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'Halo: Spartan Assault' released early to Xbox One

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It appears that Microsoft decided not to wait until Christmas Eve to release Halo: Spartan Assault as the twin-stick shooter set in the Halo universe is available to download today, Monday, Dec. 23, for the Xbox One.

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Halo: Spartan Assault is available for $14.99 on the Xbox Store but can be picked up for just $4.99 if you already purchased the Windows 8 PC, tablet or phone versions of the game.

The Xbox 360 version of the game will not be released until January, 2014.

Halo: Spartan Assault is a top-down twin-stick shooter featuring 30 missions starring Spartan IV Sarah Palmer and Spartan Davis blasting through Covenant and Flood alike. This includes the original single-player campaign and the Operation Hydra add-on.

The console version of the game will receive an added bonus in the form of co-op online multiplayer featuring five all-new missions.

We reviewed Spartan Assault on a Windows 8 PC and found it to be an enjoyable side-story set in the Halo universe with its bite-sized missions and colorful graphics. However, the inclusion of micro-transactions to upgrade armor and weaponry was frustrating.

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