After a short mid-season break Sparta Ops returns with a bang in episode 6. Five brand new chapters accompanied by a CG cinematic continuing the story of majestic squad, and kick Spartan ops off with a desperate fight to escape the covenant who have captured Spartan Thorne, Crimson squad and Dr. Glassman. Once the chains are cut loose, you hit the ground fighting and from there it does not let up. Traversing deep into Covenant held territory on Requiem with a captured Covenant Phantom drop ship, it becomes clear that 343 Industries put much more time and effort to this brand new set of missions. Where missions in the first half of season one often felt like glorified Firefight arenas, the new locations and objectives make episode 6 feel more like a Halo campaign and stand out from the previous episodes.
The missions feel more directed, and make the player feel like they have a tangible goal to accomplish. The story of Majestic also continues to ramp up, The Characters, especially Spartan Thorne are beginning to develop. Thorne as well as the others are becoming more than just a random group of Spartan 4’s. Hopefully 343i can continue Spartan Ops with this level of storytelling, and keep it from becoming just a better version of Firefight.
Having the campaign level designers more onto Spartan Ops shows. One particularly impressive set piece was a covenant miner vehicle, similar to a Scarab in appearance and function. The missions also unfold much like the campaign missions of Halo’s past, wide-open battlefields greet the player with a myriad of combat options which allow for some Covenant Vehicular battles with Ghosts and Banshees.
The first half of Spartan Ops season one ended in a big cliffhanger. However, the mostly one-dimensional characters, repetitive level design, and overall quality held it back. If Episode 6 is any indication, 343 Industries has realized this, and seems poised to deliver an epic second half of season one. Having the campaign designers working on episode 6-10 shows; hopefully future episodes will continue to deliver this quality, because this is how a Halo campaign is done right.