are upcoming for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Set between the events of Halo 3 and Halo 4, the game features 25 missions that tell the story of the SPARTAN-IV Program's earliest operations. The game went by the codename "Bootcamp" prior to its official announcement. Spartan Assault was released on July 18, 2013 for Windows 8. The complete version of the game (including all DLC) will be released on December 24, 2013 for Xbox One and in January 2014 for Xbox 360.
 Plot summary
Set sometime between March 2553 and July 2557, Halo: Spartan Assault explores the SPARTAN-IVs' first Spartan Ops during the Battle of Draetheus V. This battle is part of the second war between the UNSC and the remnants of the Covenant, which is still being waged during the events of Halo 4. The story unfolds through the UNSC TACSIM, a historical computer simulation which the SPARTAN-IVs use for combat analysis and training, much like Halo 4's War Games mode; this framing structure likely explains some of the game's arcade-like elements, such as weapons' ability to fire continuously.
The campaign has two protagonists, Spartans Sarah Palmer and Edward Davis, whose first meeting is depicted in the Halo: Initiation limited comic series. Rather than the in-engine cutscenes used in most Halo games, Spartan Assault instead makes use of motion comic-style animations between missions, much like the terminals in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo 4.
The campaign is divided into six chapters called "Operations", with five missions each.
 Control input
As a "twin-stick" top-down shooter title, Halo: Spartan Assault is developed primarily for touchscreen platforms. The default controls for the game use some of the common control mechanics of touchscreen games: the movement control is located on the left screen whereas the aiming and firing control is located on the right. Halo's staple abilities, (such as grenade with a single button and using vehicles seamlessly), are readily accessible to the player and are placed next to the aiming and firing controls for ease of use.
On Windows 8 PCs and tablets, the game can also be played with a mouse and keyboard. Keyboard controls use a standard shooter format: the "WASD" key group controls movement and the mouse is for aiming and firing. An update has recently been applied to the game (August 29th) which enables the use of an Xbox 360 controller as well.
 Player loadout
Players are able to customize their Spartan character's primary and secondary weapon loadout, armor ability, and booster (akin to Halo 4's a tactical packages and support upgrades) at the start of each mission.
 Cooperative play
Vanguard Games began development of Halo: Spartan Assault around April 2012 for the Windows 8 platform, before the announcement of Windows Surface. During initial development, Vanguard experimented with several prototypes by bringing the traditional Halo first-person shooter experience to the mobile platform and found out the gameplay is wholly unsuitable for the platform. The game's AI system is managed by HAVOK, the same AI system management technology used in Halo 4. The Microsoft Surface Pro version of the game runs at 60 frames-per-second. The Windows Phone 8 and PC versions are locked at 30 FPS. The game's top-down view and stylization result in an aesthetic very similar to that of Halo Wars.
The sandbox features weapons, vehicles, and armor styles from throughout the series' past. Most of the UNSC's arsenal from Halo 4 is represented in Spartan Assault; indeed, all but one usable UNSC weapon comes from Halo 4. The Covenant's arsenal is instead an eclectic mix of weapons from previous games, notably featuring the focus rifle and plasma repeater from Halo: Reach. Several vehicles and stationary weapons which originated in Halo Wars are virtually unchanged from their incarnations in that game, aside from improved textures. The Covenant Wraith and Banshee also appear to use their models from Halo Wars, evidenced by the former's plasma turret and the latter's canard layout.
Aside from Merg Vol, the Covenant species are based on their appearances in earlier media rather than their Halo 4 incarnations. Specifically, the Grunts, Elites, and Jackals have the physiology of their Halo: Reach counterparts and wear corresponding armor. The Brutes and Drones are instead represented with their designs from Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST.
 Integration features with Halo 4
The game is closely integrated with the player's experience in Halo 4 where players can unlock experience points, new achievements, and an emblem for their Halo 4 account. After purchasing the Champions Bundle Pack or the Bullseye Map Pack, the game will unlock:
- The Striped (STP) skin for the DMR.
- The Vision (VISN) skin for the Air Assault armor.
- The Rush (RUSH) skin for the CIO armor.
- A new stance called Determined.
 Title update
- Despite being depicted on the cover art, Hunters do not appear in the game.
- When shot, the Drones make the same noises Engineers make in Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach.
- This marks the first Halo game in which Jackals use plasma grenades.
- The first mission's briefing screen and the opening cutscene for Mission 9 depict Unggoy and Sangheili in their Halo 3 likenesses, whereas they resemble their Halo: Reach counterparts in gameplay.
- ^ a b c d e Halo Waypoint - Halo: Spartan Assault Is Coming to Xbox One and Xbox 360
- ^ a b c d GameInformer: 343 Industries Reveals Halo: Spartan Assault
- ^ Halo Waypoint - Halo: Spartan Assault
- ^ a b c Halo Waypoint - Halo: Spartan Assault Release Date Revealed
- ^ a b c d Halo Waypoint - Halo: Spartan Assault
- ^ a b Halo: Spartan Assault Announce Trailer
- ^ Halo Waypoint: The Halo Bulletin 6.5.2012
- ^ a b Halo Waypoint - Halo: Spartan Assault - Defend
- ^ a b Halo Waypoint - Halo: Spartan Assault -Clear
- ^ a b Halo Waypoint - Halo Initiation Writer Interview
- ^ Coming this summer: Windows Phone Blog A new Halo for Windows Phone 8
- ^ The PA Report: The next Halo game is coming to hardware you don’t have, and software you don’t want
- ^ a b YouTube: Halo: Spartan Assault - Debut Gameplay Reveal
- ^ a b c YouTube - Halo Spartan Assault gameplay w/ 343i employee Jay Frechette (E3 2013)
- ^ YouTube - PC 1080p | Halo: Spartan Assault Gameplay
- ^ YouTube - Halo: Spartan Assault Launch Party Demo
- ^ YouTube - Halo: Spartan Assault on Surface Pro @E3 2013
- ^ YouTube - Halo: Spartan Assault On Surface RT gameplay
- ^ Youtube Halo Spartan Assault Walkthrough - Level A-1 (Part 1)
- ^ a b YouTube - Halo Spartan Assault Impressions (inc Gameplay)
- ^ Vine.co - Xbox: Meet Roland, your A.I. guide in Halo: Spartan Assault
- ^ YouTube - Halo: Spartan Assault for Windows Phone 8 @E3 2013
- ^ a b c YouTube - E3 2013: Halo Spartan Assault
- ^ YouTube - vgBR na E3 2013 - Gameplay de Halo Spartan Assault
- ^ YouTube, Halo: Spartan Assault Reveal Trailer
- ^ a b c Halo Waypoint: Halo: Spartan Assault Achievements
- ^ a b Windows Phone Central: Halo Spartan Assault coming mid-July, will include future game updates
- ^ Havok: Havok’s AI Technology Powering Halo: Spartan Assault on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8
- ^ Halo Waypoint, New Halo: Spartan Assault Achievements Released
 External Links