Release Date: December 24th, 2013
Developer: Vanguard Games
Publisher: Microsoft Games, 343 Industries
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox One], PC, iPhone
Genre: Third-Person Shooter
Rated: T for Teen
Halo is already making its preseance felt on the Xbox One. However, it may not be the way most people expected. It’s a port over from the mobile version of Spartan Assault that released earlier in 2013. Though 343 Industries helped out a bit, this installment was for the most part in the hands of Vanguard Games, creators of Gatling Gears and Greed Corp.
The first game that comes to mind is the top-down version of nazi zombies from Black Ops, a top-down version of Contra and even Vanguard’s last title Gatling Gears. Now that you have Spartan Assault visually pictured in your mind, you may be thinking “Is this really Halo?” Let’s see where the story takes us.
Spartan Assault begins by looking back at USNC Spartans, Palmer and Davis as they fight against the Covenant on planet Dratheus V. As the missions begin, you find yourself navigating with the left thumbstick and aiming with the right thumbstick. There are mini objectives to complete but they tend to start and end so quickly it tends to feel like the game progresses in waves.
Just like the regular Halo games, Spartan Assault adapts other controls as well such as melee, throwing grenades and build force fields as temporary protection. Killing grunts and other Covenants will at time drop weapons and ammo, as well as you can find supplies throughout each mission.
If you’re losing the upperhand, simply run for cover and regenerate your health.
Weapons can be unlocked by using your XP that you earn throughout the campaign. Spartan lasers rocket launchers, seeker droned and more are all available at your leisure. You can also use XP to gain in-game perks such as a score booster or damage booster, respectively increasing your score or damage as you attempt to take out enemies.
The downside however is how hard it is to earn an adequate amount of experience point . It’s also here where you feel the second-rate elements of Spartan Assault begin to kick in. On top of the $14.99 retail price, additional credits can be purchased, which is probably the only true way to consistently get your hands on better weapons. Be forewarned, the weapons doesn’t remain unlocked; only during the upcoming mission. So choose wisely.
You can also join someone in co-op stopping an infection known as the Flood. The Flood was a streamlined infection caused by aliens, serving as a special slow-paced, zombie-like multiplayer mode.
Halo: Spartan Assault is unbelievably simplistic. Granted the game was originally created for mobile devices, you’d at least expect an increase in difficulty, especially for the price point. To the hardcore Halo fans, Spartan Assault may disappoint you. Then again, it could be considered a somewhat decent tie-over until Xbox One receives its own, AAA, exclusive version of Halo. Nah!
Replay Value: 2/5
Overall Rating: 2.5/5