This December, 343 Industries will drop yet another title into the pool of upcoming Halo titles in an effort to slake the hunger of the insatiable gamers chomping at the bit for the next title in the flagship series, Halo 5, which not scheduled for release until next year.
Unfortunately, Halo: Spartan Strike is that game, and it looks like little more than a mildly updated version of its predecessor, Spartan Assault.
Spartan Strike will be the second in a series of top-down shooter titles spun-off from the hugely successful Halo franchise. Where the first title focused on the adventures of the intensely lethal Sarah Palmer, Strike will put players in control of their own Spartan to complete missions against Halo 4‘s aggressive Promethean enemies using new weapons and vehicles, as well as a few fan-favorites like the iconic Warthog.
That is where the shine of the game begins to wear off. Outside of the vehicles, weapons, enemies and missions, the game is little more than an expansion on a game that received very little fanfare from critics, if only because it was exclusive to two of the most resoundingly hated operating systems in America: Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. What little attention the game did garner was mostly positive, citing a fresh take on the series rarely explored, save for Halo Wars. Still, Halo: Spartan Strike is simply a sequel no one asked for to a game no one played.
That is not to say that the game is bad, however. On the contrary, the first game may have been seriously undervalued by gamers. Despite its underwhelming penetration into the market, Spartan Assault was a great game to play either at home or on the go, and Spartan Strike looks to continue that engaging gameplay.
In addition, Microsoft and 343 finally listened to gamers and removed microtransactions. In Spartan Assault, players could upgrade their weapons in exchange for real-world money, which provoked the ire of what little fan base the game was able to acquire. In Strike, gamers will be able to access a multitude of upgrades, weapons, and more by using the in-game currency, which is earned by completing missions and progressing the story.
Halo: Spartan Strike will be an exclusive title to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices, as well as playable on Steam. Players who buy the game on Windows 8 will be able to download the game for free on Windows Phone 8 and vice versa, while the Steam purchase will be a standalone title. There is no word to say that the title will be coming to Android and iOS devices, but it is more likely than not that Strike will never make it outside the Windows family of devices in an effort to promote Microsoft’s own ecosystem.
What are your thoughts on Halo: Spartan Strike? Is it a game worth getting excited about? Leave your comments below.
[Image via 343 Industries]