Microsoft has officially announced Halo: Spartan Assault, a downloadable top-down shooter heading exclusively to Windows 8 devices - including Windows 8 PC, Windows Phone 8 and tablets - next month.

iOS and Android versions are yet to be confirmed.

Co-developed by 343 Industries and Gatling Gears developer Vanguard Games, Halo: Spartan Assault drops players into the role of Spartan Commander Sarah Palmer and explores the events of the Spartan Ops program between Halo 3 and Halo 4.

The game features 25 missions and has been "built for simplicity", featuring a "unique fusion of touch and console-like controls for easy pick-up-and-play gaming". Keyboard and mouse support will also be included in the Windows 8 PC and tablets versions.

Players will be able to earn XP, unlock emblems and unlock new achievements for Halo 4, too, with additional "integration features" between the two games becoming available after launch.

And because it's a mobile title there's also a range of "in-app purchases" to choose from, including credits that you can spend on boosts, unique weapons and armour abilities.

"We wanted to do a mobile-type game for a long period of time," executive producer Dan Ayoub told "We've been working on this idea off and on for a while trying to come up with the right form factor [and] the right game type for the right experience.

"It was driven very much by 343 wanting to take the Halo experience off of the TV. We wanted to get to more people, we wanted to get to more devices, [and] we wanted you to be able to take your Halo experience with you wherever you go."

Steve popped down to Microsoft's office to take a look at Halo: Spartan Assault last week. Head through here to see what he thinks of it.


Source: Microsoft Fact Sheet, Interview