Strike Suit Infinity Review

Though it lacks refinement in some areas, Strike Suit Infinity provides a better experience than its predecessor at a fraction of the cost.

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If the title Strike Suit Infinity sounds familiar, you might be confusing it with Strike Suit Zero, the space-mech combat game that was released back in January. Its fast-paced battles were beautifully rendered, and a bit unbalanced at times, but Zero offered just the right mix of arcade-inspired action and intergalactic vistas to keep things interesting through to the end. Sadly, for a $20 game, there simply wasn’t enough variety in the action or mission structure. For Infinity, developer Born Ready Games stripped the Strike Suit experience down to its core mechanics, offering a stand-alone horde mode for $7. It’s a smart move; the most redeeming quality of Zero was its gameplay, after all. While it’s good to see a game embrace its strengths so wholeheartedly, there are a myriad of smaller issues that hold Infinity back from greatness, despite its improved value.

Your task couldn’t be more straightforward: survive and defeat waves of enemy combatants. In your transforming jet mech strike suit, you fly through outer space, whittling away at opposing spacecraft with energy cannons, lock-on missiles, and thousands of rounds of smaller munitions. Collect enough flux by defeating enemies, and you can transform into the strike suit’s bipedal form, which brings increased firepower and defense. Each round is a heady mix of speed, explosions, and tense face-offs, the culmination of which makes Strike Suit Infinity a captivating and challenging experience.

Survival is often difficult, since each round of waves pummels you with denser enemy formations and increasingly more powerful ships, but chasing the top of the online leaderboards is the ultimate challenge in Infinity. Even though it may seem impossible to leave your mark on the overall leaderboard, you can also compete for the per-round leaderboards, challenging previously defeated rounds a la carte.

Before the start of a round, you’re given hints about the types of enemies you’ll face in the waves to come, and what weapons might be most effective, but it takes more than a little advanced knowledge to come out on top. Strike Suit Infinity rewards fast reflexes and experience, and the room for skill development is impressive, with the top ranked players hitting scores 100 times larger than your own in some cases. Reaching that same high level of play seems insurmountable, but every defeat leads to new lessons and a better understanding of what you must do to prevail.

The strike suit's mech form laying waste to puny fighter craft.

Of course, you must first overcome the strike suit’s complex capabilities. To be able to accelerate, brake, maneuver, transform, fire weapons, avoid enemy fire, and deploy a missile-scrambling EMP burst in a matter of a couple of seconds requires some serious coordination. Thankfully, the controls are comprehensive and responsive, leaving little to be desired in the way of mech management once they sink in. When dialed in during the heat of battle, good players will be able to handle most things thrown their way. The difference between a good and a great player, however, is the ability to earn score multipliers, effectively manage resources, and locate the fleeting and hard-to-locate upgrades, hidden in relatively far off transports and freighters.

Aiding you on your mission are ally squads, purchased with credits earned during the previous rounds. While not so important at the start, it’s critical that you manage your fleet, and thus your pool of credits, during later rounds against frigates, mine layers, and the infamous Black Fleet. Squads are defined by their class, which range from nimble Interceptors to Heavy Fighters and Bombers. Instead of picking up new recruits, you may choose to spend credits to level up your entire team, but it’s entirely unclear what aspects get upgraded in the process. Do your ships gain speed? Does their AI improve? You don’t know, because the game doesn’t tell you. The same goes for the upgrades that you earn for your strike suits; +2 to armor sounds good on paper, but it’s impossible to quantify what that actually means.

Apart from introducing the simple joys of arcade-like skill progression, Strike Suit Infinity also features the Marauder and Raptor strike suits, the latest DLC add-ons for Strike Suit Zero. Their qualities vary in the typical way: the Marauder has increased firepower and shield ratings at the cost of speed, while the opposite is true for the Raptor. They’re interesting diversions that prove to be distinct in practice, providing a simple means of mixing up the dynamics of conflict. What would cost $2.99 to add into Strike Suit Zero is available in Infinity from the start, a fact that may mean little to newcomers, but might prove enticing to existing owners of Zero who have yet to purchase the DLC. The differences between the three strike suits may not be tailored for use during specific rounds, but when roadblocked by a difficult round, switching suits is a fast and dirty way of alternating your approach.

