Halo: Spartan Assault coming to PC and mobile as Windows 8 app

Halo is coming back to PC... but not in the way you may have wanted.

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Halo is coming back to PC... but not in the way you may have wanted. Six years after Microsoft shipped Halo 2 for Windows, the company is finally prepping another Halo title for the platform. Halo: Spartan Assault is a brand new adventure set between the events of Halo 3 and 4 that's debuting exclusively on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Although a new game, this is not a AAA production in line with the mainline Halo games. Instead, it's a downloadable app from the Windows Store, a top-down twin stick arcade shooter. Developed by Vanguard Games (Greed Corp, Gatling Gears) in conjunction with 343 Industries, Spartan Assault is the first Halo game designed for touch screen devices--if "designed" means "uses virtual analog sticks." Unfortunately, Spartan Assault isn't much more than a rote twin-stick shooter with Halo lore stapled on. The game is incredibly easy to pick up and play, but misses much of the depth that fans of the franchise have come to expect from the console FPS games. Perhaps the biggest draw for the game is its story which promises to "dive deeper into the backstory of the Human-Covenant wars" across 25 missions as Commander Sarah Palmer and Spartan Davis.

Halo for PC. At last!

Spartan Ops also ties back into Halo 4 and Halo Waypoint, letting you earn XP, new achievements, and emblems for your Spartan. In typical Halo fashion, there will also be daily and weekly challenges. Halo: Spartan Ops will be available in July for all Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices. While promoted as a game "designed" around touch, the PC version will run on any Windows 8 system, even without a touchscreen. At launch, keyboard & mouse controls will be supported, and a title update will later introduce controller support. Also, although the game is launching simultaneously on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, Microsoft does not plan on offering any "cross buy" functionality. Instead, both versions will be sold separately and will cost $6.99.
From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 4, 2013 6:00 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Halo: Spartan Assault coming to PC and mobile as Windows 8 app.

    Halo is coming back to PC... but not in the way you may have wanted.

    • reply
      June 4, 2013 6:11 AM

      Oh sweet. I've been waiting for a Halo game for my phone ever since Windows Phone came out.

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      June 4, 2013 6:13 AM

      Let's be honest here. The only reason this is a PC game is because Surface Pro runs Windows 8 on the same processors.

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        June 4, 2013 6:16 AM

        Yes, but that's kind of the idea isn't it?

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          June 4, 2013 12:29 PM

          seriously, that's the whole idea behind a uniform platform/stack. MS has been giving demos of stuff like this for years at dev conferences of how your mobile game can scale up to an Xbox/PC type experience with lots of shared assets.

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        June 4, 2013 11:27 AM

        Doesn't work on Windows 7?

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          June 4, 2013 12:37 PM

          if it's designed for touch then making a Win7 version would not be a quick port of a Win8/WP8 version, it'd be a large rewrite for a completely different set of APIs (which themselves weren't designed for touch), and all for a platform with little to no touch support.

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            June 4, 2013 1:01 PM

            While promoted as a game "designed" around touch, the PC version will run on any Windows 8 system, even without a touchscreen. At launch, keyboard & mouse controls will be supported, and a title update will later introduce controller support.

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              June 4, 2013 2:09 PM

              and?

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                June 4, 2013 2:24 PM

                Deja vu?

                Weren't there games/programs that wouldn't work on the 'old' version of Windows right after a new version came out? Usually a Microsoft program. I can't recall specifics, I think it was in the Vista era?

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                  June 4, 2013 2:32 PM

                  In this case we're talking about games written/designed around a huge set of APIs that don't exist on Windows 7. The native system APIs on Win8 and WP8 are fundamentally different from those on Win7 and before. There's no path to back port, you'd just be rewriting core functionality. It isn't some vague artificial restriction to Win8 just because.

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      June 4, 2013 6:18 AM

      I want to play this, on my iphone =(

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      June 4, 2013 7:01 AM

      Cool you can never have too much twin stick shooters!!

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      June 4, 2013 7:15 AM

      Stopped playing Halo after the first consolized crap was released. Story was "ok", nothing special, the controls were crap, and the game was unoptimized. I might have continued playing if they didn't make the series exclusive to the xbox, but too bad so sad. Not getting a penny from me for this series.

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        June 4, 2013 7:19 AM

        Seem like they haven't gotten a penny from you already!

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        June 4, 2013 7:58 AM

        The halo control scheme is well regarded. Just say you don't like playing fps's on controller.

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          June 9, 2013 6:11 AM

          It's not even a subjective thing - FPSs are best controlled via Mouse/Keyboard, that's a certified fact.

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        June 4, 2013 8:21 AM

        Hey look everyone, it's this guy!

