Halo: Spartan Assault

Common Sense Media says

So-so top-down sci-fi shooter has constant gun battles.

Age(i)

2
3
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5
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7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Any potentially admirable notions of bravery and courage against slim odds are largely overshadowed by the game's focus on entertaining via nonstop, over-the-top, sci-fi action. 

Ease of play

Action is dead simple to figure out: Just point and shoot. It can be difficult to earn top ratings, but simply passing missions never gets too hard.

Violence

Action is viewed from a bird's-eye perspective in this third-person shooter, so little detail is evident. However, human-versus-alien gunfights are virtually constant, with players using a variety of sci-fi weapons, rockets, turrets, and grenades to dispatch hundreds, if not thousands, of enemies. Foes spurt small sprays of colorful blood when hit, as do human allies. 

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This game is a spin-off of Microsoft's popular series of cinematic first-person shooters under the Halo brand, and there's a good chance kids who play this game will want to move on to the series' more popular (and more violent) entries. Also, the game supports micro-transactions, though they're hardly necessary to win.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Creates privacy and safety concerns. Online co-op supports open voice communication, which means players may be subjected to inappropriate language and subjects of discussion and have the ability to trade personal information.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Halo: Spartan Assault is a top-down third-person shooter focused on gunfights. The action is presented from a raised perspective, so little detail is seen, but the combat is pretty much constant, and colorful spurts of blood appear when characters get shot. There is no puzzle solving and not even much in the way of strategy formulation. Also, be aware that this game could serve as an entry point for the Halo series' much more popular and violent first-person shooter games (they're M-rated versus this one's Teen rating) and that it supports and encourages microtransactions. 

What kids can learn

Skills

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively

Collaboration

  • teamwork

What Kids Can Learn

Halo: Spartan Assault wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

What kids can learn

Skills

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively

Collaboration

  • teamwork

Halo: Spartan Assault wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Originally designed for Windows mobile devices and PCs, HALO: SPARTAN ASSAULT is a top-down third-person shooter spin-off of the more popular first-person shooter Halo games. It tells the story of a pair of soldiers fighting a rogue faction of Covenant aliens shortly after the events of Halo 3. The action is similar to that of other Halo games but only insofar as players are running around shooting aliens. The raised perspective and twin-stick controls make for a much simpler adventure. One stick is used to move, and the other is used to aim. All you need to do is make sure you kill all your enemies before you run out of bullets. It was originally a single-player-only game, but the Xbox One and Xbox 360 editions come with a bonus mode that allows players to hook up with a friend online and fight through a handful of co-op missions against a different enemy.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Likely the most middling of any game yet released under the Halo banner, Halo: Spartan Assault never manages to fly like other games in the series. The combat, while competent and at times even fun in a rudimentary way, is extremely repetitive with little variety in tactics or weapons. It's generally only a matter of exploring maps on foot or in vehicles and shooting until no Covenant are left alive. Plus, the story is presented mostly through stills and long strings of text, making for a decidedly uncinematic experience. Add in the occasional prompt to spend real money on some pretty pointless virtual goods, and you may end up more annoyed than entertained. The saving grace is that the console editions offer a short series of online co-op missions that liven things up considerably. Pity that local co-op play isn't supported.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. How do you feel after seeing violent action in a game or movie? If you feel different, does this feeling influence how you act and what you want to do?

  • Families also can discuss the notion of microtransactions within games. Are you ever compelled to spend money within a game? Do you feel like you get good value when buying virtual goods?

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Price:$14.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Microsoft Studios
Release date:December 12, 2013
Genre:Third-person shooter
Topics:Space and aliens
ESRB rating:T for Violence, Blood (Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

This review of Halo: Spartan Assault was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old April 14, 2014
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

okay, not THAT bad.

apparently the game was not even played. like the other halos, blood is green, blue, purple, and red, which only appear when you shoot a more rare alien, and when you die. but that is normally blocked by the mission failed screen when you die. there is mild language, but its only hell and damn. besides, the main characters (spartan Davis and Palmer) save a huge amount of people, and in many other ways are great role models.
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byWill12Bell February 20, 2014
AGE
5
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Halo Spartan Assault Review

I really liked it I am a big fan of Halo it is a very simple game sure there is a little blood but who cares?
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Kid, 10 years old April 24, 2014
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

A gory but fantastic game

IT IS GREAT FOR KIDS
What other families should know
Easy to play/use

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