If you're like me and wonder, where the hell did the space shooter genre go, then look no further. Strike Vector EX is the kind of game I've been wanting for quite a while now. So how does it do?
At it's core it's a arcade style, multiplayer, arena, twitch shooter.... with anime inspired spaceships (I'm thinking Macros). It's extremely fast paced and requires sharp reflexes and a lot ofIf you're like me and wonder, where the hell did the space shooter genre go, then look no further. Strike Vector EX is the kind of game I've been wanting for quite a while now. So how does it do?
At it's core it's a arcade style, multiplayer, arena, twitch shooter.... with anime inspired spaceships (I'm thinking Macros). It's extremely fast paced and requires sharp reflexes and a lot of control pad dexterity. You control a spaceship (Vector) that has two modes of flight. The first mode is a speed mode that feels like flying in the traditional sense, bank left, bank right, up and down, all while traveling forward at great speed. The second is a hover mode that allows more precise shooting while still allowing for some movement. It's a great combination of mobility that is, to my knowledge, unique to this game.
Your offensive weapons consist of the traditional machine guns (low damage, fast fire rate), rocket launchers (high damage, slow fire rate), shotguns (high damage, short range), and many more types that you will want to experiment with for yourself. They all feel satisfying to use an lend themselves well to individual play styles. Obviously, in competitive play some setups are more successful than others. You also get to outfit your ship with a special activated ability e.g invisibility, repair or mines. There is also a separate passive upgrade that will enhance a certain characteristic of your ship, e.g more armour, faster speed or stealth weapons.
The arenas are just the right size and well designed for long and short range battles. Each arena has plenty of pickups to restore your ships health or reduce the cool down on special abilities. The developers seem to have put a lot of thought into how you might use the environment to your advantage by ducking behind cover for protection or to lay an ambush and out manoeuvre your opponent.
I feel I should also give a mention to the campaign (as in there is one), but really the meat of the game is in the multiplayer. You can expect the usual modes, team death match, free for all, capture and control, etc....
Sounds promising so far right! Well here's where things start to get a little discouraging. A game like this lives and dies by it's multiplayer. And as of the time of this review it's been a mixed experience for me. Connection issues have been varied and there are some weird choices that the developers have implemented that really need addressing. First, there is no auto team balancing. You have to manually switch teams to even the sides. What's that all about? It's been incredibly frustrating to jump into a game where there are four human players against one human player (usually me) and three bots. Second, there is no host migration! Really? That's right friends, a rage quitting host can destroy a great game for everyone. Finally, there is no way that I have discovered to browse for better connections. It seems that once you connect to a host you will always connect to that host. Even if you drop out of the game and restart. Frustratingly, this does not mean that you are even getting the best host for your connection, it just seems to lock you in to that one person.
Overall this game shows a lot of promise and, refreshingly, respect for the players. An example of this is that all of the weapons and ship upgrades are open to you from the beginning of the game. You don't have to grind for hours just to unlock a new gun or perk. In practice this means that everyone is on an equal footing right from the start. It shows that the developers want to focus on the skill of the player rather than who can grind their way to the OP weapons fastest. Now that I like. This game could have easily exploited DLC or micro transactions but it didn't. That earns extra points from me.
Now go and patch those connection and team balancing issues and you've got an almost perfect package on your hands.
This is a great game that deserves to do well so that we can see an even better sequel. You buy now!… Expand