Halo: Spartan Strike Review

Introduction

Halo: Spartan Strike is the sequel to Spartan Assault. Developed by 343 Industries and Vanguard Games, and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It was released on iOS, Windows Phone, and PC in April 2015.

Review

Welcome back soldier to the UNSC Historical Combat Logs of Spartan Marines during the war with the covenant! That’s right, we’re learning about history again! Except this time, you’re just a nameless grunt, during two different parts of the war! No more character building for us! So open your textbook and prepare for the lesson….kind of.

The plot of the story begins during the events of Halo 2. The UNSC tracked a Forerunner Artefact to “New Mombasa”, you know, the city that was completely obliterated during the events of ODST. So you chase around the covenant, trying to get this magical McGuffin back into the hands of the Spartan because no one truly knows how dangerous it is. Afterwards the story moves on to a point 5 years later, where the UNSC managed to find the Conduit again, this time on a new ring, known as Gamma Halo. That’s right, they lost it!

The story is so disjointed in this game, and again, the most story you get is the briefing of each level. But where the briefings were deep and a bit long in Spartan Assault, the ones here are a few sentences. “Oh no, our forces are pinned down! Go kill Covenant and help them!”. Sure there’s cutscenes at the beginning of every chapter, but with no true character to care about, it’s just like someone is reading to you from a book. So it’s so boring and hard to get invested. But the real deal breaker to this game is that the last chapter is locked behind specific prerequisites. So I’ll be honest now, I never truly beat it.

Now I know some people will go “HOW CAN YOU REVIEW A GAME IF YOU DIDN’T BEAT IT! RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!”. Well this is why. To unlock the final chapter, you have to get a gold star score rating on ALL the previous levels! I struggled on quite a few levels and was only able to get bronze! So I was not going to struggle until I managed to unlock the last chapter. Not only is this not fair to the players, but when it comes to accessibility, it makes it even worse. Some people, no matter how hard they try, may never be able to get gold ratings on every level. So it’s an unfair decision to lock the last chapter to such stupid conditions. 

As for the levels, I loved how short and sweet the levels in the first game were. No objective was overused, I could squeeze some in quickly if I ever wanted to. But in this one, the levels are so much longer, and the objectives are repeated so fucking much! Like standing on a platform to power it up, while enemies spawn endlessly towards you. Or survive for the countdown. There were so many times this was used! “Survive for 1 minute and 45 seconds. Okay now survive for 1 minute. Okay now survive for 2 ½ minutes.” I’m not lying when I said a level had these one after the other. What was worse, was when I finally managed to beat these levels, but the game would crash before it saved, so I had to do it again, and it crashed SO MUCH! I estimate I played about 5 hours of the game, and within that 5 hours, the game crashed at least a dozen times. Sometimes it crashed after it saved, so I got lucky.

Honestly the controls probably made this even more frustrating for me than it needed to be as well. Now I played on a mouse and keyboard, usually this means you can have nice remapping options right? Wrong! You have the typical movement buttons that you would have on a PC, then you use the mouse to aim and fire. But the worst of it, what when I had to change weapons. The button wasn’t mapped to something simple like the shift key, or the nicely placed Z key. No, it was mapped to the number buttons. I would even take scrolling the mouse wheel to change weapons! So I had to basically stop moving or move my hand weirdly just to change my weapons. It didn’t help that the game’s weapons didn’t function great at all. Like shotguns for example. If you tapped the fire button constantly, the gun would act like it jammed and wouldn’t shoot. Little did I know I could just hold the mouse button to fire continuously! So I died a lot before I knew this because my shotguns just wouldn’t fire.

I also truly wish I could’ve added another mouse and keyboard for co-op support, which you’d think the developers would’ve fixed in this one, but they did not! So the game was even rougher playing it solo. Or maybe I just suck with a mouse and keyboard.

Rating

Rating: 3 out of 10.

Pros:

  • I Can’t Think Of Anything

Cons:

  • Too Many

Summary

I hated everything about this sequel. The controls, the length of the levels, the overused objectives, and especially how the last chapter was fucking locking behind such stupid requirements. The tiny shred of amusement I found with the game is playing it with my brother as we swapped seats now and again, and laughed if we did something stupid, like blow ourselves up. That’s where 3 points of fun come from. If I was solo, it truly might be a 1. Or a zero! I don’t recommend this game. Ever. Just skip it. Leave it alone forever. I played it for free on GamePass and I still want a refund.

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Game & Developer Information

Developer Website: 343 Industries / Vanguard Games
Developer Socials: Twitter / Twitter
Publisher Website: Microsoft Game Studios
Publisher Socials: Twitter

Images – https://www.halowaypoint.com/

Halo: Spartan Strike

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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