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Review

Strike Suit Zero Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed:
  • PC

Strike Suit Zero's thrilling combat and awe-inspiring world make space combat feel like a relevant genre after years of stagnation.

Earth's future hangs by a thread. After decades of expansion and colonization across the universe, man's disparate factions are fighting for independence from their homeworld. Strike Suit Zero puts you in the role of Adams, a faceless soldier, as you defend the United Nations of Earth from the Colonial onslaught. Though a few nagging issues persist throughout, Strike Suit Zero's strengths continuously rise to the surface, and whether it's the dramatic renderings of outer space or the heady mix of grace and aggression during battle, there's simply a lot to love about its modern twist on the decidedly stale space combat genre

Before acquiring the game's namesake war machine, you have to complete a few introductory tutorials in a standard fighter jet to get acclimated to the controls. Jets are fast, and your test fighter is no exception. You can engage thrusters for an additional boost of speed to keep up with fleeing enemies, but topping out can also send you slightly off course due to the effects of inertia. Unlike the strike suit you command during much of the campaign, jets have the ability to disable incoming missiles by emitting an electromagnetic pulse. The EMPs get the job done, but the lack of something like a quick barrel-roll feels like a missed opportunity for practical showmanship. The standard fighter is quite simple in that regard. After a few minutes, you'll have no problem mowing down enemy ships while jetting across the battlefield, and Adams will be cleared for his return to active duty.

Each of the four ships used throughout the campaign are capable of equipping various types of guns and missiles simultaneously. Most scenarios are flexible enough that you can develop your own loadout without jeopardizing your chances of success, since that responsibility ultimately falls onto your ability to strike or flee at key moments. Missiles that lock onto enemy aircraft have a finite supply of ammo, so it’s smarter to utilize standard machine guns or plasma rounds rather than auto-targeting every enemy from the start. Once you deplete your cache of ammo within individual missions, you’re out of luck since there are no items or supplies to be found in the vastness of space.

However, rather than lean on the notion that space is a mostly empty void, each stage is replete with fantastic images of gigantic celestial bodies and gaseous nebulae that make the entire experience a joy to behold. Debris and casualties of war decorate the foreground while jetstreams of red and blue dance across the screen. The balance of scale and visual flourishes make you feel like a part of the action, rather than a mere observer of distant wonders.

Even the largest enemy vessels don't stand a chance against the menacing Strike Suit.

The relatively dull jet gameplay at the start leaves a lackluster first impression, but once the game puts you in the seat of the Strike Suit, it spreads its wings and never looks back.

From the handful of ships you’ll pilot during the course of the game, the Strike Suit remains the most enjoyable to use for it's ability to transform and out maneuver enemy aircraft. Once you’ve gathered the right amount of flux energy from shooting down enemies and space debris, your suit can change into a nimble mech with considerably stronger firepower and the ability to quickly dash out of harms way. Every shot you fire in strike mode depletes your flux meter, so finding the balance between your two states becomes a critical skill for success in later missions. The advantages the mech brings to the table include the ability to auto-lock onto the nearest target and the potential to train missiles on up to five enemies at once, but be careful: you can still get shot down if you neglect to watch your back. Once you get a taste of juggling the nimble jet and the powerful mech, it’s hard to go back to the less exciting alternatives. It’s too bad that you can’t use it in every mission, but thankfully there are only a few where it’s unavailable.

Strike Suit Zero's campaign takes roughly 10 hours to complete your first time through, but there are plenty of incentives for replaying each mission, including powerful ship upgrades and alternate endings. Every mission has secondary objectives that can be completed to unlock new armor or weaponry and these tasks typically include protecting or destroying a particular ship during battle. Having to do so while also working on primary objectives feels like an impossible task at times and the considerable length of most missions ends up being the biggest roadblock to success. However, when you finally manage to overcome the odds, the pay off of stronger armor and a faster ship makes future attempts at completing optional objectives a less formidable affair; a reward in and of itself.

As fun as the combat missions are overall, they’re generally too long for their own good. With combat and action as fast paced as it is, it’s frustrating when a few seconds worth of mistakes wipes out nearly an hour of progress. The infrequency of checkpoints is a big demotivator when failure is so easy to stumble into. When you do fail a mission, it's usually due to a mistake on your part, but there's a chance it's connected to unexplainable spikes in difficulty.

The story is secondary to the excitement of combat, but it’s more interesting than it initially lets on. Conversations rarely pertain to anything other than new objectives and strategic analysis, and there’s virtually zero character development, but once the veil is lifted and a certain pivotal character reveals their endgame, these revelations retroactively benefit the events leading up to that point. There are many instances of borrowed inspiration from fairly well known sources, but the finale lends Strike Suit Zero an identity all its own.

Dramatized recreations of dying planets and giant gas clouds often steal the show.

