Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut – PC
Developer: Born Ready Games
Publisher: Born Ready Games
Release Date (NA): Apr 8, 2014
Nerd Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Reviewed by Proto Joe
I love games with giant robots in them. In fact, one of the best games I bought for my PlayStation 2 back when I was a kid was Zone of the Enders 2, a fast-paced mecha simulator that I still love to this day, so when I heard a director’s cut for Strike Suit Zero was coming out for the PC, I was bouncing around in my seat like a madman hopped up on crack. How could you go wrong with a game that has high-speed action, explosive space battles, and spaceships that can transform into robots? After more than a year of waiting, I’ve finally gotten the chance to play it. Is it the game I’ve been dreaming of?… Not really. While Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut is a decent space simulator, it definitely isn’t the innovative dogfighting mecha game I thought it would be.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, the basics: You’re put in control of Adams, an ace pilot for Earth’s space fleet suffering from an odd bout of amnesia. You’re called back to duty, and just in time too; apparently off-world colonists tired of Earth’s tyranny have taken control of a devastating super weapon and are on a direct course towards Earth. Now it’s up to you to use a prototype transforming fighter created by a mysterious A.I. to defeat the colonists, destroy the super weapon, and save Earth. So, yeah, the story is pretty standard sci-fi fare, and it’s not helped by the rather bland voice-acting and boring cutscenes. There is a twist at the end that helps make the plot a bit more interesting, but all the details behind it are crammed into expository dialogue that’s unloaded on you during the very last mission of the game. By the way, that last mission is both timed and incredibly frustrating, so good luck listening to that dialogue while you’re flying for your life.
The gameplay is also pretty typical of a space flight simulator. For the majority of the time, you’re flying around on various customizable spaceships gunning down fighters, protecting allied carriers, and occasionally blowing up cruisers with your missiles. The easy-to-use controls and fast-paced action mean you’ll be banking your way through enemy swarms like a champ in no time, but Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut doesn’t really offer anything new that hasn’t already been done in other space shooters like Star Wars: Rogue Squadron or Project Sylpheed. The game also tends to throw the same types of missions at you constantly, so even the intense dogfights start getting old far too quickly. I mean, I love tearing apart space frigates as much as the next guy, but when you ask me to do it for the umpteenth time, I’m just going to toss my keyboard away and go watch some Macross.
“But wait,” you might say. “Can’t your ship turn into a mecha? That should spice the gameplay up, right?” Well, yes, if you’re piloting certain ships and have enough “Flux Energy” gained from destroying targets, you can shift into the robot-like “Strike Mode.” However, all it ends up being is a glorified super mode that allows you to move in all directions instead of constantly moving forwards and gives you powerful auto-aiming guns/multi-targeting missiles. While Strike Mode does let you completely obliterate enemy fleets with relative ease, it still feels like somewhat of a wasted concept that doesn’t add much depth and complexity to a game that’s already lacking both.
Despite all I’ve said, though, Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut is not necessarily bad. It has fairly nice graphics (though at the time of this review the game’s current version is apparently suffering from a few graphical issues, one of them being the inability to turn on shadows) and an excellent musical score for a budget game that’s just about $20 in price. As a Director’s Cut, this game also contains several small additions/changes that weren’t present in the original version such as earlier access to ships with Strike Mode and redone story dialogue. Still, none of these factors change what Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut is at its core: A solid but unsurprising space simulator with giant robots tacked on. If you’re a fan of the genre and need something not too far off the ordinary to satisfy your space dogfighting kicks, this game is for you. Otherwise, if you were wishing for mecha magnificence like I was, you’re better off looking in other parts of the galaxy.
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