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'Halo: Spartan Assault' arcade shooter coming to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 in July

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Next month will see the launch of a surprising new addition to the Halo franchise — Spartan Assault, a top-down, twin stick-style arcade shooter coming to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices in July. Not only does the game move away from the first-person perspective the series is known for, but it will also include what Microsoft describes as a "unique fusion of touch and console-like controls for easy pick-up-and-play gaming." On PCs and tablets you'll be able to play with a mouse and keyboard in addition to touch.

The game is being co-developed by Vanguard Games and 343 Industries, Microsoft's Halo-focused studio that most recently launched Halo 4. Spartan Assault will feature some integration with that game, including the ability to unlock emblems in Halo 4, as well as other features that will be released after launch. Polygon describes Spartan Assault as a "surprisingly enjoyable experience" after playing the game on a Surface. And though it will be available on multiple devices, Spartan Assault won't be a universal app, so you'll need to buy each $6.99 copy separately.