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Strike Suit Zero

I’ve seen some games journalists compare “Strike Suit Zero” with “X-Wing”, the latter of which I’ve spent years playing in my youth.  We had a love/hate relationship in that I would curse it for not having the ability to save in-mission, as well as the insane difficulty spikes that would sometimes surface out of the blue.  Yet, I kept playing it as if my life had depended on it.  While I can see why some might consider “Strike Suit Zero” to be the closest thing to “X-Wing” since “those days”, I’d have to say that it’s more comparable to “Freelancer”, minus the open-world & trade mechanics.  Speaking of which, if you haven’t played “Freelancer” yet, you’re missing out.

Strike Suit Zero

Strike Suit Zero (Windows)

The main menu allows the player to participate in the single player campaign, view achievements, compare scores on the leaderboards, and adjust game options.  The options menu includes the ability to adjust screen resolution, graphics quality, audio sliders, keybinds, control sensitivity…the usual stuff.  While there is controller support, I used the mouse and keyboard and encountered no issues in doing so.  The controls felt a tag sluggish, but it didn’t take long to become accustomed to how they operated.

The campaign takes you from mission to mission, each one comprised of checkpoints that usually task you with a new objective.  The first part of a particular mission, for example, might have you flying to various checkpoints.  Later in that same mission, you might have to dogfight enemy fighters and then stop torpedoes from impacting with your capital ship.  Missions are scripted and play out the same way each time, so once you play a mission enough times, you’ll be able to predict what to do when.  Regrettably, there’s no in-mission save feature, though your progress is saved after a mission is over (one way or another).  Dying mid-mission will give you the option to load your progress up to the last checkpoint, but they are too few and far between for my liking.

Strike Suit Zero

There are occasions where there is a lull in the action, but they don’t happen often.

The game is certainly pretty, but that’s really only one of the few things going for it.  The nebulas, engine trails, and backdrops are breathtaking.  I often felt a satisfying rush when I launched missiles and fragged an enemy fighter that I had been tailing.  While the graphics are impressive, the voice acting is ear-cringingly horrible.  The dialogue is lifeless and it seems as though the voice actors could give two you-know-whats less about being in front of a microphone.  The music can be repetitive and didn’t really drive home the suspense the way “Freelancer’s” music score did.

On the plus side, the game features different unlockable ships, one of which is the suit that share’s the title’s name.  It’s sort of like a Transformer in that it can switch from ship to human form, the latter of which is only sustainable for a short period of time.  While in humanoid form however, it rocks the joint and blows up almost anything that crosses its path.  It can strafe, sidestep, and do a lot of other things your ship couldn’t do normally.  You get this shiny new suit about two or three missions in, so you won’t have to wait long to feel the power it offers.  Besides unlockable ships, new weapons and upgrades become available as you progress in the campaign.  Certain upgrades can only be acquired by completing a specific bonus goal, but most are easily accomplished on the “easy” difficulty level.

Strike Suit Zero

While in “human” form, you can hold the right mouse button and lock missiles onto multiple targets.

“Strike Suit Zero” is truly a mixed bag.  I really enjoyed the space battles, especially the parts where I was making strafing runs on enemy capital ships and frigates.  However, once you get a few missions in, you’ll start to realize that you’re constantly fighting the same enemy types over and over again.  The music and voice acting could use some work, as well as the in-game save feature.  Being rewarded with medals and points after a mission is over offsets the latter problem a little, as the game encourages you to do well via unlocks and the like.  As a space combat sim (with emphasis on the word combat), “Strike Suit Zero” truly shines.  Regrettably, some of the game’s problems prevents it from reaching its full potential.

Final Verdict: 6/10

You can learn more about and purchase the game by visiting the following websites:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/209540/

http://strikesuitzero.com/

You can view video play sessions here:

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