If you've seen the store page's trailer, then Strike Vector is as fun as it looks. Be warned, beta is beta. Servers crash frequently, and there are frequent glitches with the menus. For instance, after being boot out of a game due to a crashed server, you must restart it to play again. But all that aside...
THE GAMEPLAY IS AMAZING. It plays like a dream! The ability to swap between Jet and Harrier modes on the fly is an incredible boon, and it makes dogfights fast-paced and intense, and extremely enjoyable. You have two weapon slots, and there are about a half dozen weapons to choose from, and you get to mix and match as you want. Each weapon has two slots for perks, as well. Two weapons, two perks each, and a ship perk, and a special ability, all creates excellent diversity, and it should cater to anyone's playstyle. Did I mention you have 3 loadout slots so you can save several of these combinations that you can swap from every time you die? You can even change them before you jump back in.
Visually, it's impressive. There's not much that stands out, but I love the machinery/factory look of all the menus and screens. One minor gripe I have is that certain menu prompts are unclear. They don't stand out very much and it's easy to skip over them because they're so small. For instance, at first I didn't even realize you were able to fly on the maps solo, because the button to do that was buried in the tutorial section, and was a very, very small button along the top of the screen. The ships themselves are customizable visually, and have patterns and a full color spectrum to choose from for each main section of your ship. There's a bit of texture pop-in, and some things look a little bit muddy, and it's obvious to see a lot of stand-in art and text in places, but overall it's not bad.
Sound overall is decent. The weapons and flight sound great, very meaty where it counts. Explosions are visceral, too. Though I would love a little more feedback in some places, such as when switching between flight and harrier mode. There were some times while in a match where I was off to the side, menus open adjusting options, and the game was silent. I think it could stand to have a little more realism in its sound. Basically I mean that it should echo more; I should hear the fights going on all across the map. I don't believe there should ever be silence in a game like this. Music! There's no in-game music, and if there is, it was brief, and I didn't notice it. The title theme is pretty cool, however the menus afterward... it's monotonous and could stand to be changed or improved. I don't like it much. So aside from minor complaints, it's great where it counts!
I could see myself playing this very much, spending a lot of my extra time here. I await the ability to host my own games in-client, or to be able to play offline against AI or over LAN, but such features do not yet exist. I'm glad I'm at least able to fly around the maps on my own without needing to connect. There's not much to do save practice flying around and shooting at nothing, but it's a nice add-in. With a plethora of unlockables, including ship parts and decals and patterns, and stuff for my pilot's profile, plus the simple matter that it's so damn fun to play, there's plenty of reason to come back to it again and again.
To conclude, it's fast paced, it's exciting, it's fun as hell. Lots to choose from, fun to play, lots of potential. Beta is beta, though. Gameplay gets a solid 9/10, Aesthetic and design and visuals gets an 8/10, sound gets a 6/10, lasting appeal/replay value: I-will-be-losing-so000oooOOOOoo-many-hours-to-this-beastie/10
Overall, in its current beta state: 7.5/10, with a BADASS SEAL OF APPROVAL!
Posted: January 13th, 2014