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PAX Prime 2012: Strike Suit Zero Preview

Article by FTG Contributor Robert Beach.

Remember X-Wing? Remember Star Fox? Remember the thrill of exploring space, battling other fighters with graphics that don’t hold up? Born Ready Games, a UK based game studio, wants to bring it back to the modern age with the glossy Strike Suit Zero.

The PC-only adventure through space sure is beautiful, though it’s still only in its pre-beta build, and the vibrant colors look stunning. Firing phasers, jet streams, and explosions are all bright and gosh- darn pretty. Even the most basic of tasks like following a frigate left me ogling at the orange streaks in the distance. The scenery in particular…well, look at it!

Near the end, we see three equally-sized opposing frigates fire cartoonishly large torpedoes at your ship, and your new objective is to eradicate the projectiles by transforming into Strike mode. The “Strike Suit” in the title is not just clever alliteration: you transform into a giant mech (basically a Gundam), with more firepower at your disposal, but at a slower movement speed. Throwing a monkey wrench into a typical space shooter, the Strike mode easily shakes up strategies on enemy targets, baiting attacks to draw in.

A more modern example of this is the Scientist class in High Moon Studio’s recent Transformers: Cybertron games: jetting around the map, while switching to robot form for major combat. A key difference is the flux meter, where transformers can do their thing at any time. Strike mode, on the other hand, generates throughout the battle, giving an allotted time limit.

I had a surprisingly fun time with the game, reminding me of the space battles in Star Wars Battlefront 2 in the 10 or so minutes I had, although it had some major problems. You learned how to play with no clear guidance. It took me another go at the demo to figure things out. No one was there to point out how to use missiles or adjust my mouse sensitivity to further understand the game. Don’t worry – they’re just frivolously nitpicky things that held back a full experience.

I zipped by fighters with my canons, leading with my targeting reticule. I boosted toward the mammoth torpedoes to change to Strike mode and sprayed my bullets onto them. I maneuvered my ship to crazy eye-straining shifts to evade and chase targets. I did it all with elegance and flair. Look for Strike Suit Zero to come to Origin and Steam in fall of this year.