In the distant future, Earth’s people voyage beyond their home in a bid to populate numerous planets across the universe, but years later all is not well between creator and creation.
Strike Suit Zero – Director’s Cut on Xbox One is a product of the modern era in game development by the way it got to where it is today, with the help of an initial Kickstarter project back in 2012. That’s not all though as it is also the inaugural [email protected] title so there is a small amount of pressure to be a success. As I am a newcomer to the combat flight simulator genre, it will hopefully show me what I’ve been missing out on.
You are a pilot for the U.N.E. in the year 2299 at the worst time possible, right in the middle on an interstellar war between the U.N.E. (United Nations of Earth) and colonial forces. The colonies want independence in exchange for a relic that the U.N.E. wishes to gain access to, however an agreement cannot be made hence it’s a battle for each of their causes. As an integral part of the potential battle outcome and with the use of a revolutionary tech, the “Strike Suit”, can you save the Earth from the rest of the universe?
There are two campaigns to complete and the “Original Campaign” takes the player through 13 missions. I began a tutorial-like opening level which covered all the basics a newbie needs to know and as someone who hasn’t flown an aircraft (except on Battlefield, where I crash frequently) I found it tricky for a little while but nonetheless it became natural soon enough. The missions are slightly varied throughout which can mean objectives differ from simply protecting generators or ships belonging to the U.N.E, to destroying the enemies resources and taking down the best the colonials have to offer.
Each level doesn’t last long at all (averaging 15-20 minutes) if you’re efficient at completing objectives and not being distracted by the many aircrafts attempting to bring you back down to Earth. That was the biggest disappointment for me; the lack of missions combined with the length of time taken meant I could finish it off in a few hours at most. The shortness was valid to keep missions fresh, however when it’s the main mode of the game you really do need a few more missions in total to compensate.
What really makes this dog-fighting space shooter stand out though is the Strike Suit, which basically turns your average fighter craft into a transformer. Within this mode, that takes up valuable “Flux” (limited amounts are available), you have more control in movement and a few powerful weapons to help tear the larger ships apart. It comes with a neat auto-aim feature too meaning when you are surrounded by a swarm of Interceptors (a type of craft), there’s no better feeling than annihilating them all in a frantic whirlwind of blasting and auto lining up to take down the next enemy.
Once you’ve finished the main campaign or even if you just want a change then the Heroes of the Fleet scenario based campaign is your only other option. Consisting of five simulations based on “real” incidents during the war, it is your job to relive and recreate history. Sadly these are over just as quickly, if not quicker than the main missions and become a little annoying especially in a scenario that at one point had me chasing a guy literally in a circle for five minutes.
If you want replayability then it all depends on whether you’ll be happy trying to improve your score on each level or feel the need to try out a couple of unlockable crafts. There are some crafts that have an enhanced Strike Suit built in and one of them, the Raptor, has an incredible high powered cannon. I doubt I would actually have another go at any missions until it becomes a necessity for when I want to get the rest of the achievements.
A side note on a part that I wouldn’t usually pick up on; the soundtrack when waiting for orders and before battle commences is soothing, offering a serene feel. Then once you’re amidst a fight it’s intense, frantic with explosions all around. Visually is where the Director’s Cut on Xbox One seems to differ from the PC version with the crafts you can use all getting an uplift/makeover. That isn’t to say it’ll blow you away, it looks decent and the view is crisp but it’s behind what you’d expect.
My problem with Strike Suit Zero Director’s Cut is mainly due to longevity and the rather extortionate £15.99 for a game that entertains for such a short while. It’s over just as you get sucked into the story and that’s the real shame. It isn’t amazing, it’s not terrible, I’d call it pretty good if it was a bit cheaper so don’t go rushing to download it right away. Worth picking up in a sale.