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Strike Suit Infinity

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By Fr33Lanc3r.00723-05-2013
BloodyFanGirl (editor)
Bobfish (editor)
Strike Suit Infinity

The Defence

Developer:
Born Ready Games
Publisher:
Born Ready Games
Genre:
Shooter, Arcade, Simulator
Release Date:
01-05-2013

The Prosecution

CPU:
Intel Quad Core 2.4 GHz
AMD equivalent
VGA:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 560
AMD Radeon HD 5850
RAM:
4 GB
HDD:
3 GB
DirectX:
11

The Case

 

Strike Suit Infinity is the sister game to Strike Suit Zero, eschewing the story and going for a simple combat sim, wherein you fight waves upon waves of enemy fighters. But does the game still hold up with the context stripped out or does it crash and burn like you’ve flown into a planet at an incorrect angle?

The Trial

 

As I said, Strike Suit Infinity strips out the context given to the Strike Suit universe - I’d recommend playing Zero if you want to know about that - and simply puts you in a Strike Suit combat simulation. The goal of the simulation is to use said Strike Suit (a space fighter that can transform into a mecha like killing machine) to fight off several waves of enemy ships, ranging from small fighters to capital ships, in order to complete a round. There are 18 rounds in total, and you can pick up where you left off if you find yourself wanting to simply unlock each round, but the true challenge is in starting at round one and working your way through till the end, racking up as high a score as you can in the process. Yes, this is one of those compete for a high score games, the ever higher numbers on the board pushing you to get better and better at blowing spaceships to pieces. But really only if you’re one of those competitive types. More laid back people (like myself), probably won’t be affected as much by the people with bigger numbers. ‘Size matters not’ and all that.

See what I mean, this game is gorgeous!

See what I mean, this game is gorgeous!

If you are one of those people pushing for bigger and bigger highscores, Strike Suit Infinity does make it relatively easy for you to attain. It controls very similarly to one of the games close to my heart, Freelancer, so if you’ve ever spent time playing that (and you should have) or something similar, you’ll find the control mechanics to be familiar, to the point where you could find yourself reaching for the tractor in loot button, then wonder why you’re suddenly firing different missiles. The simplicity of the controls helps the game rather than hinders it, once you've got everything down playing the game takes on a ‘zen-like’ quality where you’re so in the zone that it could be said that you are one with the game - particularly during the bonus levels that give you unlimited access to the Mecha form as you blast away infinite numbers of fighters until you are overwhelmed. As you play you unlock ship and weapon upgrades for completing optional objectives, which include taking out enemy freighters and destroying capital ships, with the weapon upgrades generally being either more damaging versions of your standard plasma cannon or new missile types, and the ship upgrades being all the usual suspects (performance, energy, shields, armor, etc). The additional ships available after completing certain rounds are also fairly standard, the basic ship being a relative all-rounder, with both ‘fast but fragile’ and ‘slow but nigh-invincible’ available after an unlock.

Strike Suit is also an incredibly pretty game! I mean, space sims generally are a visual feast (as space is itself, check out some of NASA’s image gallery if you don’t believe me) but when you’re sitting in the middle of a brilliant blue nebula, or in orbit around a massive, completely alien looking planet, you know you’ve stumbled upon something that was made by people dedicated to making it look as visually spectacular as possible. The same goes for the ships, which on the whole look like they’ve been designed with a sense of proportion about them, with the exception of some of the lower-class capital ships (which, while still large, don’t look like they could be crewed by the kind of numbers the word ‘frigate’ would imply) but maybe computers do most of the work in the future, in which case I withdraw my objection.

So many things to destroy, so little time...

So many things to destroy, so little time...

The soundtrack is fast paced, much like the gameplay, and serves as a very appropriate background for blowing a ton of things up in space. If only the same could be said of the rest of the sounds of the game, as weapons don’t make much noise (perhaps justified by the total vacuum of space, but still), and, perhaps most unforgivably, there is almost no chatter between combatants. I found myself wishing for the kind of chatter that popped up in Freelancer, enemies making taunts and distress calls over the radio, allies offering encouragement, that kind of thing. Without it, the universe just feels empty, lifeless and bland, something that could have easily been fixed by getting the setup that recorded that crappy computer voice that tells you a wave is coming, and recording a couple of people making the kinds of snarky quips you see in air force movies.

The Verdict

 

Aside from the space combat, Strike Suit Infinity isn’t really something that I’d normally play when it comes to games; preferring something with some kind of story or thought provoking elements, but it can’t be denied that I had a complete ripper of a time playing it. Issues aside, if you’re looking for something to spend a few hours unwinding with after a long day, Strike Suit Infinity is a great (and cheap!) way to do so.

Case Review

  • Graphics: Space games generally are pretty, but this one was a feast for the eyes!
  • Easy: The controls are relatively simple to pick up and is a perfect ‘in the zone’ game.
  • Audio: The soundtrack is fast paced, fitting the gameplay perfectly.
  • It’s All Combat: Great for spending a few hours killing time, but if you’re looking for something more you won’t find it here.
  • Voice Acting: Almost non-existent, which contributes to a feeling of lifelessness.
4
Score: 4/5
The game takes on a ‘zen-like’ quality where it could be said that you are one with the game, which is great for spending a few hours winding down!

Appeal

Having played Strike Suit Zero, the game which Strike Suit Infinity sprung from, Infinity came as both a welcome return; yet something that I felt the need to be wary towards. After all, for all its gloss and polish, and it’s incredibly atmospheric graphics, Strike Suit Zero was punishingly frustrating - a game which set the player up for failure and killed you for the most minute mistakes. This, then, is where Strike Suit Infinity succeeds where its predecessor fails - it takes pride in its difficulty, fully implementing the previous score system and doing away with the campaign - turning it into a modern arcade game that revels in punishing its players.

Also, the more frustrating aspects of the gameplay have been tweaked - now there finally are reasons to be in strike suit form, rather than being torn apart the moment you transformed. There's a whole point-scoring, high score mentality to the exercise that I find engrossing. Ultimately, the only downside to this is that it has too few maps, with too little variety, for something that is this engaging. And that's a good thing. Strike Suit Infinity finds the niche the series belonged to all along.

4.5
Score: 4.5/5

Appeal

Strike Suit Infinity is a strange endeavour. In this day of DLC’s one would think that this would be a perfect fit. Yet Born Ready Games thought that a standalone is the way to go. Infinity is basically the same game Zero was; just without the campaign, with some tweaks and adjustments added, and at a lower price. We can always argue that they could have removed less, or added more. The way that it is now, it isn’t a game for everyone, it’s a game for a small niche of space pilots that don’t care too much for plots or exploration and just want to jump straight into battle. SSI lets you do exactly that. No more, no less. Though it’s not as simple as just fly around and shoot wave upon wave of incoming enemy fighters, you have additional tasks and objectives and even get yourself some reinforcements which keeps you engaged and entertained. Besides, for a price so low you can’t go wrong...as long as you like space games.

4
Score: 4/5
Comments (2)
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Posts: 1500

some, but its still basically the same game

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Posts: 577

Interesting to see they addressed some of the issues from Zero :D