Vector Thrust is an arcade dogfighting game similar to the likes of HAWX and Ace Combat but with cel-shaded graphics. Its fast paced combat combined with the hundreds of unlockable planes makes this game extremely fun but it has many flaws in its current Early Access stage. Please note, this review is structured differently due to the amount of stuff I have to talk about.
Graphics and Appearance:
The graphics and appearance of this game are a bit hit and miss (mainly miss), thankfully it doesn't subtract from how good the game is too much and hopefully these things will be fixed soon.
+The planes look absolutely awesome in the cel shaded style of the game as do enemy vehicles and turrets.
+The sky and water in this game are pretty damn beautiful (see screenshot)http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=381418871
-The textures of the maps are absolutely terrible, they are very low resolution and are particularly bad to look at when flying close to the ground. Textures of airports (because they aren't actually 3D) are also bad and look like they're just 2D images pulled from Google Earth
-Particle effects are also pretty bad, explosions created by destroyed aircraft are very small and disappear completely after two or three seconds, plane's don't have noticeable vapour trails.
-Lens flare is also bad, it's pretty much just a grey ring on your screen which really does not look nice.
-This game has no cockpit view which is absolutely ridiculous considering the type of game it is.
-Flares aren't very bright and are difficult to see.
-The game's UI is only visible when looking straight ahead.
Gameplay and Replayability:
Gameplay is where this game really excels, the combat is near perfect and with so much to do it's difficult to get bored of this game without pouring a considerable amount of time into it.
+Fast paced combat
+Many different enemy types, ranging from drones to flying fortresses (that's a B52 for those who don't know)
+Each plane that you can fly in the game does something particularly well making different planes suited to different missions
+While the campaign is short (and pretty dull) the main game mode is 'Challenges' where you take part in different challenges, ranging from shooting down balloons with your forward mounted gun or bombing enemy tents, to unlock the literally hundreds of planes that this game has. You start off with a few of the families, such as the F-104 and as you progress through each family of planes you unlock more families to do challenges for such as the F4, F6 and F16 families.
+Vector Thrust has an incredibly powerful editor which allows you to create your own scenarios to play yourself or to share with others.
-While the game has multiplayer it's difficult to find a match unless you have friends to play it with due to multiplayer being in the beta branch and the small number of players on the game.
-Takeoffs and Landings aren't in the game (yet?).
As with Graphics and Appearance, Sound in this game is pretty hit and miss.
+The roar of the engines on the planes is great
+The sounds of your weapons firing are good
-The voice acting is pretty awful (credit where credit's due it was just one guy using a voice changer for all of the characters in the game).
-The noise for you locking on to a target is very similar to the missle alert which can be confusing at times.
Menus, Controls and Options:
+I played with the default (slightly tweaked, we'll get to that) control scheme for an XBOX360 controller which worked great apart from the fact that it didn't have flares mapped to it which I had to do myself, apart from that I thought the controls were extremely good and the planes themselves were very responsive.
+This game has a lot of options, it has everything you would expect graphically but it also lets you choose the colours of your UI, what measurement system you would like to use and more.
+The menus are simple and easy to use.
-The menus can't be navigated using a controller.
Things Worth a Mention:
+The development team are very active in the forums which is always nice to see.
-This game contains quite a few typos/spelling mistakes which I found quite frustrating.
9 for fans of similar games
7 for people new to this kind of game
Despite it's flaws this is an arcade dogfighting game superior even to the HAWX series (HAWX 2 being one of my all time favourite games) BUT due to its numerous flaws this game might not be as enjoyable for people new to this type of this game (hence the two scores). Whether you're new to arcade flight simulators or you're a veteran of the HAWX or Ace Combat games I would strongly recommend this game.
Want more? Check out my curator page: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/lonerangerreviews