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I was going to wait to buy Spartan Assault until I owned a console, but all the talk about it since its release on the XBONE got the better of me, and I bought it for Windows 8. Overall, fun as BLAM!.
Includes an impressive number of features from regular Halo games.
Consistency in Halo varies a lot; but the assets (sounds, enemies, Halo Wars vehicles, weapons) were an satisfying blend. Ret-cons frustrate me, and they didn't seem to do that in SA; Pelicans and Elites were similar to the earlier games. It felt like this sub-set of Covenant is different than the Prophet-led ones. Parg Vol, who is featured in Spartan Ops, is featured.
Enemies are fun. Skulls are fun. Not having to reload is fun. Incendiary grenades are fun. Grizzly tanks are insane.
No hunters; one appears as a silhouette on the cover art, but I don't mind not fighting them.
The Drones have sounds from the Engineers in ODST and Reach.
Halo: Spartan Assault explores the first missions of the Spartan Ops program and dives deeper into the backstory of the Human-Covenant wars,
Really? It details a conflict between the UNSC and a resurgent Covenant, but backstory is pushing it. I loathe boilerplate. "Ancient Evil" my ass.
The mission-specific challenges are a grind, which I don't mind that much, but I also find them hard to keep track of. I should make a spreadsheet.
I have the Windows 8 version, and it crashes on a regular basis; however, I have a pretty simple computer, so it might not be the game's fault.
Story is kinda light. The population of humans on Draetheus V is glossed over until the later missions; there's a large military presence, but the colonists/civilians are barely mentioned. Makes the fight less interesting.
I'm bored with the Covenant-wants-powerful-Forerunner-tech-and-UNSC-must-stop-them formula. I know that Forerunner relics/facilities are integral to Halo, and I love 'em, but I feel like they are rarely implemented in diverse and interesting ways (esp. in Halo Wars, and the Helljumper and Bloodlines comics).
Also, as with Halo 4, I'd like to know more about the Covenant's motivation (other than, or expanding on; "the gods told me to do it"). We know bits and pieces, but I'm hoping it will be addressed in depth within Mortal Dictata.
Operation Hydra was fun; very frenetic, but the ending/reason for the operation was a let-down---though that may be because I don't fully understand it. Why did the Forerunner facility transmit Spartan Davis' last words? Why did it "remake him", and what did that consist of? Palmer said she "shut it down" but I don't know if she is referring to the Davis-device or the moon/facility. If this is expanded on elsewhere, I would like it more.
Despite my misgivings, I really like it. It's Top. Looking forward to eventually playing co-op on a console version.