Xbox 360 gamers will have a new Halo game to play tomorrow. 343 Industries plans to release the arcade shooter Halo: Spartan Assault on Friday.
Spartan Assault's campaign takes place between Halo 3 and Halo 4. Players take on the role of Spartans battling Covenant forces on the planet Draetheus V. Sarah Palmer, a key character in Halo 4's Spartan Ops campaign, is one of the playable heroes.
Unlike other Halo shooters, Spartan Assault isn't played from the first-person camera. Instead, it has a top-down camera similar to a real-time strategy. It features many of the same enemies, weapons and vehicles as the main Halo series, though. The shield abilities from Halo 4 make a return as well.
Spartan Assault also includes a two-player co-op mode. The five co-op missions allow players to battle against the Flood. They have to fight off seemingly endless waves of these parasites while completing objectives.
While single-player and co-op missions each have specific goals, there's also the constant struggle for a high score. Actions like multi-kills or killstreaks will give you medals that boost your rating for a mission. You can also handicap yourself by activating Skulls before missions. For example, firing your gun can reduce your health with a certain Skull enabled. These Skulls will multiply your final score. The higher your score, the more credits you'll have to spend on perks like new weapons or shield abilities. Leaderboards also track the top performers in the world.
343 Industries previously released Spartan on Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox One. If you bought the Windows 8 or mobile version before December 15th, you can get the 360 or XB1 version for an additional $4.99. Otherwise, you'll have to pay $14.99 for the game.
Over the holidays I reviewed the Xbox One version of Spartan. While I feel the replay value of the game is limited, I still think it's a pretty fun diversion for an afternoon.