HALO: SPARTAN ASSAULT / Microsoft / PC
 
 
I've actually never owned a Halo game before this one. I played some multiplayer on other people's consoles back when the very first game came out, but I've pretty much been ignoring the franchise since. So I have no clue how this side game fits into the whole mythology, but some cursory Googling tells me it takes place between Halo 3 and 4. You're the Space Marines with the armor that is color-coded to Mountain Dew's latest flavors and you have to shoot up some sort of robo-dinosaurs apparently, there's your story. I'm assured by a Halo fan that nothing happens here that really matters in the main plotline. Also that you're not killing Dinobots.

The basic gameplay actually isn't too different, just seen from a really big camera jib rather than first-person, making it kinda like Robotron with grenades. You're also in smaller, self-contained little missions with some not particularly helpful AI companions. You can do leaderboard stuff online, but there doesn't appear to be any online multiplayer.

I was going to give the game a 3 for at least basic competence and decent production values, even if it isn't particularly interesting or exciting. But it refuses to allow you to save progress in the campaign if you're not online. There's no valid technical reason for this, it's just a naked attempt to force you to be logged into a Microsoft account so they can harvest more advertising data from you. This isn't a free Google service, assholes, I paid seven bucks for this!

Oh, and even though it's more pricey than most mobile games, they still managed to get microtransactions in. You earn XP after completing each mission that is used to by new weapons, but of course, you can also pay Real Moniez to shortcut your way to them. Again, this in a $7 game.
 
 
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