Strike Suit Zero: Director’s cut PS4 review
If there was ever a genre I wished to return it would be the space combat genre. Thankfully it seems my wish and the wish of nearly every other fan of the genre is coming true as space combat games such as Star Citizen, the title that set a new crowd funding record, which is due to be released next year and the return of some classic space combat games like Elite: Dangerous. While these games have still not been released one game has, and that game is Strike Suit Zero: Director’s cut, the console release of 2013’s Strike Suit Zero.
For those who played the original Strike Suit Zero, the Director’s cut edition features new ship models, improved textures and lightning, improved campaign, new mission pack and two new Strike Suits.
At first glance Strike Suit Zero: Director’s cut offered everything I wanted in a space combat game – amazing looking and intense battle, the feeling of flying and fighting in space and being part of something bigger, and well for the most part that game was what I hoped it would be.
The game offers some of some visually stunning and intense battles with the intensity really been created by the fact that you are seeing the battle from the seat of a space fighter and not from one of the game’s frigate or carrier class ships. Although I am put off by the fact that the game decides to push how you are the chosen one that will save Earth from the wrath of colonists because as soon as you get the Strike Suit, a fighter that can transform into a mech, everything is about you. Only you can defeat the colonist’s elite fleet called the Black Fleet and probably strangest of all only you can shoot down torpedoes that threaten ally ships.
Now I did touch on the game’s story above, but I’ll go into it a bit more now. In the game’s main campaign you play as Adams a fighter pilot with the United Nations of Earth or U.N.E for short. Your mission is to defend Earth from an attack by the colonists, who broke away from Earth, with an alien super weapon. To defeat the weapon you have to pilot a prototype fighter called the “Strike Suit” – a fighter that can transform into a mech, join up with what remains of the U.N.E fleet, attack and defeat the colonist’s elite fleet, and destroy an alien weapon before it destroys Earth. In short the game’s story isn’t anything to write home about, the story is given new plot elements as you move on, but these new elements don’t change the goal of the story, which is: find the super weapon and blow it up. The game also has second campaign called Heroes of the Fleet. This five mission long campaign allows you to take fight in simulated versions of some of the biggest aspects of the war between Earth and the colonists.
Speaking of missions, the main story campaign has a total of thirteen missions with each mission requiring you to complete several objects to complete. These objects are rather simple as they simply require you to eliminate the enemies in front of you or defend an ally ship while eliminating the enemy. Also, each mission has a bonus objective that when completed will give you a ship upgrade, while getting these upgrades makes combat easier you don’t need them to complete the game.
Now let’s talk about the ships you can pilot and combat. In total there are six ships you can pilot each with its own strength and weakness, for example: the Marauder is a slow moving ship, but it has powerful weapons, shields and armour.
Combat is where the game shines as it can be very intense with the game having you dog fight with enemy interceptors and fight enemy corvettes and other capital class ships. There is never a moments rest as you have to constantly move or be killed with dodging missiles and trying to stay locked on to fast moving enemies or surviving attempts to attack on enemy capitals. What really made the combat fun for me, and if like me you are a mech fan, the Strike Suit’s Strike (mech) mode, which can be activated for a limited amount of time after you collect enough energy from blowing up enemies. In this mode you can easily take down larger ships like corvettes and take down large amount of fighters at long range with a barrage of quick lock on missiles. Strike Suit Zero: Director’s cut’s combat gives you the feeling of power and the idea that you can do anything in the game.
Now for all the praise I give the game there is on massive issue, and that is the behaviour of my ally AI. I truly like this game, but how my allies reacted and fought in battle made me want to stop playing the game altogether. The biggest issue for me were missions where an ally ship had to stay alive while you help it take out an enemy frigate or carrier, now this might not sound so bad especially when there is 20+ other ally interceptors, bombers and on some occasion additional capital ships, but all these allies are well useless because when the ship you need to protect has torpedoes fired at it only you can intercept them and if you fail to the ship takes massive amounts of damage, now from a gameplay stand point it is ok, a bit annoying, but a nice change of pace, but with so many allies around and the ship’s captain calling all interceptors to attack the torpedoes you would think they would help take them out, but no the ally ships just fly around dealing with interceptors. To add to the problem the ally ship targeted by the torpedoes make no effort to destroy them itself, I mean modern day ships have an anti-missile system, why not future star ships? Although I suppose that objection is rendered rather mute because when you have to do a bombing raid on an enemy ship you have to get within a hairs length of the ship to successfully hit it with a torpedo because they have an anti-missile system.
When it comes to controls the PS4 version of Strike Suit Zero: Director’s cut does have some problems. The main source of the problem is the fact that well the button layout makes it difficult to remember what button does what, this could be down to the fact I played in stages, but I felt that having the weapon cycle button on both the left and right directional buttons to be rather annoying as I would often cycle the wrong weapon. Another problem comes from the fact that when you change into Strike mode the entire button layout changes, for example the button to use thrusters in fighter mode is L2, but in Strike mode the thrust ability is mapped to the left analog stick and L2 now makes you move down. Now this issue only appears to be on the default layout, the two other layouts U.N.E layout and Colonial layout are both far easier to remember even when you switch modes. While we are talking about controls I want to give a brief mention to the aiming. Aiming isn’t bad, but trying to hit smaller targets such as cannons with your guns is incredibly cumbersome as the crosshair always likes to go too far to the left or right, to make matters worse you are a fast moving object and the smaller targets are usually slow moving, which means you will have to take multiple runs at the target which means dodging missiles etc. as you make your approach.
In terms of graphics the backgrounds in the game are lovely from detailed planets to scorching hot looking suns. However the lovely backgrounds make what you see in the foreground such as ship, stations etc. look plain even though the look smooth with little to no jagged edges, of course if you play in first person mode you will notice them more than if you were in third person.
Finally in regard to sound, the game’s soundtrack, the soundtrack has many orchestral songs that bring battles to life. Outside of the soundtrack the general sound assets are decent and it helped bring me into the world. If I was to make one complaint about the sound it would be that some of the voice acting feels flat and frankly uninteresting, the bland tone of the voices were also barely audio able over the music, which I had to turn down on several occasions to hear certain plot important communications.
Should you buy Strike Suit Zero: Director’s cut for the PlayStation 4? Yes
Strike Suit Zero: Director’s cut offers fast paced combat that will always keep you on your toes as you try to eliminate all your targets either in fighter mode or in the unstoppable mech like Striker Mode. However, the game does suffer in the story and control department.
+ Fast paced combat
+ Great soundtrack
+/- the main story is average
– Ally AI can be more often a hindrance than a help
– Controls are a bit fiddly
|Developer||Publisher||Genre||Rating||Platform||Time played||Release date|
|Born Ready Games||Born Ready Games||Space Combat||7+||PS4 (reviewed), XOne, PC||–||April 9, 2014|
For more information on Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut, visit http://strikesuitzero.com/.
Author: Aaron Meehan
Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.