Merry Halo-mas! Spartan Assault for Xbox One Rings in Festivus a Day Early

Includes new online Xbox Live co-op multiplayer mode.

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If you missed Microsoft’s top-down Halo: Spartan Assault shmup (that is, shoot-em-up) this summer, it’s probably because you’re not a Windows gamer: strange as it sounds, the game was initially for Windows alone (tablets, PCs, phones). As a Windows game, it fared somewhere in the “okay” range with critics, mostly criticized for its bungled implementation of microtransactions.

It’s not clear whether Microsoft remedied this by yanking them out of the Xbox One version, but if you want to slake your thirst for a Halo game — any Halo game at all — on the company’s new console, Spartan Assault is now available a full day earlier than anticipated, presumably because Microsoft’s worried about folks headed offline tomorrow.

The game costs $15 up front ($5 if you bought it on or before December 15 for another platform), includes 30 campaign missions, runs at 1080p and 60 frames per second, includes all the previously released downloadable content, supports Xbox Live-based cooperative play and takes place somewhere between the events of Halo 3 and Halo 4 (for those actually paying attention to the story).

An Xbox 360 version is expected in January, though (alas) the games don’t support cross-console play.