Halo: Spartan Assault Out Tomorrow on Steam, Minus Co-Op

Halo: Spartan Assault Out Tomorrow on Steam, Minus Co-Op

Halo's top-down shooter spinoff is coming to a wider PC audience from tomorrow, but without one of the best features from its console versions.

Former Windows 8 and Windows Phone-exclusive top-down shooter Halo: Spartan Assault made the jump to Xbox 360 and Xbox One at the end of last year. Now, it's broadening its appeal outside of Windows 8-based PC users thanks to a Steam release.

The Steam version of the game, set to arrive tomorrow, isn't a fully up-to-date incarnation of the game, however. While the Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions released in December incorporated both the free Operation Hydra DLC and a new online co-op mode for two players to enjoy together, the Steam version appears to be the "vanilla" edition of Spartan Assault that is single-player only. That said, the Windows Store version of the game makes no mention of co-op play, either, so it looks as if this feature is confined to console players for the time being.

For those unfamiliar with Halo: Spartan Assault, the game is a top-down, twin-stick shooter spinoff of the Halo franchise, with its narrative unfolding between the end of Halo 3 and the beginning of Halo 4. The game features short, snappy, arcade-style levels rather than the lengthy battles of the mainline Halo games -- it began life as a mobile title after all -- and is geared towards competitive play and progression, with weekly challenges and leaderboards allowing you to take on your friends' best scores even if you can't play with them directly.

Spartan Assault is the first Halo-branded game to release on Valve's service, and is being interpreted by some as part of Microsoft's renewed focus on PC gaming that Phil Spencer promised at GDC. Whether this means we'll eventually see PC ports of other Halo titles on Steam remains to be seen. Don't hold your breath, though.

Halo: Spartan Assault will be available on Steam from tomorrow, and will apparently cost $4.99. The Windows Store version is currently selling for the lower price of just $1.99, but this is only available to Windows 8 or Windows Phone-based players; the Steam version will be available to anyone running Windows Vista or later.

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