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          June 4, 2013 8:33 AM

          The Halo mac guy will show up in a minute lamenting their loss of his $50 as well

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          June 4, 2013 8:38 AM

          resurrected after almost 11 years! that must be a record for disgruntled zombie revival. speaking of that, i am SO MAD at that myth 2 uninstall bug.

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            June 4, 2013 9:07 AM

            And how about Fallout Tactics having missing data on disc 3? I have to download a 98mb patch? That's going to take like 5 hours!

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        June 4, 2013 8:34 AM

        kay

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        June 4, 2013 8:36 AM

        isn't it weird how you can smell a front pager only a few words in?

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          June 4, 2013 1:26 PM

          you can smell words? :P

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          June 9, 2013 6:12 AM

          Funny, I don't consider myself a "front pager" and I thought the Halo series was crap, too, especially the badly over-hyped first one. Crappy texturing, clunky gamepad controls, and awful AI (side-hopping Disney-esque Aliens were the final straw, just laughable, really).

          And somehow that thrilled thousands of clueless gamers? Just wow. How sad.

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        June 4, 2013 8:37 AM

        the part that really hurt, was the unoptimization

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        June 4, 2013 8:37 AM

        They released Halo 2 on PC.

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          June 4, 2013 9:22 AM

          And it had that GFWL cancer #ugh

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          June 4, 2013 9:47 AM

          I have Halo: Combat Evolved on disc for my PC as well, came with some video card I had bought a long, long time ago.

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        June 4, 2013 8:45 AM

        too bad so sad

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        June 4, 2013 8:58 AM

        Too bad, so sad, you mad?

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        June 4, 2013 9:00 AM

        we need a rebuttal from finalspart4n

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        June 4, 2013 9:07 AM

        but Halo was released on xbox first? so you never played it?

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        June 4, 2013 9:34 AM

        12 years later, people are still bitching about Halo being Xbox exclusive. This isn't even an Xbox exclusive game! Wtf

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        June 4, 2013 9:59 AM

        Agreed , assuming you're talking about Halo PC.

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        June 4, 2013 2:04 PM

        I refuse to play that console crap until we get a mac port.

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        June 4, 2013 4:32 PM

        It's still the same series.

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        June 4, 2013 4:40 PM

        I'm sure the shack-pile will be (is) strong here, but I agree. Halo does nothing for me.

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          June 4, 2013 6:54 PM

          I can understand that it is not a series that appeals to everyone, I'm kind of meh on them myself, but it is still hilarious seeing people like the OP in this subthread who utterly refuse to admit there are any redeeming qualities to the franchise or that it has had a serious impact on the direction FPS games have gone the last decade

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            June 4, 2013 8:58 PM

            Everything it did, previous games had done better. So whilst yeah, it was great for making shooters mainstream on console it wasn't this great awesome thing that everyone claims it to be.

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              June 4, 2013 9:50 PM

              Sure, individual aspects of it had been done in other games, but AFAIK it brought a lot of elements together into a single package for the first time. More importantly though, the AI was pretty fucking stellar for the time, and even today it holds up better than most FPS's.

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          June 4, 2013 6:56 PM

          Halo white knights all of them.

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          June 4, 2013 10:38 PM

          It was OK, but for me, it wasn't until Halo: Reach did I go "Wow!"

          I played that game on legendary and the AI was extremely challenging, but fantastic.

          I haven't played Halo 4, but I don't really have any interest to. I feel Bungie closed the series off with Reach.

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            June 4, 2013 10:56 PM

            I thought Reach was great because it was so close to the first Halo. I played a lot of 2 and 3 but always loved the original the most.

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      June 4, 2013 7:41 AM

      For a minute there I thought this was a new FPS Halo designed just for Windows LOL,. Looks like budget titles is all we will get on the PC from MS, shame I guess it is because the Xbone is many generation ahead the best PC...

      Looks ok, little low on the textures and polys, I hope it scales for a PC, that be cool but I doubt it, may check it out.

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      June 4, 2013 10:17 AM

      The only reason this is happening is because Microsoft is throwing money at the developers, there's no way you put a franchise on a platform that is getting terrible press.

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        June 4, 2013 10:20 AM

        Or rather, a game such as this on a platform that doesnt lend itself to an FPS

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          June 4, 2013 4:10 PM

          Well then, I guess it's a good thing that the game isn't an FPS.

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        June 4, 2013 10:21 AM

        Windows 8 still has almost as many users as the 360.

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          June 4, 2013 2:10 PM

          What percentage of that Windows 8 license base are gamers?

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            June 4, 2013 2:13 PM

            even if it were 5% that'd be a larger install base than the Xbox One and PS4 are likely to have for awhile (even worse compared to the current gen install base) but no one is saying "omg this dev must be being bribed to make games for this new console"

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            June 4, 2013 2:22 PM

            Oh no doubt it is not the same as the 360 but this game seems to have low requirements so it should be a big potential base, and 8 isn't really being adopted by businesses yet so it is mostly consumers using it. The game certainly isn't as broad as solitaire but I think it will have enough market with windows 8.

