Microsoft and 343 Industries have announce Halo: Spartan Strike, a spiritual successor to similarly-titled Halo: Spartan Assault, which reframes the series’ first-person gunplay as a top-down, twin-stick shooter. The game will be available on Windows Phone, Windows 8.1, and Steam, though Xbox achievements attained in the Windows Phone version will unlock an exclusive emblem, nameplate, and avatar in the upcoming Halo: The Master Chief Collection for Xbox One.
The game takes place during the events of Halo 2 — though it’s not a canon story, but rather a simulation controlled by a nameless, faceless Spartan — with action spanning from New Mombasa to the Gamma Halo on the edge of charted space. In addition to Covenant forces, you’ll also face off against Promethean enemies introduced in Halo 4 (including a few new ones).
The old standby Warthog will be there to shepherd you around the battlefield, along with the new Kestrel, a small hovercraft that’s roughly the size of a Covenant Ghost. There will also be a selection of new weapons, like the Suppressor and Incineration Cannon, and armor abilities like the Bubble Shield and Airstrike. More importantly, the in-app purchases that hobbled the previous game’s loadout options are gone, replaced with currency that is earned entirely in-game.
You can choose between touch controls, USB gamepad, or keyboard and mouse, so no need to worry about being locked out of using a controller’s analog sticks, like Spartan Assault at launch.
Halo: Spartan Strike arrives on December 12 as a digital download for $6.