Halo Spartan Assault is a different kind of Halo, its a top down twin stick shooter that takes place in the Halo universe.
Reviewed on Xcloud
On a Halo themed episode of Game Bites, I got nostalgic from two Halo games, those two being Halo Reach, and Halo Spartan Assault. Halo Reach failed to recapture the magic it did for me years ago but Spartan Assault had me playing with a smile on my face for the entire 6 hours or so it took me to finish the campaign.
Top down shooters have a special place in my heart so when this originally came out I was excited. I played it on my phone for hours and hours but sadly now it's unavailable there. Enter Xcloud. Now I can go back to this one any time I want.
The story was new and interesting. You are playing through simulations of other Spartans, through six different areas and 30 missions total. Knowing that it's a simulation, the stakes are low for your character, since you know this already happened but you often forget about that as you are hearing of the great success and challenges that these Spartans overcame for the mission.
Some of these missions do not have happy endings but the time you spent with each spartan was not long enough for it to hold too much emotional weight.
The missions themselves were pretty varied. You were doing everything from just killing all enemies to protecting high valued allies. None of the missions got old. There was always something that made it different. In some missions, you were under time constraints, in other missions you could go on a killing spree in a tank or a ghost. The weapons were also plentiful and varied. Every weapon we have come to expect in a Halo game was here and using them from this perspective was a sight to be seen in some cases. The variety stayed true until the end.
The game made a weird decision for me. The structures are broken up into lettered groups, groups A through F. The last mission in group E was an amazing mission with a fantastic conclusion that ends with you assassinating an enemy. After that, the game basically says you're done, but then someone comes into the cut scene and tells you "no we're not done yet".
At first, I was hyped, I was wondering what they can do to top the last mission but ultimately they failed to top it. The last few missions were just a difficult string of interactions. It was just running the gauntlet of the game. Something I hate when games do. The ending does not need to just be a string of hard levels, they had the perfect ending in the conclusion to E but decided to keep it going.
Halo Spartan Assault is a better game than it probably should be. The twin stick approach to Halo works perfectly. The story lacks the weight of the core Halo games but still has a good story to tell. The game plays great and at this time, which I'm sure will change, it's my favorite Halo.
Final Score -8.5/10-
Halo rankings so far:
Halo Spartan Assault 8.5/10
Halo 2 6/10
Halo CE 5/10
Halo Reach 3/10