Strike Suit Zero

Welcome back everyone, today we’re covering Strike Suit Zero, released in January of 2013 by Born Ready Games. It’s a spaceship shooter with a bit of Gundam action snuck in.

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So when this game started… I wasn’t sure what to make of it. The plot is a stock affair of Sci-fi cliches and stereotypical characters, and the first couple missions were filled the sort of awkward bumbling that usually happens whenever I control a spacecraft in three dimensions.

Then I started getting cooler weapons, and more importantly got better at using them. My replay of the second mission went a million times faster once I remembered my starting Fighter had rockets for punching holes in Capital Ships, and I was able to easily complete the optional objective after setting my targeting system to prioritize torpedoes.

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But then I got the titular Strike Suit. This prototype vessel comes and turns everything you knew on its head. It can stop completely so you don’t overshoot targets, it can automatically lock on to new targets when you hold left shift, and it can fire missiles at everything on your screen. The game wastes no time telling the player about all their new abilities before throwing them straight into a scenario that shows exactly how amazing it is. That is how you empower players. So many games involving prototype war machines would be that much better if players got to feel what the current “baseline” feels like.

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This mission broke me.

Sadly, the situation deteriorated quickly once I moved past the honeymoon stage. The difficult spike in the latter half of the campaign completely killed the mood for me. It started with the optional objectives going from “tough” to “inhuman,” the first being a cruiser that had to be taken down in a mere two minutes, while still giving the player a defense target. The game reaches a point where you’ll likely need to restart from a checkpoint just to restock ordnance to engage the heavies, and even this backfires, as the game, out of indifference or outright malice, decided to halve my defense target’s health after I did this, rendering the mission impossible without a complete restart. Even the Strike Suit wasn’t enough to take care of the sheer volume of enemies and health I had to plow through, and it started targeting enemies I couldn’t even hit rather than the ones directly in front of me and already within firing distance.

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Honestly, I’m outta gas after this exercise in hair-pulling. The graphics are okay, if a bit overly flashy. The targeting system either needs an overhaul or the game needs a dedicated radar to track targets of interest (of which there are MANY in the later stages). The voice-acting is just… meh, and all this would have been fine if I was still having as much fun with the gameplay as I was in the beginning. But I’m not, so it’s difficult to recommend this. The Director’s Cut supposedly smooths out the difficulty spike and has re-recorded voice lines, but I’m not really interested after the rough first showing.

That was Strike Suit Zero. It’s on Steam for $20, as is the Director’s Cut, so I’d go with the latter because it’s reportedly better.

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