Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut review: space worn
by Robert Workman, shacknews.com, Apr 25, 2014 12:00PM PDT
Strike Suit Zero harkens back to the golden age of space shooters, when games like Colony Wars Star Wars: Starfighter were more commonplace. Developer Born Ready Games attempted to pay homage to that era with last year's original PC release, however control issues (among other snags) hampered the experience.
The developer has managed to patch up a few issues with the Director's Cut of the game, available now for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. However, despite the promise of thrilling space combat and a unique transformation system, it doesn't take long for monotony to set in during this space quest.
You portray Adams, a pilot who joins up with the United Nations of Earth in the hopes of achieving galactic piece. It's not particularly compelling, and being unable to skip past the ultra-long tutorial in the beginning is a drag. At least you can jump through the other cinemas and get right to the shooting.
Action is where Strike Suit Zero gets a lot of things right. You'll use plasma cannons and lock-on missiles when you're in space cruiser mode, obliterating smaller enemies and doing damage to larger ones, taking out their cannons and hitting them in their weak points. By doing this enough, you'll build Flux energy, which you can then use to transform into a mech robot, capable of locking onto enemies and wailing away with explosive gunfire--far more effective than your missiles.
While playing, it's best to go with the first-person perspective instead of third-person. While that takes away being able to see your mech in action, it improves your aim and accuracy, as you'll otherwise be scrambling through turns to find your next opponent. It definitely works for the better.
Although the shooting action is fast and mostly responsive, the enemy variety doesn't have much to offer. The smaller vessels rarely change their tactics (spin around, shoot, spin around again) and the bigger ones don't change their tactics much either. The spaced-out checkpoints don't help either, as you'll have to start all the way back at the beginning of a mission should you perish in a space battle. It's really annoying.
The game's level-up system is also flawed. You'll start out with basic firing capabilities between your missiles and guns, and to level them up, you'll need to tackle some tough objectives, such as taking down specific enemies before they can escape. It would've been nice to gift players with some of the better powers in the game, without needing them to toil away at the secondary goals.
Strike Suit Zero doesn't look bad, but cannot compete with the Starfighter games. The galactic stages barely differ from one another, save for some big structures that try to add some depth to the game (like an enormous space station); and the voicework is mostly bland, which, when combined with the lame script, will prompt you to skip through the cut scenes even quicker to get to the action.
Although Strike Suit Zero does have a suitable campaign to kill a few hours, it lacks the diversity and depth to compare to some of this past generation's greatest shooter efforts. It may be worth trying if you're a fan of those games, but this suit just doesn't pack as heavily as it should have.