Tag Archives: 343

343 Reveals Zanzibar Remake During SDCC 2014 Halo Panel

The Halo panel revealed a handful of things about the upcoming Halo: The Master Chief collection this last Friday at Comic Con, including the Anniversary Edition remake of Zanzibar. Zanzibar is the third announced Halo 2 map of six that are getting the anniversary treatment, and it looks amazing! Check out the gallery below to see the new and improved Zanzibar, and hit that follow button to stay up to date on everything Halo!

– Caleb Stiles

Halo: Spartan Assualt Review – A “Flooded” Victory (Xbox One)

2823913-gallery

Commander Palmer and Spartan Davis have faced their fair share of trials and tribulations; Spartan Assault is no different. But just as the coveted leaders portayed in this twin-stick shooter, Spartan Assault has risen above its destined turmoil, and come back with teeth clenched, claiming its rightful spot on the Xbox One.

Concept

Set between the events of Halo 3 and Halo 4, 343 industries teams up with Vanguard games to bring Halo fans a twin stick top-down camera view shooter, putting players into the roles of Commander Sarah Palmer, and Spartan Davis, as the backstory to Spartan Ops unfolds. Hal0: SA has 6 campaign operations, A-F, while the co-op campaign only has one operation. Each operation contains 5 missions, but only the co-op missions contain the recently thwarted parasitic aliens known as the Flood. Each mission takes about 2-7 minutes, and generally contains 1-3 objectives. A single playthrough takes only a couple of hours, but Spartan Assault is built with an arcade style aesthetic, tempting you to constantly beat your high score on a mission, or activate a few skulls for an extra challenge.

Graphics and Sound

Without the visual and audible appeal of the Halo Universe, Spartan Assault wouldn’t have the same effect on players. The beautifully recognizable environments and never-forgotten Halo soundtrack bring this title to an unparalleled level in twin-stick shooters. Visually, 343 and Vanguard did an incredible job depicting the Halo Universe, and these graphics really pop on Xbox One. The cutscenes, however, are short and bland, and don’t immerse you into the story as they should have done. For players who don’t follow the Halo lore and universe, the plot is most likely close to being unrecognizable.

Gameplay

Recognizable vehicles, weapons and enemies all make their appearances in Halo: SA, and this universe fits comfortably in a twin-stick top-down setting. Mow down grunts with the trusted UNSC Assault Rifle, steal and command a Wraith to bring demise on even the toughest of the Covenant, or even wield the hailed  dual SMGs for gritty close-quarters-combat. You also have tactical abilities that are interchangeable, much as in the main series of the Halo Franchise. Regen Field, Active Camo, Speed Boost, and more all make their return as abilities, and this adds great and much needed variety to the gameplay. While iconic Halo vehicles and enemies are missing such as the Warthog and Hunters, Spartan Assault does a great job with what it offers, and the almighty Scorpion didn’t miss the cast! One thing that I really enjoy is that you never have an excess supply of ammo or weapons, so you must constantly search the battlefield for a  greater chance of surviving the mission, giving a higher strain on strategy,

2824632-gallery

Spartan Assault would feel incomplete without the Xbox One exclusive co-op mode. Co-op mode pairs you with another Spartan as you fight waves and waves of  the Flood, all the while cooperating and struggling towards your objective(s). This mode really throws in variety, and can by far be the most inclusive and entertaining. The Flood was a perfect addition; they act just as you’d expect from the main series, and that is a very refreshing feature. Overall, Spartan Assault falls short on total quantity, but is a solid hit based on its MSRP.

Verdict

Halo: Spartan Assault veers into the new new territory of twin-stick shooters, and earns its right on the Xbox One store, coming together for a great downloadable title, and a must buy for returning fans. Spartan Assault has some minor setbacks such as uninspired cutscenes and a lack of overall quantity, but makes great strides in this newly approached genre. Recognized visuals and sounds, addicting and fast-paced gameplay, and a well-done co-op mode complete with Flood wrap up Spartan Assault effectively, earning another job well done for 343, and a “Welcome aboard” for Vanguard Games.

Score: 7.4

For Everything Halo and Xbox One, keep your browsers pinned at Dope Since the 90’s!

– Caleb Stiles

Reader Discussion: What is the next Halo game you want to see?

News has been on fire lately with Halo 2: Anniversary Edition, from speculated rumors to a retracted statement from Downes, the voice of Master Chief, but one thing is for certain. The next Halo is soon to be announced, and while it’s looking to be Halo 2: Anniversary Edition, there are many other great options and routes for 343 to take, and I want to see what you all want out of the Halo Franchise.

Halo 2: Anniversary Edition

xl_Halo-2-E3-Screenshot-624

Halo 2: AE would bring some amazing things to the franchise. Halo 2 has arguably one of the best stories, and would feature so much great HD redesign from the Arbiter to the Prophet of Regret, or even the Covenant Bomb. Halo 2 made Halo multiplayer what it is today, and to relive those maps in stunning high definition quality would be a hard treat to turn down for any fan of the franchise. And of course, the SMG and even dual wielding could make their triumphant return.

Halo 5

x

When 343 took lead of the franchise, fans held their breath as the industry stepped into the shoes of its predecessor, Bungie. 343 took over the Halo franchise with great pride, and great success. The Reclaimer Saga was introduced, and with it came the Didact and Prometheans. With tensions getting high between the UNSC and Chief, and the Didact rising back to power, Halo 5 would be a great way to start the Halo journey on Xbox One.

Halo ODST Sequel

halo-3-odst-wallpaper-1

Halo 3: ODST is one of my favorite Halo games, it put a fresh spin on the franchise, putting the player into the armor of an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper as you embark on a journey behind enemy lines with your fellow comrades. Fast forward to the Reclaimer saga and the Xbox One, and that brings a grand opportunity to bring ODST back into play. Who knows, maybe it’s just around the corner!

Halo Wars 2

halowars1

Halo Wars brought the franchise to its first true approach at a global perspective of the UNSC Covenant War, and it accomplished just what it sought out to do. Microsoft Studios and Ensemble Studios teamed up to make a great RTS, and with the war ever raging on, there’s no reason we wont see a sequel. While it’s unfortunate that Ensemble has since dissolved, Microsoft is more than able to reach deep in its pockets and find another way to bring back the RTS side of Halo. We could even hope to see a Forerunner prequel, telling the story of the Human Forerunner Wars!

So what Halo game do you want to see next? Cast your vote in the poll below, check out the results, and explain your vote in the comments section! As always hit that follow button if you enjoyed, and keep it locked at Dope Since the 90’s!