Friday, 28 November 2014

Review No. 83 Halo: Spartan Assault - PC (12+)

Strong Points:
Lots to do
Lots of replay-ability
Lots of varied weapons and abilities
Lots of varied missions
Lots of varied enemies
Vehicle sections!
Nice, quick levels
Scoring system is good
Soundtrack is good
Graphics are good
Feels like a training program for the main games

Weak Points:
Assault ops take a ridiculous amount of time to do
Allies AI is terrible
It's hard to get XP
Takes a while to load the menus once you've completed a mission

Rating: 85%

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
World Wide: April 4, 2014

WASD/Arrow keys: movement
Left mouse button: shooting/press buttons
Right mouse button: throwing grenades
Both mouse buttons together: charge plasma pistol
Q: activate MJOLNIR power
E: interact with vehicles, turrets and items
Control: change grenade
Shift: change weapon
Escape: access menus
This is a game that I've been playing for quite a long time now. This is due to both its superb gameplay and replay-ability, there's just so much to do! The premise is that you control two Spartans (Palmer and Davis) as they try to defend Draetheus V from a Covenant Invasion. This sets up the seen for 5 campaigns (30 levels) of twinstick action! 

The missions vary from you having to defend a certain point, getting to an area, defending some engineers or escorting some snipers to their positions. Most of the game is played as one of the Spartans (with the one you play as varying depending on the level) with their vast arsenal of both human and Covenant weaponry, from the assault rifle to the Needler to the rocket launcher to the plasma pistol. They also have the use of grenades (of normal, plasma and incendiary variants) which both handle really well and are very useful. As well as this weaponry, the Spartans also have MJOLNIR powers which can help you out of a tight spot and include health regeneration and super speed. 

On some missions you also get use of some vehicles such as the Wraith and the Ghost. I was genuinely impressed with how much fun it was to use these vehicles and how good they felt to use. As well as vehicles, there are also turrets which can be used at certain points to do a lot of damage (or destroyed for a lot of points). And, while the vehicles can make you feel more or less invincible, you have to remember that if the vehicle you are in dies, then it's game over. 

At the end of a level you get a score based on your kills, medals (which include kill streaks and special kills such as with a charged plasma shot) and the time it took for you to complete the mission. You will then be given a bronze, silver or gold star depending on your score. I would recommend focusing on getting the points through the medals as this is the easiest and most effective (although you will have to watch your time). The other thing that is awarded to you is XP (which goes up depending on your star). The XP can then be used to buy special weaponry (such as the Spartan Laser and rocket launcher) and MJOLNIR powers or boosters (such as XP or score). One annoying thing about the game is the amount of time it takes to get XP which can result in quite a lot of grinding. 

Besides this, the game also has 25 achievements (which are actually quite hard to get) and many mission specific Assault Ops (and weekly ones). The Assault Ops are probably the worst part of the game due to the amount of specific stuff that you have to do and will have you drudging through the same level again and again in search of that those last fifty kills. 

Overall, Halo Spartan Assault is a pretty great game that, if you look at it as a training program like the game suggests, really starts to shine. The Halo name will bring you in and the fun will keep you there as you grind through Covenant in search of that final kill for an Assault Op or the final point for a gold star.   

Goodbye for now, Harry

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