There are times that in the vast ocean of video games being released these days, either a triple A title or an indie product, some float to the surface that catches most people’s eyes even before they’ve been fully released. Perhaps it’s quite seldom for such a thing to happen nowadays as gamers are somewhat desensitized by dazzling graphics nowadays, but Strike Suit Zero has more going for it other than just the visuals, but also just because of what it is in essence.
Upon seeing Strike Suit Zero for the first time, it blows you away with its action-packed gameplay and stunning visuals. You control a Strike Suit, which is quite similar to a Gundam for those who are fans of the mecha genre, and you have insane firepower and other incredible abilities at your disposal to spread grand laser-y death upon your enemies in space. Strike Suit Zero is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign that had a $100,000 goal. The previews looked great and the game was anticipated by many fans of mechs and space shooters.
It’s almost like the Serious Sam of 3D space shooters, with you almost always being surrounded by enemy mechs and ships, but you do have a formidable arsenal to fight them off with. All that really stands between you and victory is how good you are. It has shades of a lot of different games like Freelancer, X-Wing vs TIE Fighter, Freespace, Wing Commander, and so on, then adds more pepper to it.
There are plenty of gamers out there that may have a joystick lying around, but never had much opportunity to use them. In this case, Strike Suit Zero is a game that is best played with a joystick. As for those who do use their joysticks often, perhaps they’re flight simulator fans, they’ll feel right at home with how this game responds to the controls. If you don’t have a joystick though, keyboard and mouse still does work. Some may feel the controls to be a bit clunky and it will take quite a bit of getting used to in order to play this game well enough to enjoy it.
The singleplayer isn’t that much, but it does have a backstory to help players feel the space combat vibe. You play as Adams, who is like a space version of Maverick from the movie Top Gun, who has been stripped of his rank and is now trying to climb back up the ladder. While on a routine mission, you encounter Colonial forces attacking the Earth fleet, which takes out a big chunk of your forces. They did a space version of Pearl Harbor, and you can’t let them get away with it. Now as Earth’s last hope against the Colonial scum, you get into a new powerful weapon called the Strike Suit, a one-of-a-kind space death machine.
That sounds pretty straightforward as a plot, but the game doesn’t really add anything else to it other than you destroying them all in a hail of lasers. But then again, that really is the point to this game anyway, so you can go ahead and blast them with extreme prejudice. The combat system is what this game does get right, and the upgrade system compliments it with lots of abilities that are worth getting just because of how it appeals to the 8-year-old in us all.
There are also not a lot of levels to play in this game, which is a notch off the criteria. Mobility is part of the essence in space combat, and having no other environments to keep this element of gameplay challenge makes this game become bland more quickly than desired. There is also the issue of ill-placed checkpoints that are placed sparsely across missions, making you repeat large portions of the game over and over again, which can get pretty frustrating. The fact that there’s no save-anywhere feature is such a waste.
This is a game that players would really want to love, but perhaps the developers jumped the gun with releasing it. It looks sweet, the gameplay looks fun, and the sheer fact that it’s all about spaceships and robots in space shooting lasers at each other is quite appealing, but it does fall short in a lot of things. Nonetheless, its low price point and what it does offer makes it an interesting purchase, although you may want to wait for a sale to pick it up.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 6/10