            Anyway I think 8 is around 58 million users if you look at the 4.2% active users and the 1.4 billion pc users.

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            June 4, 2013 2:30 PM

            And what percentage of those gamers actually use the Windows 8 app store?

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              June 4, 2013 2:32 PM

              they still have access to the store if they are not using it.

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              June 4, 2013 2:33 PM

              no one uses the store because there's no good stuff there!
              why are you putting stuff on the store no one uses it!

              gurgle

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                June 4, 2013 3:01 PM

                You know all too well why they put stuff there. It's their walled garden and they have total control over it. And even if they sell way less than another digital store, they're not giving another distributor a cut of the profits either.

                Of course they want to get more stuff on there so people actually buy into their system, but for a full fledged PC gaming platform like Windows 8 they need to do a lot better than something like the occasional touch based games with desktop support and controls. Not even the Halo name is going to change that.

                Will be interesting to see if previous Win8 / WP exclusives like Skulls of the Shogun eventually come to other platforms and move more units. A Steam release was rumored a while ago after it was spotted in the database along with Mortal Kombat, which was recently confirmed.

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                  June 4, 2013 4:03 PM

                  I just don't know what you're complaining about at this point. They're releasing a reasonably nice looking, fairly high production first party game designed for phones and tablets. It'll also get controller and keyboard/mouse support I guess. It makes perfect sense to put on the Windows store (and it couldn't be anywhere else on the phone). If the complaint is they need more compelling content on the store, this seeks like a perfectly reasonable step unless you were expecting 15 new AAA exclusive IPs to show up all at once or something.

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        June 4, 2013 12:27 PM

        an MS IP appearing only on MS platforms with 100+ million users? crazy talk

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          June 4, 2013 2:29 PM

          That kinda had me scratching my head

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          June 4, 2013 5:05 PM

          Why do these numbers matter all of a sudden when the main MS platform still has 650+ million users? Because there's no locked down app store and GFWL was a total fucking failure Oh, right. As for other games, they wouldn't want to devalue their console systems by bringing the big exclusive Xbox games over, would they?

          MS has earned a lot of good will with PC gamers over the years with dumb exclusives, dropping almost all PC game development and support entirely in favor of Xbox, and even closing once important PC game studios like Ensemble and killing fantastic PC IPs like Links. This bs should be no surprise to anyone.

          Some are disputing your claims of 100m users as well: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/may/10/windows-8-actual-installed-base-58m

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            June 4, 2013 5:17 PM

            the target install base for this also includes phones

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            June 4, 2013 5:21 PM

            Again I don't know what you want. People complain Windows is not equipped for touch like they love with their new iPad. Version of Windows designed for touch comes out. Software is written for it. Why are you writing software exclusive to the platforms designed to support that software?!? New Xbox is announced and people complain there aren't enough games (ie exclusives) talked about. Now here's an exclusive for a similar but different platform (it's not like iOS doesn't see plenty of exclusive releases, Android has some as well) and suddenly it's a terrible decision.

            You want a touch based Halo game for all the Windows 7 machines out there? Target that huge install base you mentioned?

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              June 4, 2013 5:49 PM

              It's not strictly touch based only with Windows 8, like you read above. They'd be cutting off a large quantity of their supposedly large Windows 8 user base if it was, all those millions and millions and millions of people without touch screens running the OS. Which is why they are supporting mouse & keyboard. Which is why they could bring the game to Windows 7 if they wanted to. They don't want to though, not just because of the extra work, but because they have no means to sell it and control it the way they do like app store, and they also want give people any stupid reason they can to switch to Windows 8. What I was saying before in that other sub-thread is that this isn't a very good reason.

              I don't want this game at all, but I'm sure many of other Windows 7 users would. Halo is a big thing for some, but like Halo 2 as a Vista exclusive proved, it's really not that big, at least not reason enough to upgrade an OS.

              What I've always wanted is for Microsoft to stop being idiots when it comes to PC gaming, but we all know that's not going to happen. For a brief moment it looked like things could be turning around when they published Mark of the Ninja without GFWL on PC last year.

              I fear the the future, when they do the W8 app store exclusive thing to an IP I actually care about and have always wanted to see on the PC. For hypothetical example purposes, say Forza. Obviously that's not going to happen, but you get the idea. Could be any 360 / X'one / XBLA game they've done or published.

