Over the last year you might have heard about a game called Strike Suit Zero that has been available on the PC and playable using the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
This game is now available on more formats since the debut on the PC, sadly not available in VR, but is still a great port to the Xbox One. Strike Suit Zero : Directors Cut is an up to date space combat simulation game very similar to the classic and retro Elite, X-Wing and Tie Fighter games. I grew up playing these titles using a joystick peripheral and was a bit sceptical if this same genre of game would work as well with a control pad with analogue sticks. But what makes Strike Suit Zero different is actually in the name itself, the Strike Suit allowing you to transform from a ship into a hulking suit of space armour, think Zone of the Enders. Switching from Pursuit Mode (speed and power) to Strike mode (a powerful, highly manoeuvrable combat mode) is the game’s initial selling point and this certainly won’t let you down.
For anyone that hasn’t played a similar genre game before you could refer to any aerial dogfighting games out there, swapping planes for robust nimble space ships, replacing the environments and clouds with space, asteroids and floating debris, and think of Star Wars’ epic space battles. Once you can picture this image throw a mechanical suit into the mix along with a colourful and vibrant universe. Indeed, Strike Suit Zero is personally up there in the most recent beautiful and colourful games this year with your missiles and the enemy’s explosions being your own personal light show. It’s good to get away from the next-gen grey and brown colour schemes and this game didn’t make that easy decision to be generic like that.
When you load up the Xbox One version you’d be greeted with probably more button layouts than you could imagine. I found it a little difficult remembering what button did what exactly and with the quick onscreen prompts suggesting new moves during the tutorial it was easy to overlook which actually would put you at a disadvantage if you forget said new moves. For instance pressing up on the d-pad switches your guns from alternately firing to both firing simultaneously taking down enemies quicker, using more weapon energy but this input doesn’t appear in the controller layout. Another big teething problem was not being able to bind the controls to see fit for my preferred preference of play. I’d have liked to swap the analogue stick’s ‘Yaw’ and ‘Roll’ movements without choosing a different layout in the process but that’s the price we pay for console gaming as opposed to PC.
Steep learning curve aside and a few missions further into the game, Strike Suit Zero features fast paced action fights against countless foes and eventually cruiser ships that come in titanic shapes and sizes. The game doesn’t stop you from enjoying such epic battles from the start right through to the end. With a great soundtrack, a perfect fit for the space and cyber punk meets Japanese mech anime-like battles you’ll encounter, the music just adds to that level of immersive action.
This version of the game is the Director’s Cut version of the game that was previously already out and in comparison to the original this features a next-gen graphical overhaul, restructured campaign and additional content which makes a great bundle for the price. Other than the lengthy campaign, which has several difficulties to replay on for that extra challenge upon completion, you also get the Heroes of the Fleet campaign that recreates battles that are part of the backstory in a simulation environment narrated by your ship’s A.I explaining what each scenario played out like. The Director’s Cut also features two additional Strike Suits all designed by the renowned mechanical design engineer Junji Okubo who worked one Appleseed: Ex Machina and Steel Battalion.
Altogether Strike Suit Zero : Directors Cut was a great bit of nostalgia harking back to the days of space dogfighting games I use to play and it goes to show that this genre is still worthy in today’s current market. The fact you’re getting more than the base game and loads of replayable features including punishing difficulty settings this is one game you’re getting your money’s worth with.