Platforms: Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Developers: 343 Industries and Vanguard Entertainment
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
The Xbox One gets a taste of Halo with the release of Halo: Spartan Assault today, a day earlier than planned (with the Xbox 360 version hitting in January 2014), but it is far from your traditional Halo. Halo: Spartan Assault is a top-down perspective shooter that was first released on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 back in July 2013. Microsoft decided to port the mobile/PC game for our console pleasures.
The game allows you to dive deeper into the backstory between Halo 3 and Halo 4, during the UNSC-Covenant ceasefire. A rogue Covenant infantry attacks Draetheus V in a blatant disregard for the ceasefire. Stationed on Draetheus is Spartan Davis and Commander Palmer. You play through the events during the attack and discover why the rogue Covenant infantry is so interested in the planet.
Halo: Spartan Assault contains over 30 levels of gameplay and a coop mode for you and a friend along with coop survival where you team up to survive the infamous flood. The game brings a refreshing twist to Halo and definitely adds an element of fun while we wait for Halo 5 to be released in the near future.
The graphics are visually stunning and the game is a direct rendition of what we’ve come to enjoy in the Halo universe. The gameplay is very simple – the left joystick moves the character and the right joy stick can help aim the weapon at enemies causing more direct hits. You simply move through the levels running and gunning.
However, with simple gameplay comes problems. Maneuvering a vehicle such as a Wraith and Tank become very difficult and sometimes awkward. I definitely had a hard time surviving as I tried to align shots to take out Covenant forces.
In addition, early adopters on the mobile/PC platform who dished out money in the beginning are unable to access the game on their console for free.
Microsoft is allowing anyone who purchased Halo: Spartan Assault for PC or mobile device prior to December 15 to access the game on their console for $4.99. Just make sure you use the same gamertag on the console to qualify for the discount.
Nonetheless, the game is definitely worth $14.99 for anyone who has yet to play the game. Head on over to the Microsoft Store on your Xbox One (and Xbox 360 in January 2014) to download your copy of Halo: Spartan Assault. The rogue Covenant forces aren’t going to defeat themselves!