Halo: Spartan Assault - Xbox One

Release Date:

23 December 2013

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.
5.7

Summary:

Halo: Spartan Assault is a fast paced top-down shooter set during the timeline between “Halo 3” and “Halo 4,” progress your Spartan career as you engage in over 30 exciting Campaign missions using many of favorite Halo weapons, vehicles and armor abilities.Team-up on Xbox Live and fight with a friend against waves of the nightmarish Flood in the all-new online co-op multiplayer mode.Earn achievements, complete weekly Assault Ops and compete for the top scores in the leaderboards.

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Posted:
2015-07-19

Jamie_Hall

Writer

Xbox One

5.7

Halo: Spartan Assault on the Xbox One kicked off the next generation of Master Chief gaming as the developers at 343 Industries took over. Partnered along with the team at Vanguard, Halo: Spartan Assault was released by 343 Industries back in December of 2013. Spartan Assault puts you into the combat boots of a Spartan soldier as you test your skills in various forms of battle. Dropping into the Halo timeline between 3 and 4, Spartan Assault offers gamers another look into the world that Bungie so effectively crafted up to this point. When the title was released for the 360 back in 2013 we weren’t really blown away by it, considering it mostly blasphemous at the time. Now that we’ve had a few moments to collect our thoughts we gave the game another try for the Xbox One. Mixing the good and the bad, we found that Spartan Assault can be considered a must have for hardcore followers of the franchise. Let’s find out why this title might be the game for you.

So the fact that Halo: Spartan Assault was considered for the iOS before it was developed for the Xbox consoles may have put off more than a couple of gamers. Putting the world of Halo on touch screen devices somehow felt ¦well, just wrong. That is probably the luddite in our soul reaching out to strangle progress, and we are okay with that. We never picked up the title for iOS platforms, instead preferring to wait until we could play it on the console that it was made for. In any event, screenshots of the game should put players immediately in mind of the spin off game Halo Wars. It’s similar in that this is a top down shooter but there are enough differences here to justify trying the game, even if you disliked the prior entry.

The focus in Spartan Assault is, as ever, on racking up as many points as possible. The high scoring action is fast paced and broken up into enough different stages that you will not find yourself bored out of your skull. There are two primary game modes to pay attention to: single player campaign and the co-op campaign. The single player campaign has six different 'operations' that you must take on. These operations are further broken down into a group of smaller levels. Fairly standard stuff, it’s not too complicated once you get into the flow of things. Co op mode is made for online play and it is very similar to survival modes from other older games, only this time you will be fighting off the disgusting Flood. There are only a few stages to play on when you are playing co op but the difficulty is ramped up enough to keep them interesting. The co op mode is more than satisfying, but we wish that there was a greater diversity in the levels available to play through as that would seriously add some longevity to the title. Hopefully future patches can remedy this situation. We’d even consider purchasing some DLC to make the multiplayer more immersive.

In opposition of pretty much every Halo title ever, the single player campaign is where the meat and bones of your time will be spent. In the campaign you take on the characters of Spartan Palmer and Spartan Davis. They spend their day like any other Spartan during this time frame: fighting off the Covenant. While most of the game is spent with guns blazing, there is a fair bit of story shoved into the cutscenes. Cutscenes appear at the end of each level while text introductions help to flesh out a little more of the story when you begin the next stage. For the Halo Lore purists out there, Halo: Spartan Assault doesn’t step on any toes nor does it infringe on any other previously implemented storylines - not that we could see, anyway.

At first glance you might think that this is fairly standard top-down arcade shooter action, but the Halo universe has always offered a bit more depth to the fairly boilerplate genre. This isn’t a simple shooting game and you will have to use legitimate strategy in order to make sure that you progress along the increasingly difficult levels. Making their way back into another Halo game are all of the trade mark Spartan abilities: regenerative shields, plasma grenades, rechargeable abilities, and so much more. You’ll run the gamut of guns from Halo’s past and you will get to see them deployed from a whole new angle.

Like many of the best top down shooters, you’ll have your most fun when you are surrounded on all sides by enemy combatants. Grunts, Jackals, and Elites make up the primary enemies you have to deal with and when they swarm on you the battle can go one of two ways: instant death or flattering destruction. Use the surrounding terrain to your advantage and keep your enemies away as best as possible. I particularly liked using landscape obstacles in order to create space to keep the brutish elites off of my back while I pumped shotgun blasts into those pesky jackals. Though this action is faster than seemingly ever, it still is married quite faithfully to the Halo tradition. The gameplay feels like a natural Halo game rather than a spin off with its own genre type ambitions.

Like many dual thumbstick shooters, being able to control your guns is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately we had some issue with the analog controls while we played this game. Up close and personal targeting was as easy as ever, but if you moved even slightly out of range then things began to get unwieldly. While it is natural for there to be a certain range on each weapon, we felt like the lack of accuracy could be made a little more palatable.

At the end of the day Halo: Spartan Assault on the Xbox One offers exactly what fans would want out of a tiny Halo game: faithful lore, signature mayhem, and delightful graphics.

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By:

343 Industries

Release Date:

23/12/2013

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