Strike Suit Zero blew me away this week with some of the most polished visuals and thrilling gameplay I have seen coming out of a small team of developers in years.
I was worried that pure space dogfighters (So not the amazing Starhawk) were becoming a forgotten genre, one that hadn’t seen a great addition since X-Wing but Strike Suit Zero captures the essence of being in completely new part of the universe with every battle just like X-Wing did for me. Each battle’s backdrop has something special about it whether it is the remnants of a destroyed fleet or a planet split in half by an otherworldly power. The environments are well designed size wise and the added compliment of objects like space stations or moons in the distance give it the feeling of a living universe.
But why are you looking at the backdrops anyway? You be shooting things with your beam cannons, plasma guns and mouth-watering array of missile types ranging from single shot big boys to the swarm of tiny homing bombs seen in so many animes. The real satisfaction for me came when I really felt like I had a firm grip over all the elements of the combat system and I was flying, transforming, shooting and missileing things with ease. This was aided by the simple and intuitive flight controls which combine a use of the mouse to move the aiming reticule which in turn angles the nose of the ship and the WSAD keyboard buttons for tilt. It’s hard to describe, easy to play.
Story defiantly takes a backseat to gameplay which is not a huge criticism as I was getting jittery during the 10 second periods where you aren’t shooting things during the beginning of a mission. I wasn’t entirely sure whether I was the good guy, bad guy or just a morally grey guy in a ship, it seemed both sides have good reasons for being pissed at each other. If you find this to be a too difficult an ethical quandary for you to just shoot missiles Willy nilly at red targets then I suggest you pick up another title because this game wasn’t made for you.
Some critics have commented on the repetitiveness of the missions but I find myself agreeing with this. The plethora of ship upgrades and weaponry keep each battle fresh but the escort missions are terrible because in my opinion escort missions will never be good, ever. I can barely escort myself through the missions a lot of the time; don’t lumber me with a planet sized dead weight unless you are trying to make me mad. Unfortunately unlike the majority of games that feature escort missions (Every-bloody-one) there isn’t just the one token mission but a whole buncha them and it can get pretty soul crushing.
Although the suit and ship combat makes you feel immensely powerful when shooting unrelenting volleys of missiles, the ammo you have cannot be replenished mid mission and there is no way to tell how long the mission is going to take. This left me feeling like I couldn’t really blow out ever because I could be left defenceless if I played it wrong, there isn’t an extreme shortage of ammo or anything it’s just the unknown that leaves me playing cautions.
I just want to touch on the visuals again because they are really superb. Now I’m not some fancy pants aeronautical science man but the ship designs are believable without being ugly, infact the design for the mech suit is beautiful especially when in the stationary form and launching a swarm of missiles at a star cruiser against the backdrop of an exploding planet. The UI is clear also and although there is a lot going on onscreen the enemies are always highly visible.
I do like the feeling of being a one man army but more do I prefer the illusion or being a one man army while actually my side could probably just about do it without me. It is literally all on you, your allied AI seems to be hotboxing their ships with some quality Columbian chronic while they fly and the whole game world is scattered with the remains of where your side has lost a battle. Lucky you have a mech then.
A short, engaging and enjoyable space shooter, I was hugely impressed with the game and enjoyed every second of it. With steams achievement system and the in-game rewards there is plenty of replayability here and I think it would be a mistake to miss it especially considering the 20% discount on Steam at the moment taking it down to just £11.99. (RRP 14.99)
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.