4cr Plays – Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut

by Antonio Garcia

The year is 2299, and war has taken over space. When a pilot on a salvage mission runs into the Strike Suit – a special spacecraft run by a particularly smart AI – a glimmer of hope shines for the survival of Earth.

This is the setup for Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut, a game that was funded thanks to a very successful Kickstarter campaign that ended at a little over $174,000. This allowed developer Born Ready Games to release it on PC in early 2013 and on Mac and Linux about six months later. Now, they’ve gone back to create the definitive version of the game, polishing and rebalancing the original release. This version features upscaled textures and improved lighting, along with all of the extra content that was previously available as DLC for the PC/Max/Linux release, and is available on the Playstation 4 so that console gamers can get a chance to play it.

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The first couple of missions in the game serve as an introduction to how things work in this universe, and get the player acquainted with the Strike Suit itself. While in spacecraft mode, the Strike Suit controls exactly as anybody who has touched a space dogfighter – such as the X-Wing Star Wars games – would expect a spaceship to. As you destroy enemies and build up your score, you fill a special bar that allows you to change into the Strike Suit’s mech mode. In mach form, you can fill the screen with destructive attacks that completely eradicate the smaller enemies and leave a pretty big dent on the bigger vessels out there.

Strike Suit Zero looks like an arcade game at first glance, but the developers have added a number of elements that help it stand out from similar games. You can select the weapons for your spacecraft before each mission – choosing from heavy and trusty plasma cannons, spread cannons that are fast (but weak), lasers that destroy anything in their way (but can be dodged by smaller enemies), missile pods that pack a punch (but can only be fired in a straight line), guided missiles that lock-on to their target, and so on. You can also upgrade each weapon, depending on your performance during each mission. Weapon upgrades and better medal awards offer the player extra incentive to return to previous missions and aim for a better overall score.

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The initial set of missions feel a bit slow and leave the player with a sense of isolation, as if space was just a barren wasteland filled with the remains of those foolish enough to try and survive by themselves. Before you know it, however, you’ll be fighting against entire fleets, aided by experienced pilots who want to live to see another day at all cost.

The game runs smoothly and there is nary a hint of slowdown, helping you feel like you’re really flying in space – like you’re living in a sci-fi future where you might actually be Earth’s last hope. The texture and lighting help bring everything together, and the voice acting presents the story in a dynamic way.

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Strike Suit Zero is a great game, and a fresh experience for space shooter aficionados. The game packs around eight to twelve hours of content depending on your skill level, and there are a few trophies/achievements that will keep completionists busy for an extra couple of hours before their run is over. If you’ve been waiting for a game that reminds you of old arcade shooters – while also bringing something new to the table – then Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut is just what you need.

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