If you have the privilege of owning three monitors and an SLI or Crossfire setup, it's highly recommended that you play with multiple-monitor support enabled. The vastness of space is the perfect fit for such an arrangement, but there's essentially no HUD to be found in the first-person view. It seems like an odd omission given the potential for intricate and immersive renderings of the cockpit, as proven in games like Steel Battalion and Hawken. It's also jarring when the camera switches to the third-person view when entering strike mode, but considering the uninspired view from Adams' perspective, you rarely feel compelled to look through his eyes anyway.

If you’ve got the itch for an adrenaline infused shooter in the vein of Wing Commander or Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, Strike Suit Zero won't disappoint. While they're occasionally frustrating, the lengthy missions and missed opportunities fade into the background at the end of the day. It's one of the most thrilling, inventive, and fascinating space combat sims in recent memory, and its thirteen white-knuckled missions are definitely worth seeing through to the end, even if they occasionally over stay their welcome.

The Good
Fast-paced combat feels new and exciting
The ability to transform injects much-needed creativity into the old formula
Captivating renderings of outer space draw you into the world
Hard to acquire upgrades and multiple endings extend the game's replayability
The Bad
Most missions are too long for their own good
Upgrades are valuable, but often too hard to acquire
Underwhelming delivery of the narrative and scripted dialogue
7.5
Good
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Other Takes on Strike Suit Zero

Space combat veteran Brett Todd played with his Transformer space ships in Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut for over a dozen hours.
Read Review

Discussion

52 comments
Isamu_36
Isamu_36

Controlling it with the mousr can be a nightmare. Even though the deadzone is in 0, it remains active as in 1. The final mission turns out being unbeatable, crashing all over the tunnel.


Preety good game though, I love space sims [i'm a 90's boy] and this one covered my long unserved needs.


It looks pretty too.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

The game's pacing is all over the place.

Trust me, if you play the game, you would be flabbergasted at the final mission, which is completely different and almost out of place with the rest of the game. :(

ctusmarsius
ctusmarsius

I'm not sure I agree with the author's take on long missions, the dullness of traditional space combat, or the excitement of the strike suit. Are attention spans really so poor that a 20-30 minute mission is too much? With only 13 missions, the concern should be over its brevity, not its lengthiness. When I buy games, I hope for good value for money, with more of the content I paid for.


All the developers have really done is turn space combat into a first person shooter, making it just like every other game of the last decade... personally that was the part of this game that I found to be stale, not the refreshing return of honest-to-goodness space combat in the early missions. I enjoy dogfights and strafing runs far more than the same old point-and-shoot nonsense that every game has devolved into.


Still, it's a fairly stylish game reminiscent of Homeworld and Battlestar Galactica, with passable graphics and decent sound. It delivers standard, fast-paced space combat as well as a first-person-shooter experience. If you can get it for a deal similar to the $10 I paid for it, I'd recommend it. If you also miss games like the X-Wing series, you might even want to pay full price, although this is more of an arcade game than a story-driven epic that draws you in.

jabbamonkey
jabbamonkey

Is this an open ended game? Or a strict mission-based game? Is there a trading system and economy (i.e. trade goods to make money)?  Are there factions which you can improve/degrade throughout the game?

B-boy
B-boy

this game look coloni war on playstation

tetete157
tetete157

^_^  you  no beloww tat a mother jhnes?? for my?


Vinctus
Vinctus

Woah, 15 meter tall mechs, bad controls, and way too many missiles? Sounds like Armored Core!! Now I can play as Nineball.

ZeroZero666
ZeroZero666

Good graphics , mediocre gameplay and very difficult.Also, if you lose one objective you lose several hours of gameplay and that sucks.

arindam1
arindam1

one question to developers: "did you actually play the game?" just stop sending millions of missiles and fighters at me!

manto2x
manto2x

this game has " homeworld 2 " all over it...  haven't played old school space sim such freespace nor wing commander, but the gameplay is like (a better) macross on ps2, which is a good thing cause i love both of them... a bit of nauseous after a while though. Don't really into space sim but the environment really brought back "homeworld" feel (thank you) , wonder why the game been having a bad review outhere, maybe this kinda game need joystik to be enjoy as many old school space sim, yet have i mention "homeworld"... ^_^ how about making a "homeworld 2" mod for this game, i'll be the happiest man ....        

WillyChong
WillyChong

Damn this game is hard n unforgiving, like Dark Souls, and that is a good thing! :D Support it to make it expand even further! 

TorMasturba
TorMasturba

Something I've been wondering about every time I've heard anything for this game.
Why does a space plane/mech need legs?

Lucasdxx
Lucasdxx

Playing this game non stop the last three days, its pretty good but it has a steep learning curve which might enstrange the more casual crowd.

