Resisting the temptation to simply make Halo-lite, Vanguard Games has been smart in how it has entered the portable market. Each level is short and to the point, built around two Spartan warriors and plenty of environments that evoke the Halo spirit. It often, wisely, asks nothing more than to eradicate any Covenant that stand in your way, albeit now in classic top-down, twin-stick tradition (what else?).
Despite this change, from the excellent soundtrack right down to the presentation, what's here wouldn't have looked or felt out of place in Halo 4. The viewpoint may've moved to a bird's eye perspective, but be it the assault rifle, Scorpions or Brutes (who are as aggressive and ruthless as ever), all the franchise's hallmarks are here.
The problems, then, come in the form of controls. Even on PC Spartan Assault can be fiddly in terms of handling vehicles, but on a tablet it's positively challenging. You do eventually adapt to the system, but intense patience is the best way to get the most out of it. Thankfully, the on-foot sections are a world apart, proving to be both entertaining and horrifically moreish: the entire experience possesses that enviable quality of getting inside your head until you're incapable of putting the thing down.
If you're willing to learn its touch inputs and put up with the frustration of in-game transactions - it often leaves you in a situation where things would be much easier and fun if you parted with cash - Spartan Assault is a solid way to feed any Halo pangs you may have, no matter where you are. It's nothing like what you're used to on Xbox 360, but it never needed to be either. While that may upset some, this remains an enjoyable, simple shooter in a familiar universe.
Played for 8 hours. Click here to read about VideoGamer.com's new review policy.