The prospect of Microsoft’s first-party blockbuster, Halo, going mobile has been a tantalizing one ever since the initial game launched back in 2001. Fast forward to 2013 and Microsoft has finally revealed its plans to do just that with an exclusive new top down shooter called Halo: Spartan Assault for Windows 8 PCs and tablets, plus Windows Phone 8.

Being developed by 343 Industries in conjunction with Vanguard Games, this new bite-sized Halo title takes place between Halo 3 and Halo 4 — effectively meaning that Master Chief is nowhere to be found. Instead, players will take on the role of either Halo 4‘s Commander Sarah Palmer or a new character known as Spartan Davis. These characters will venture through the first missions of the Spartan Ops program, as players learn of the events that reignited the conflict between humans and the Covenant.

There are a grand total of 25 unique missions to tackle throughout Spartan Assault‘s campaign, and there are even leaderboards that allow users to try to best one another’s scores. Weekly challenges, similar to the ones found in Halo 4, are also present within the new game, while over 40 achievements and medals will keep fans playing for a long time to come. HSA will also sync with Halo 4, allowing players to earn new emblems, experience points, and achievements for their Spartan on consoles — this will only be added post-launch, however.

Halo Spartan Assault Screenshots

In order to fill players in on the events that lead up to Commander Sarah Palmer’s promotion to a Spartan-IV, Microsoft and Dark Horse Comics are teaming up to release a 3-part comic series chronicling Palmer’s advancement. These comics will then proceed to tie in directly with the events of Halo: Spartan Assault, giving more depth to the characters in-game.

343 and Vangaurd’s latest Halo game is the title that Microsoft registered a plethora of domain names for just this past week. While many speculated that Microsoft’s interest in obtaining the domains may somehow involve the Spielberg-headed Halo television show, the actual result likely isn’t something that many fans saw coming. Still, this Windows 8 exclusive title should prove to be entertaining — albeit not the third-person PC-exclusive that gamers were hoping for.

Halo: Spartan Assaultwill be hitting Windows 8 PCs, W8 tablets, and the Windows Phone 8 this July for $6.99.

What do you think of this top down Halo shooter? Do you wish it was coming to other platforms?

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