Stick It To The Convenant: Halo Spartan Strike Out Now

The Micro Chief

Ask me to name a game in which I particularly like the guns, and I’ll look panicky for a moment, presuming you want me to confidently say the M-something upgraded with the thingamy-ma-death something from Call of Duty something, then intone something about recoil. I presume you will kill me with an actual gun if I fail to do this, what with your clearly caring an awful lot about guns. If my ers and ums don’t result in my sudden death, I’ll regain my composure after a few seconds and say ‘Halo, I guess. Like, everything has a purpose, and everything works particularly well in tandem with a different weapon type, and it all feels like a real strategy and a real choice, even though it’s all made up.’

This is why I’ve played every Halo game even when their self-fellating space magic nonsense-plots made me want to scream (hello, 2 and 3). This is why is why I thought ‘ooh, that’ll do’ when I saw twin-stick spin-off Spartan Strike was out today.

The top-down twin-stick shooter was due out last December, but has only just hit Steam and the sad wasteland that is the Windows 8 store, as well as assorted iThings. I had a quick look at the first level this morning, and while clearly it’s a far cry from what we really want, which is the recent Xbox One re-release that Microsoft bewilderingly didn’t call The Remaster Chief Collection, so far it feels good.

Those familiar, strategic weapons and enemy types are there, it looks like the New Mombasa bit from Halo 2, and despite the top-down camera and teeny tiny people, it feels pretty damned Halo-y. Naturally it’s front-loaded with self-fellating space magic nonsense-plot, but I skipped all that and got straight to the shooting. It’s pretty pretty too.

Only a fiver, but I can’t yet tell you how long it lasts. I’ll play a bit more and update you with any Important Facts if and when they arise.


  1. Keiggo says:

    Alec, (or anyone else) did you play Spartan Assault? How does this one compare? I found the last one both a bit boring and a bit frustrating but I REALLY wanted to like it. This one might be the game for me, fingers crossed…

    • Eight Rooks says:

      For what little it’s worth, the TouchArcade forums – where I go for my iThing gaming-related fix – seem to think Strike is a considerable improvement over Assault. Some of that relates to mobile-specific issues (touchscreen controls much better, etc.) but still, just thought I’d mention. Haven’t bought either myself yet: I was tempted, but then I couldn’t decide which format to go for (big screen and controller versus portability).

  2. frogmanalien says:

    I would prefer (since they’ve already got some assets from this game they could easily reuse) to see a sequel to Halo Wars/port to PC (Xbone only unforunately) – it wasn’t the greatest strategy game ever, but there’s not enough people playing in this area of the market (real time, C&C alike) – it had a great co-op that I remember fondly playing through with a friend in a single sitting… It seems like the twin stick shooter field is a bit “meh” for the franchise.

    • SuicideKing says:

      True, Halo Wars on the PC is something I’ve been wishing for ever since it was released. Trust MS to come up with an RTS and make it an Xbox exclusive.

  3. SuicideKing says:

    I left Spartan Assault about half way through, became repetitive, frustrating and a boring. I did have fun, initially, but I’ll be honest: I bought it more because I wanted to support a Halo game on the PC, so that more would be released.

    That said, I won’t be buying this one, because Microsoft seems to have the wrong idea about its PC audience…and fails to understand what we want despite us shouting into its ear for a good 10 years now.

    All we get is a F2P/P2W Halo shooter for Russia.

    Master Chief Collection or no sale, MS. Actually, Halo 1-5 on the PC or no sale.

    • Ejia says:

      Having them release Halo 1-5 but require Windows 10 would probably get me to upgrade quicker.

      • TheMightyEthan says:

        The free upgrade to 10 isn’t enough already?

        • Ejia says:

          I’m cheap and lazy, but lazier than I am cheap.

        • Razumen says:

          For Halo, I’d probably upgrade to W10 a lot faster.

        • SuicideKing says:

          Well, not for me. I’m still suspicious of them for giving it away for free, and…I don’t really find anything Windows 10 adds to Windows 7 that I’m craving for.

          So I’ll probably upgrade:
          1) Before the free period expires, assuming there aren’t any sneaky T&Cs
          2) When the first DX12 game releases that I care about
          3) Halo proper for the PC is released, just like Ejia and Razumen.

  4. Darth Gangrel says:

    They’re called The Covenant (like a pretty bad, but still entertaining movie by Renny Harlin, director of Die Hard 2). Calling the main antagonists of the Halo franchise “the Convenant” sounds like some subsconscious passive-aggressiveness against conventions.