Halo: Spartan Assault Xbox One Review
Halo: Spartan Assault is a fun, twin stick shooter set in the Halo universe highlighting Commander Sarah Palmer and the origin of the Spartan Ops program. This game was developed by 343 Industries (Halo 4), Halo: Spartan Assault offers fun twin stick gameplay surrounded by a Halo theme at its core.
The main concept derives its self as a fast and frantic shooter that keeps you on your toes as play. I feel like they have accomplished this feeling very well. The latter half of the game ramps up the difficulty, and you have to be a little more careful as elite and brute chieftains close in very quickly for the kill, and they don’t go down as easily as weaker enemies. The story is told through the eyes of a rising Spartan and examines the war with the Covenant taking place between Halo 3 & 4. Learning about the story of Commander Sarah Palmer and others is a nice touch as well.
The gameplay in Halo: Spartan Assault is very fun and offers a decent amount of replay value. As a twin stick shooter the controls were very quick to get used to as I was playing through the game. There are 30 missions in the game each lasting no more than 8 minutes. I prefer the short and sweet levels in this game as each mission feels like a nice quick flash of action without getting boring from missions dragging on. The items and different weapons available offers plenty of variety. Before each mission, players can buy boosters that can decrease damage taken, boost player damage, etc. Also the player can buy 1 of 3 power weapons as well using XP or actual purchases in the form of micro transactions. The nice thing is that the game is perfectly fine without them. The only time I can see the micro transactions being useful is near the end of the game when enemies are harder to dispatch. But for the most part, players will have gained enough XP to purchase the weapons without paying real money for them. It’s not necessary for a game like this, but I can see why it’s a nice option for lesser skilled players. That’s just my general opinion of the micro transactions used in Spartan Assault. A very rewarding feature I found was the amount of medals you can earn while playing each mission. Medals exist to increase your mission score, much like they do in Halo multiplayer. Medals such as getting double kills all the way up to killionares are nice to see pop up on-screen as you see your score shoot up in the results screen. Spartan Assault also features Co-op. You and a friend can team up and battle the flood as you hold out against them. It’s very fun as an addition to the game as players have another mode to play after the campaign. Overall the replayablilty, variety in missions and co-op make this game a very nice consideration for players on the Xbox One looking for a quick game to play.
The graphics are very clear but have reduced textures as it was ported from the windows tablet version. However there are nice particle effects and the environments look really good in a higher resolution. Also the art style of the cut scenes are very nice to look at, even though they don’t last long, they still caught my attention every time I saw them. Overall I didn’t see any graphical issues or glitches meaning Spartan Assault is very stable, even while a lot is happening on-screen.
The sounds are nice and crisp as each weapon and vehicle sounds just like the ones out of Halo 4. It is nice picking up certain weapons and hearing that they all have distinct characteristics. The same can be said about grenades and other equipment. Armor abilities offered diverse FX as well. Not much can be said specifically about the FX, as much of it is straight out of Halo 4, which is definitely non issue since that game had fantastic sound design.
The main plot of Spartan Assault is about the adventures of spartan Sarah Palmer and her story. You’ll follow her through 5 operations as you see her story unfold. I felt that the narrative was a little forgettable as you play through the game, it was delivered via cut scenes, which only played at the beginning of each operation; exactly like the Spartan Ops missions of Halo 4. That being said, the story it’s self isn’t poorly written, I just personally found it a tad forgettable as I was playing it.
Overall Halo: Spartan Assault is a fun twin stick shooter that offers a fair amount of replayability and fun for players struggling with finding new content for Xbox One. The gameplay is fast and frantic and provides options for lesser skilled players. The graphics look just as good as how the game sounds, and it provides a nice experience for the price of $15. The plot may not be as powerful as you’d come to expect from a fully fleshed out Halo game, but in this case it’s an average story line that serves its purpose. This is definitely a nice game to consider if you’re looking for a quick game to play.