The upgrades like mentioned in the review are very difficult to aquire, I've managed so far to get to mission 10 with all upgrades unlocked, but it wasn't easy at all. I almost gave up on a couple of missions, but with perseverence and sheer determination I finally got past them. 

The game demands both skill and patience, as you need to figure out how to go about to get to your goal, more often than not by the skin of your teeth, which makes it all the more rewarding when you pull it through. 

If you enjoyed games like Wing Commander and can deal with its sometimes brutal difficulty without popping a vein,  you should definitely try this out.

tazdevil33
tazdevil33

Peter, your voice is not that bad, i fail to see why people are knocking this so much.

It is a well informed review. Though i would prefer to know what hardware requirements are needed in reviews that are for PC games.

tazdevil33
tazdevil33

I  just bought this game from GOG.com,  until next thursday this game is on gog.com at $4.00 off so 15.99 for DRM free version and it states free DLC when it is released as well.

Probably the best way to go if you want it without the always online problems.

You also get extra artwork , the usual gog extras steam rarely gives.

apdrapes
apdrapes

who the hell let him read that dogmatic, monotonous drivel! Where's the passion!?  and where can I get a copy of ELITE!???

HADES2001
HADES2001

knowing steam this will be on a 50% daily deal in no time waiting for that to get this

wizardboyus
wizardboyus

just tried this game out and am probably gonna buy it. wish it had some mp tho. and if u think this game is hard then you have never played/beat a challenging game in your life

Resion
Resion

This game is absolutely fantastic. It's tough but you overcome it with hard work and guts.

oflow
oflow

This game pretty much plays like the old Robotech game on PS2 but with slightly better AI and controls. The actual interaction between capitol ships and fighter craft is fun and entertaining.  If you like spaceshooters its worth checking out.  I picked it up for $15  on Steam but if you wait a while it'll probably drop to $8-10 which I think is about right.

lsdbaby
lsdbaby

Does anyone else remember Colony Wars on the PS? I LOVED that game. HD remake please!

Lord_Snoodles
Lord_Snoodles

Peter Brown's critique of the game having "Underwhelming delivery" is like the pot calling the kettle black.

Crouteru
Crouteru

I would give this a try if it were on PS3

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Cheer up Peter bloody hell!  For a 7.5 you can at least sound like you're enjoying the thing :P

Imperiusmax
Imperiusmax

Except for the difficulty part , that brings back traumatic  memories.

Imperiusmax
Imperiusmax

I haven't played a space combat game since the PS2 but you got me excited with this review.

cainetao11
cainetao11

@ctusmarsius Agreed. This really is a society of NOW. I remember playing games from start to finish because we had to.

wavelength121
wavelength121

@TorMasturba There are these things in space called "planets".

You might have heard of this one in particular called "earth".

It would be really hard to get around on said planet without legs, wouldn't you agree?

tazdevil33
tazdevil33

@HADES2001 that is the only problem with steam . Far better wait for sales as you know they will happen soon enough.

oflow
oflow

also if this was an mp game it would really shine

tazdevil33
tazdevil33

@lsdbaby i think i still have Colony wars disc for ps1 :) . Great game.

alvizzei
alvizzei

@ACWH dude seriously rate this game bad just because it's hard difficulity? really?.  try Dark Souls. No Mini map? have you tried the forever awesome Skyrim?


tazdevil33
tazdevil33

@ACWH maybe they don't like this Genre. people are pretty biased when they review games on sites like these.

wizardboyus
wizardboyus

@ACWH sounds like whoever was reviewing that game sucks at playing video games. difficulty spikes? i understand that the controls and mechanics can be difficult to get ahold of. but isn't that fun in it? any spike in difficulty is welcome to me, but this game is not so challenging that it can't be beat. breezing through a game makes me feel like a fool for wasting my money

tazdevil33
tazdevil33

@CHROMEFLAMIN .

lol stop being nasty the Ps3 would easily handle this game. Though the lower resolution would obviously hurt the look of it alot

helljumper817
helljumper817

@vunacar @wavelength121 @TorMasturba Dumbass that dont mean bipedal mechs wont be used in the future. we are currently working on different types of 2 and 4 legged tanks and support vehicles that will make traversing normally impossible land with tread based units.

Strike Suit Zero More Info

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  • First Released
    • Android
    • Macintosh
    • + 5 more
    • PC
    • PS3
    • PS4
    • Unix/Linux
    • Xbox One
    Strike Suit Zero is an action-packed arcade game set in the final hours of a future Earth where the only hope for the planet to avoid destruction is the Strike Suit, an advanced, transforming spacecraft that empowers the player with ludicrous firepower and awesome abilities.
    6.9
    Average User RatingOut of 108 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Strike Suit Zero
    Developed by:
    Born Ready Games, Doublesix
    Published by:
    Born Ready Games
    Genres:
    Flight, Action, Arcade
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    All Platforms