Strike Suit Zero for Linux Review
key review info
- Game: Strike Suit Zero
- Platform: Linux
- Gamepad support: Yes
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
Strike Suit Zero is an arcade space simulator released on multiple platforms, including Linux, filling a very important niche on the open source platforms. It’s not without faults, but it all depends on the determination of its players.
There are very few space simulators on the Linux platform, and only one can come close to the level of detail displayed in this game. We’re talking, of course, about the X3 title but, besides the premise of space action and ships, it employs very different gameplay mechanics.
Strike Suit Zero was developed by a merry band of independent developers called Born Ready Games studio. They took their idea to Kickstarter and managed to raise the necessary funds to finish the game. A very important selling point for them was the promise of a Linux version.
At the time of the initial announcement, users were skeptic about the proposed quality of Strike Suit Zero. Up until a year ago, the games available for this platform had very limited graphics engines, and the general expectations were rather low.
From a technical point of view, Strike Suit Zero delivers exactly what it has promised and it does it without any compromises. The Windows and Linux versions of the game are almost identical, with just a few small and unimportant differences as regards graphical effects.
Story and gameplay
Strike Suit Zero had already been available on Windows for quite some time before the developers released it on Linux, and the reception hasn't been stellar. The main problem was the difficulty of the gameplay, and a lot of people complained about this.
Fortunately for Linux users, the guys from the Born Ready Games studio have kept themselves busy and have issued a number of patches which further balanced the gameplay.
As far as the story is concerned, there is no much to go on. The main selling points of the game are not the story or the "incredible" voice acting. Both are forgettable and don't provide an incentive to go forward. Fortunately, this is a task for the gameplay, which acquits itself more than honorable.
The old and dull story of how Earth spread itself into space with the help of an alien signal, spawning numerous colonies, is retold once more. Just like you would imagine, none of the colonies are enjoying the hegemonic rule of Earth and they are striving to achieve independence. An inevitable war starts, and this is where the player enters the story.
You take on the role of a pilot who made a terrible mistake. The only reason you're allowed back into service is because Earth needs all its pilots during the war.
Coincidently, the colonies launch a devastating attack right when our brave hero is trying to prove himself. Using a new secret weapon, Earth is left almost defenseless after its fleets are utterly pulverized. Along with a small contingent, you start to follow the attacking fleet, trying to find a way to disable the super weapon and help turn off the tide of the conflict.
Gameplay-wise, Strike Suite Zero is purely an arcade game. There are no Newtonian physics behind the engine and you will find it very easy to pilot the ship.
You can see that Freelancer has been a great influence on the gameplay, and controlling the ship with the keyboard and mouse seems natural and easy.
Strike Suite Zero borrows a few mechanics from various other games, such as Freelancer, Freespace 2, and Starlancer. This is not a bad thing, mostly because those were excellent games and implementing things that work is always a good idea.
Now, there are a few issues that are bound to annoy you. I went through the same process, but it's worth it.
You will learn to hate the torpedoes and the ships that carry them. Most of the game you will be following, at one point or another during a mission, torpedoes that are slow-moving and that usually do a lot of damage to the ships you're protecting.
This is remedied somewhat by the main gimmick of Strike Suite Zero. Early in the game you get access to a ship that can turn itself into a humanoid-shaped robot, for lack of a better description. It moves slower, but it can dish out a lot of damage. You can't use it all the time, and you will constantly have to fill a meter with normal kills. This allows the player to change back into the robot (suit).
Also, between missions, you will get information about unlocked ships and weapons, but I found that the default settings for each mission are more than enough.
Graphics-wise, only the game in the latest X series can stand the comparison. The game looks beautiful, the explosions are enticing, and the missions are difficult.
This brings us back to the beginning. Even will all the patches, you will have to restart the missions a lot, especially in the second half of the game. The gameplay is sometimes downright brutal and you will need all your concentration to make it work.
There’s one more thing to mention. Although I said that the story and the voice acting didn't have anything special, the music is a completely different subject. It's fantastic and, even if sometimes the tempo doesn't match what's going on on the screen, it's still quite an achievement, especially for a game made with Kickstarter money.
- Beautiful rendered backgrounds and environments
- Smooth control
- Superb soundtrack
- Uninteresting story
- A few very difficult missions
- Too many torpedoes
Strike Suite Zero is a mishmash of gameplay mechanics, but at the end of the day you can clearly feel that you played something unique. If you manage to summon the necessary patience required for this game, you will find that there's more to Strike Suite Zero than meets the eye.