Halo and I have a pretty checkered past. I, like most Xbox users, loved the first 2. By the time the third one came around, and everyone was disappointed, I loved it. The way I saw it, Halo 3 had to live up to Halo 2 and that was just never going to happen, so you have to take it for what it is, which is completely decent in and of itself. It had a lot to live up to. Then came Reach which I enjoyed for-again-what it was, and even the little things like Halo Wars was fantastic (but I’m a huge RTS fan, which will factor into this review a lot). The only two I wasn’t crazy about were ODST-outside Firefight-and Halo 4. While ODST just wasn’t all that fun, Halo 4 relied FAR too much on outside source material to make any sense of the plot, and that’s not cool. That’s why when Spartan Assault came around, I was nervous. Ok, a Halo in a smaller, more condensed version could be cool, but it also could be downright horrible. However, I was far more interested in it because of my love for Halo Wars than I was in Halo 4.
And I’m not disappointed in the least.
While it’s not the most in depth game ever, it’s a really fun little title. Probably because it’s NOTHING like the FPS we know and (sometimes) love. I think a lot of Spartan Assaults success is in its execution. You get a top down RTS/FPS mix almost, and it looks pretty good for being on such a small scale. You can easily tell apart the Elites and Grunts, and even the vehicles look great at their tiny size. It has a small story attached to it, but it’s nothing too intriguing; pretty generic Halo story. I’m not a big graphics or story person though, so my review is simply on how fun it is and man is it FUN.
Spartan Assault comes with 6 “campaigns” with a set of 5 levels each, and to make those of us who love scoring, we can fight to get to a gold star. There are 3 stars based on your score, and they get harder as it goes on so you don’t become bored. You also can unlock special weapons and such for having achievements and whatnot in previous Halo games, so that’s a neat little bonus.
My one complaint-and perhaps this is just me-is the aiming. I’ve gotten a bit better, but using left stick to really aim is just very awkward and it can become extremely frustrating if you can’t get the hang of it. But, that aside, the game is pretty damn near great, which is rare for an arcade title based on a retail franchise it seems. Also very well done for taking a game from what was originally a mobile title and bringing it to consoles. Either way, I’d highly recommend picking up Spartan Assault. It doesn’t come with a whole lot of customization but the familiarity with the universe and whatnot makes it pretty worthwhile and it’s just such a blast to play. I actually think Halo should do more titles like this, with different views. FPS is fine, it’s what it is now, but I love these little detours from what we know. Halo Wars-granted not by Bungie-was phenomenal and this is just fantastic too. It gives it a fresh perspective while still retaining that Halo feel.
And this is high praise, if you’ve ever read anything else I’ve reviewed. Believe me, I am NOT a very nice person when it comes to liking stuff.
If I had to grade the game on a scale of A to F, I’d give it a solid B. Definitely check it out.
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