Like moths to a flame.

There are nagging imperfections in the game’s upgrade system that can be demotivating when budgeting credits, but the omission of specific numbers doesn’t tarnish the joys of combat. Strike Suit Zero cost a comparatively hefty sum for its somewhat brief campaign, but Infinity could take months to master, at a fraction of the cost. It’s unfortunate for strike suit veterans that Infinity isn’t available as an add-on to Zero, but as a stand-alone game, it’s an excellent slice of mech combat presented under the guise of an old-school arcade game; bonus rounds and all.

The Good
Captivating renderings of outer space draw you into the world
The comprehensive and responsive controls feel great
The new focus on high-scores and horde mechanics extends the endgame considerably
Great value for the cost
The Bad
The general lack of information within the upgrade system is frustrating
7.5
Good
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22 comments
SirSpoon84
SirSpoon84

this game worth the under 2 dollars from steam sale?

darktruth007
darktruth007

Don't get this if you have windows xp - you need DX11 to run it. Don't make the same mistake as me!!

SamoanGrind
SamoanGrind

There used to be a iPhone game like this. Think Zombies but spaceships.

toderascu23
toderascu23

Strike suit series is the only space sim where I get some kind of vertigo while abruptly changing directions. Which is how it should be  since there's no gravity in space, but your body is used to it.

Wensea10
Wensea10

We need more games like this; space shooters are awesome.

plm3d_basic
plm3d_basic

What I wouldn't give to play Freespace 3 with current generation graphics or a reboot of X-Wing Alliance or Tie Fighter series.  Will just have to wait for Chris Roberts to finish with his space sim.

Adavanter
Adavanter

Cheap as it is... Steam will likely package the two together even cheaper. Then I'll probably strike. I'm not into the whole transform into a mech mode in space. I'd rather have a straight up space shooter.

SphinxDemon
SphinxDemon

I'll probably give this game a try at 7$... the trailers look sort of arcadeish and intense.

The3rdGracchus
The3rdGracchus

Okay, so I want this game pretty damn bad, but...

It will either never come out, or it will be terrible. Dyack should have left the industry after Epic rofl stomped Crystal Dynamics, and sold the licence to a studio who can actually ship a quality game.

yeeyoh
yeeyoh

@darktruth007  Thank you so much, I was a few minutes away from the purchase button when I read your comment.  I've windows 7 but only direct X 10 and it does say direct x 11.  Thanks again.

ogremalfeitor
ogremalfeitor

@plm3d_basicI just hope Robert's star citizen is at least as good as Freelancer was... I miss playing it so much, but I'm afraid to get disappointed if it hasn't "aged" well should I try to install it on a current gen machine ;)

tonyukuk
tonyukuk

@plm3d_basic Yeah, as a sister crowfound prouject, I suggest check star citizen's site. There are pretty good preorder options. More preorder better the game will be (: hopefully.

Stebsis
Stebsis

@plm3d_basic I agree 100%, we need Freespace 3. I really like both Strike Suit games but they're little more than arcade space shooters, nowhere near the depth Freespace 2 had.

wizardboyus
wizardboyus

@Adavanter you have the option to play like that if you want, there are different ships and only one of them is the strike suit.

Strike Suit Infinity

  • PC
Strike Suit Infinity has you fight to stay alive as long as possible against a never-ending armada of enemies, with the intention of surviving each round and climbing as high up the leaderboards as possible.
Check out even more info at the Strike Suit Infinity Wiki on Giantbomb.com
Average Score See all 17 Player Reviews
7.3
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