Strike Suit Infinity Review

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From its crisp frame rate to stunning visuals Strike Suit Zero was an ambitious game. Avoiding several of the pitfalls it could have stumbled into along the way, it made only a couple of small design mistakes that I felt could have been improved. The studio behind the game, Born Ready Games, is now releasing Strike Suit Infinity, a game which is mechanically near identical, but takes the focus away from a story campaign and shifts it more onto high score chasing across a series of Horde style “take on consecutively stronger waves of enemies” challenge maps.

Strike Suit Infinity is your standard spacecraft shooter game with a twist, your space fighter jet can transform into a Japanese anime style mech robot created for pure destruction and carnage. You kill things as the ship to charge up your energy bar, allowing you to transform briefly and unleash bullet hell on anything in front of you, decimating armies in a matter of moments.

Infinity runs on what appears to be the exact same engine as Zero and as such looks much the same. However, this is by no means a bad thing. For a game set in the vast empty blackness of space, Infinity does a great job of making each of its eighteen stages distinct, allowing you to remain aware of your orientation, both of which would be a nightmare in any other space shooter of this type. From the beautifully awe inspiring nebula and planet designs littering the environment backgrounds, to the visual effects when you activate your thrusters, stretching the screen for a wonderful sense of speed, Strike Suit Infinity is a true visual treat. The explosions have a good sense of weight to them without being over the top and the transformation from ship to mech was fast and fluid on my mid range gaming PC. While the ship models are not the greatest in the world, they’re more than detailed enough to look fantastic in motion.

The battles themselves are on a huge scale and make you feel like a real one man army. Imagine the feeling of piloting a small single person ship in the midst of Mass Effect 3′s huge starship battle and you’ll have an idea of the vulnerability yet sheer power I felt during the later levels. The controls are tight and responsive, both as a ship and a mech, and the game completely succeeds at what it’s trying to do, being an awesome space combat game. Your ship has just the right balance of speed and power that, while no mission feels impossible or unfair, you’ll still find yourself dying more than a few times once the game gets going.

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Strike Suit Zero had a couple of flaws when it was released earlier this year, mainly the campaign’s lacklustre story, a lack of variation between missions and horribly spaced out checkpoints during longer missions. Thankfully, Infinity’s change in direction from campaign to wave based high score challenges has nicely sidestepped those issues. You don’t have to suffer through a predictable and weak story because they took the story out completely. This allows you to focus on what the game does best, awesome space combat. Variation is no longer an issue as each stage changes up the pace and ability of enemies, the types of ships you’re facing, and generally does a better job at keeping things fresh. Checkpoints are no longer an issue as each level is designed to be playable within a relatively short time. If you die, you just jump back and take on that challenge again. By removing the story elements, losing progress in a level doesn’t feel like such a loss, just an opportunity to try something different next time and maybe get a higher score.

When all is said and done, I prefer Strike Suit Infinity to its predecessor. By cutting out the aspects that were the weakest, creating new levels and changing the focus, they’ve managed to make a game with a completely different feel to it, all without a huge amount of additional time or resources. Much like when The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask was released using the Ocarina of Time engine, Strike Suit Infinity makes great use of existing assets to create something new and distinct. It’s addictive high score chasing with a transforming mech/space fighter craft; what’s not to like?

Strike Suit Infinity is available for PC on Steam from 30 April for £4.99.

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