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                June 4, 2013 6:14 PM

                It is designed for touch, not strictly touch based, these are meaningful differences. I don't want to play a touch based dual stick shooter design for controller/mouse levels of precision. Various Geometry Wars ports and more have proven this repeatedly. Likewise console players aren't going to have a good time playing Quake 1 with a controller. That's what designed for touch means to me. And that there's a touch version at all means you're built around Win8 APIs, which means a Win7 version is a significant amount of work, far more than just tweaking the input code. Adding controller support to a touch based WinRT (the API) application is completely different from porting the entire app to Win7. Nothing about what you're saying about a Win7 port follows because of this rather important difference. A Win7 version would be written in C++ against Win32 or in C# against .NET. A Win8 version uses either of those languages but targeting the WinRT APIs that only exist on Win8 (since a vast new set of APIs needed to be developed for touch based and highly mobile computers and Win32 is fundamentally unsuited for this).

                Again, you're complaining about an exclusive that's not big enough to pull you to a system. What do you want? No exclusives ever because fuck being made to upgrade? Or the only exclusives that are ok are the ones that are important enough to pull you to upgrade? New platforms generally need exclusives to help solve the chicken and egg problem. That's why console owners have first party developers.

                You seem to think app stores are only a bad thing, but the average consumer feels exactly the opposite.

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                  June 4, 2013 6:33 PM

                  It's also billed as a "twin stick shooter" and uses two virtual sticks on the screen for the main method of control. I'd agree there are meaningful differences with most games designed specifically around touch and those that aren't, but in theory this game would work and control just as well if not better with a hard controls. From the descriptions of the game from the gaming press around the net, it sounds like it could go either way with any of the input methods. Won't really know until the game is in the hands of players.

                  And when it comes to games on the PC, you're damn right I hate app stores. The rules and restrictions, certification processes getting in the way of developers offering free and timely updates and patches, inability for users to modify game content at all, another specific service your purchases are tied to. The last thing I want for PC games is an app store like Microsoft is doing.

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                    June 4, 2013 6:45 PM

                    As I said, I've played enough Geometry Wars on touch based devices to feel like designing a twin stick shooter around touch is a meaningful difference. If it was just a port of an XBLA game I doubt you'd get a great experience if you already have issues with virtual stick style games (which I generally dislike).

                    The things you're complaining about are specific details to a specific implementation of an app store that are all flexible over time. You haven't acknowledged any of the huge advantages they provide. You first complained about how you're not going to like when some IP you are interested in is locked up in the Win8 store, but I expect few complaints when you can only get Half Life 3 through Steam and the latest Blizzard expansions through their service.

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                      June 4, 2013 7:33 PM

                      What is there to acknowledge when the disadvantages outweigh any of the the advantages, and not just for the gamers, but also the developers and creators? Sure, it's great for Microsoft themselves, but not so much for 3rd parties and indies which is why we haven't seen any significant exclusive games from other developers on the Windows app store and probably never will. Do you work for Microsoft or something? Surely you know this, but it seems like cannot possibly admit it.

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                        June 4, 2013 8:12 PM

                        The advantages of app stores has been well documented for all parties involved. This would seem particularly obvious with Steam on PC and all the advantages it has provided. Likewise for iOS. I'm not sure how you could possibly believe otherwise given the state of client software before app stores.

                        And yes I work for MS on dev tools.

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        June 4, 2013 3:13 PM

        Pray continue with your most enlightening speach.

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        June 4, 2013 4:29 PM

        the derp is strong in this one

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        June 4, 2013 6:56 PM

        Which platform are you talking about? Because, outside of a vocal minority on tech blog comment sections, I haven't seen a huge backlash against Windows 8.

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      June 4, 2013 11:42 AM

      At first glance, I thought it was a tower defense game I got was PUMPED.

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      June 4, 2013 12:07 PM

      So they don't want to sell any copies.

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      June 4, 2013 2:11 PM

      preordered!

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      June 4, 2013 2:57 PM

      lol

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      June 4, 2013 3:46 PM

      Halo Spartan Assault coming to Windows RT

      There, I fixed the headline for you.

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      June 4, 2013 4:08 PM

      Can we call it Spazzault

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      June 4, 2013 5:42 PM

      Virtual analog control stick controlled Halo game coming to the PC. Not exited.

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      June 4, 2013 6:01 PM

      Ha, I remember when they tried to do this with the Halo 2 PC port that was exclusively for Vista.

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        June 4, 2013 6:43 PM

        at least this they have the excuse of making the game for winRT and not win32.

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      June 4, 2013 8:20 PM

      HAY GUISE I GOT DIS GR8 IDEA. lets mk hayloz A win8 ekscloosiv. hurr hurr. den all de dum kunts will buy our OS. hurr durr. fap fap.

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      June 9, 2013 6:09 AM

      LOL!!! Wow are they clueless. Like the crappy Halo name has THAT much recognizance or reverence among diehard PC gamers. D'okay.

      Just dumb.

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