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Right on the heels of the My Xbox LIVE release, Microsoft is bringing two Halo apps to smartphones. The first, Halo Waypoint, will function much like its console counterpart, relaying stats, awards, news, and other Halo-related content. It will be free on all the smartphone markets on December 10th, but for $4.99, a separate premium app called ATLAS can deliver an impressive slew of features the free Waypoint app won’t be offering.
The move shows that mobile games are a priority, even among the big companies that own video game console platforms such as Microsoft.
The developers behind the app have detailed exactly what ATLAS, the Assisted Tactical Assault System, will include:
- Weapon and vehicle spawn locations for Matchmaking and Firefight games.
- Health pack locations.
- Near-real-time locations for weapons and vehicles during Custom Multiplayer games.
- Your location and that of your team members displayed on the map.
- ‘Follow me’ mode to track your movement.
- Dynamic player list, including current score for the teams and each player and equipped weapon for you and your teammates.
This could completely turn the tide of multiplayer matches for those with the tactical skills to keep track of everything on the current map on their phone while running and gunning through the levels. All the multiplayer and firefight maps have been included and perfected in a partnership with strategy guide experts Brady Games.
The app also delineates between custom games and ranked matchmaking games. For example, only spawn points of items and vehicles will appear during matchmaking, but in a custom game, if a player picks up a rocket launcher at its spawn point and then drops it somewhere else, ATLAS will update with the weapon’s new location. Check out Xbox’s Halo blog for more specifics and an interview with the developers.
And in case you were wondering about the mysterious ‘L’, the devs have created a tagline explaining it – “ATLAS: Because it sounds better than ATAS.”