First released on Windows mobile devices last year, Halo: Spartan Assault made its way to the Xbox One as a digital downloadable release. While not the most in-depth Halo experience, it’s a fun ride while it lasts, reminiscent of the twin-stick shooters of old.
Don’t get stuck. Fight back with these Covenant-blasting tips.
When you first begin Halo: Spartan Assault, you receive a pair of weapons – an assault rifle and a pistol. Over the course of the game, you’ll have access to your loadout, so you can switch to other weapons like the shotgun, Spartan Laser and others. You can also pick up weapons left over from Covenant aliens, such as a plasma pistol and rifle, just as you could in the classic Halo game.
When it comes to weapon management, remember that you don’t need to use your assault rifle right away. Your pistol is quite handy for taking down smaller Covenant soldiers, allowing you to conserve the ammunition in the rifle for bigger enemies. Use your shots sparingly, and be on the lookout for ammunition to refill in case you begin to run low. You can usually find it around the center of each stage, or near your Spartan base.
As for picking up Covenant weaponry, the Plasma Repeater and Needler are your best bets. They carry more ammunition than your typical pistol, and give off better firing capacity in general. Still, if you’re almost out of ammunition, beggers can’t be choosers. Pick up whatever you can find and stay in the fight.
As the game progresses, you’ll have the opportunity to hop into vehicles, such as the Ghost, Pelican or Wraith – which will definitely be familiar to fans of the series. It’s a must to hop into these and use them whenever you can. Not only do they provide better firepower than you’d find in your typical weaponry, but also superior durability. These things can take several hits before they blow up, and do massive damage against enemy vehicles that stand in your way. Watch your driving and lay down the firepower every chance you get.
Bigger “tank”-like vehicles have better firepower, but also move slower, so be prepared. Smaller ones don’t really hit as hard, but offer better maneuverability, letting you get around a level easier and run over small enemies. Choose accordingly based on your style of play, and go on your run.
In addition, keep an eye on your vehicle’s energy meter, which appears right above it. If it gets down to about two or three clicks, it’s almost done. You’ll want to jump out and make a run for it, even if there’s the possibility of being under fire from enemies. It sure beats being blown to bits.
When it comes to overcoming a turret, don’t waste your time trying to remove an enemy with a grenade or firepower. Instead, stay out of their sights and get close, then simply climb up and throw them out. This not only lets you conserve ammo, but also avoids taking unnecessary damage.
Once you’re in the turret, you can go to town on any targets within your firing range. While they’re limited compared to moving vehicles, they provide a temporary assault on any Covenant enemies rampaging into the area. If you see these, don’t hesitate to stop and use them.
Along with your assault rifle and pistol, you’ll have access to a few grenades. These are useful if you’re taking on a vehicle while on foot, or clearing out enemies that you can’t necessarily get to with your main weapons. You’ll be able to aim your trajectory by using the right analog stick and tapping the shoulder button. You’ve only got a few on hand (until you refill, that is), so use them wisely. Remember, don’t blow yourself up!
As with the original Halo games, you have an energy shield that recharges should you take any gunfire damage from enemies. If you find yourself running low on shield, run out of the area and get yourself to cover as soon as you can. Once your shield is gone, you’ll be vulnerable, and could be killed with the next incoming attack from enemies.
The shield only takes a few seconds to recharge, so be patient. While you’re recharging, try to make a dash for whatever ammunition refills are in the area. Conserve your time while you wait, particularly with base defense missions. It’ll pay off once you’re back to full strength.
Finally, when it comes to defending a point on the map, such as a base or a convoy, keep an eye on your heads-up display to see where enemies pop up. Position yourself in a good spot where you can take out Covenant soldiers in a hurry, but don’t let what you’re protecting get overrun. Clean up the current area, then move back behind your allies, as that’s likely to be where your enemies will strike next. It’s a bit tougher on your own than with others in co-op mode, but if you’re quick enough, you’ll be able to clean house without losing one of your objectives. Keep at it.
We’ll cover more advanced and co-op tips for the game later this week.
Halo: Spartan Assault is available now for Xbox One, and will release later this month for Xbox 360.