Halo: Spartan Assault is a top-down twin-stick shooter game set in the Halo universe developed by 343 Industries and Vanguard Games. The game is set between Halo 3 and Halo 4 presented as a recreation of those events for training purposes. Set one year after the end of the Human-Covenant War, Spartan Assault follows the adventures of early Spartan-IVs Sarah Palmer and Edward Davis on Draetheus V as they fight through waves of Covenant remnant invaders.
The gameplay uses many of the elements from the FPS Halo games (shooting Covenant, adapting to their AI, occasionally driving vehicles) but is seen from a bird's eye view similar to games like Geometry Wars.
The game was originally released for Windows 8 devices on July 18, 2013, but eventually made its way to Xbox and other PC platforms later on (including Steam), with the Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions adding a two-player online co-op mode in which two Spartans battle against hordes of Flood.
A sequel, Halo: Spartan Strike, was released on April 16, 2015.
- Adaptational Badass: A number of weapons have been buffed up considerably for this game (take note of how many of these have to do with the lack of reloading):
- The Plasma Pistol's fully charged shot can not only take of shields and stun vehicles, but it does a lot of damage to vehicles and turrets, making it a viable weapon to use against them.
- The Focus Rifle went from being an energy sniper that overheats easily to a death ray that tears through shields and armor, making it a viable alternative to the Assault Rifle (aside from the comparatively low max ammo). It's also the only hitscan weapon in the game.
- The three power weapons (possibly justified, as you have to spend XP or real money to use them):
- The Sniper Rifle fires faster than before and its rounds can pierce through targets (which is far more useful when combined with the top-down perspective).
- The Spartan Laser still has to be charged before firing, but isn't a single-shot weapon. When you fire it, the beam keeps going for a full three seconds, letting you point it at different things to kill several targets with one shot. Also, it has 16 shots as opposed to 4-5.
- The Rocket Launcher approaches game-breaking territory. It gives you 150 rockets to start (again, no reloading) and fires VERY fast, obliterating anything unfortunate enough to get in your way.
- The Marines that occasionally accompany you. Anyone who has played the FPS games will tell you that Marines tend to be useless bullet sponges that do little to actually help you. In this game, they can take a lot of punishment, take out a number of enemies on their own, and very rarely go down.
- Artificial Stupidity: While the AI have a lot in common with their FPS counterparts (ie: each species behaves differently and won't simply throw themselves at you to die), they are not above throwing a grenade at you and having it land on a piece of cover in front of them (or better yet, shooting at a fusion coil) and killing themselves.
- BFG The Rocket Launcher and Spartan Laser.
- Boss Battle: Against Merg Vol, who is notable for being the first "true" boss in a Halo game since Halo 2 (not counting Halo 3's Anti-Climax Boss).
- Bottomless Magazines: None of the weapons require you to reload, making some of them decidedly more powerful than their FPS counterparts.
- The Cameo: A number of vehicles introduced in Halo Wars (such as the Wolverine and playable Grizzly tank) make appearances in this game.
- Coup de Grâce: After Merg Vol collapses from his wounds at the end of his boss fight, Palmer finishes him off with a pistol shot to the back of the head.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The Covenant use a Forerunner superweapon to disintegrate Draetheus V.
- Escort Mission: There are a number of these scattered throughout the game, though the escortees tend to be fairly tough.
- Excuse Plot: The game is a recreation of historical battles featuring Sarah Palmer and Edward Davis, told through a simulation for Spartan-IV recruits, but really, the plot's just there to give you things to shoot.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the opening cutscene, Roland states that the game is intended to be a way for Spartan recruits to study up on military history, and then says this:Roland: As a bonus, it's a pretty fun game you can play in your spare time.
- The Remnant: The main antagonists aren't the original Covenant, but a splinter faction led by Merg Vol.
- Stop Helping Me!: If you're trying to get a gold medal, the Marines can become this, as they have a tendency to steal your kills and points.
- That's No Moon!: Draetheus V's moon turns out to be a Forerunner installation capable of destroying (and creating) planets.