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Review: Strike Suit Zero (PC)
Strike Suit Zero is an indie space combat simulation game available on Steam from Born Ready Games. So that’s PC for you console peeps. Side note: finally seeing something coming out of Kickstarter! This game was funded through Kickstarter last year.
The game happens in the year 2299 when humans have conquered space travel in a method that may remind you of Star Wars or Halo. Large jumps between galactic locations is called ‘folding out.’ Regardless, the human race has become splintered from being spread across the galaxy and those far off colonials aren’t too happy with Earth. You play as Adams, a regular old fighter pilot as the war between the colonies and Earth turns crazy.
The environments are well done even if you spend the bulk of your time engaged in combat. The game offers several different types of ‘standard’ fighters that you unlock as you progress through 13 missions. However, the baby of the game is the Strike Suit. This one of a kind and what could be experimental fighter is all kinds of bada**. What sets the Strike Suit apart is it’s ability to transform into basically a mech suit.
I’ve never been one for aerial combat only because my comprehension of up and down is pretty skewed. Space combat games are generally better, but usually fail when it comes to really removing that adherence to what is up and what is down. If you’re in space with no gravity, shouldn’t you be able to move through that space as if there were no horizon line? Brownie points to Born Ready Games because I really feel that Strike Suit Zero removes those directional boundaries. Playing it I feel as if the game is occurring in space where gravity is not a factor. Combat feels like it’s happening in a 3-dimensional space instead of being attached to some kind of base plane like I might find in a (not really comparable but) game like Star Fox.
Besides that, the combat is fun. You have a variety of weapons, 2 of which are available at any time, but can be cycled with a secondary slot. So technically, you get 4 different weapons at once. In those 2 slots, there’s a machine gun like option and then a missile option. Once you get to the point of rotating the different types of ammunition, it adds another dimension to the game. As you move farther through the game, it’s a form of modification to pick the weapons that work best in a situation or for you.
Generally speaking, I’m a trigger happy sort of person. I point and shoot in video games. In the first mission, my accuracy was something like 26%. However, as I progressed through the game, I learned the value of using certain types of ammunition against certain enemies. Matching weapons with enemy types preserves ammo but allows you to decimate your enemies quickly. Keep in mind that ammo is limited except for the most basic weapon, something of a plasma bolt which is unlimited but not perfect as overuse in a short period causes the rate of fire to be reduced drastically.
I found the variety of enemies and combat situations well mixed so the game itself doesn’t get monotonous. Story scenes aren’t dragged out and can be skipped. I found the enemy AI challenging in the movement through the playing areas and random attack formations. Sometimes the HUD gets a little crowded when a lot is happening on screen, especially if missiles are tracking you and your shields get knocked down. But I didn’t see this really affecting my game play experience except for increasing the feeling that a lot was happening at that moment.
The friendly AI wasn’t as completely useless as I’ve seen in other games, but still seemed created so that you are the one completing a mission with minimal aid. Most of the time it wasn’t annoying. However, is certain mission segments you’ll have an optional, secondary objective that gets you some kind of upgrade. The friendly AI did not help with this objective and with their minimal help on the primary, a few of the larger battles can get really crazy and frustrating. Most times I found it more effective to complete most, but not all, of my primary objective just so that I wasn’t being taken off target while trying to finish the secondary objective.
My only real concern with this game is the lack of ability to adjust the sensitivity of the controls. Now, I was not using a joystick for this game. It was all mouse and keyboard. Within the options menu, there is a means to adjust the regular fighter and Strike Suit sensitivity. Even when I dropped the sensitivity to its lowest, I saw no effect on my controls in game. Most of the game, it wasn’t an issue. But a couple mission segments require you to move about the field of play quickly and accurately. The inability to do this because of the sensitivity made these portions of the game frustrating to the point of quitting. However, that being said, the team has acknowledged this issue and are working to solve it.
- It’s fun
- Graphics are a little sharp, but it looks good
- Variety of fighter types, weapons, and enemies makes it more than just the same thing
- Missions are not just a single battle/event increasing play time
- Sensitivity issues affecting overall experience – but is being worked on
- Friendly AI doesn’t seem to do much
The Final Word
While it may be a futuristic and space based version, this is one of few games where I really got the feeling of dogfighting in aerial (or something like it) combat. I do have a couple of minor concerns which could totally be just me (the sensitivity thing for one). At the end of the day, Born Ready Games seems to have done a solid job making this game. Now, the regular pricing on Steam is $19.99, though they’re doing a launch bonus at $15.99 until Jan. 30, 2013. While I enjoyed the game, if you aren’t into aerial/space combat simulation I’m not sure it’s really worth it to you. But if that is one of your area of interests, I think you could enjoy this game. But I still recommend a joystick.