While the main game has you only facing off against Covenant forces like grunts, jackals, brutes, and elites - the co-op mode pits you against the most annoying enemy in Halo lore - the Flood. It’s unfortunate that 343 decided to make the Flood the only enemy you’ll face in the game’s five co-op missions because you rarely get a chance to enjoy some of the more interesting aspects of Spartan Assault like the vehicle levels and the more strategy oriented gameplay of taking down bigger Covenant enemies.
And while three of the five missions in co-op essentially boil down to a timed survival mission, there are some pretty unique co-op elements. For one, Spartan Assault introduces laser defenses which are powered by an external pad. This means one player must hold down a trigger while the other actually utilizes the turret and fires on the oncoming flood of...uh...Flood. In another mission the two Spartans must work through and disable shield generators. To do this you essentially need to “hold open doors” for each other, allowing you to progress through the level and blocking Flood behind. Further yet, there's a special yellow Flood parasite that latches on to players and the only way to get it off is to have your co-op partner shoot it. All in all, the five co-op missions are an intense and chaotic ride.
Once a level is complete you’ll see how both players contributed to the overall score and how you did globally on leaderboards. Once again the replayability comes in the form of trying to better your score and get gold stars on all the levels.
Halo: Spartan Assault, while fun, never quite escapes the groundwork that was laid out for it by the mobile original. The game never eschews anything more than a fun distraction. At $15 it’s a tough sell too, especially considering it’s loaded with free to play style microtransactions. The co-op mode is fun to work through, but missed what makes Spartan Assault fun to begin with. If you're a Halo fan and / or a twin stick shooter fan, you probably won't be disappointed with what Spartan Assault has to offer; but it's definitely not a top tier addition to either series or genre.
The Co-Optimus review of Halo: Spartan Assault is based on the Xbox One version of the game. A code for the game was provided by the publisher for evaluation purposes.
The Co-Op Experience: Take on five co-op missions with a friend against the Flood. Co-Op specific levels require coordination and teamwork to survive and conquer.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.