Let's start with the bad.
This game launched with a TONNE of technically issues. The developer has been working to fix the issues. Some of them have been fixed as of time of this review and most of the really bad issues have been sorted out.
- No FOV sliders (has since been added)
- No DX10 support (has since been added, fully functional as tested on my rig)
- No shadows (pending)
- Choppy framerate (patches fixed most of the worst instances, only encountered 2 situations where framerate dropped)
- A slew of crashes (patches fixed most of the worst instances, only crashed once over 7 hours)
The "meh" and the average.
This game is just an upgrade of the previous game, Strike Suit Zero. Most of the content is still the same although the missions have been tweaked and the story has been rewritten. Several actors were called back to record new audio to voice out the slightly changed story.
The writing for the dialogue is not the best, however the voice actors themselves are pretty good. It keeps the story moving while things are exploding all around you.
The game uses a checkpoint system within missions. While they aren't especially sparce and the missions don't drag on too much, once or twice I found myself groaning when I realised that the game's checkpoint put me further back than I would've liked.
Now let's move on to the "good".
This game is HELLA FUN! The battles are fast, frantic, and once you start a mission the explosions never stop happening. You'll be taking on enemies ranging from nimble fighters to large capital ships and carriers. Often you'll be taking on all these things over the course of a single mission.
Objectives within missions include the usual:
- Anti-fighter screening
- Bombing runs
- Escort (done right!)
- Assaulting capital ships and large installations
One of the most refreshing aspects of the game's mission design is pretty superb. Objectives change as the battle flows around you, and its one of the few games that does Escort segments right.
Its not uncommon for the game to give you an objective like, "Protect (Ship name)", but the ship you're escorting is far from defenseless and they have much bigger guns. I found myself frequently running back to my defence target because I was getting swarmed by fighters and the ship I was protecting blew them out of the sky.
Which brings me to what I loved best about this game; the sense of immersion it gave me while I was in the cockpit. Your allied ships and fighters are not useless, they're more than capable at blowing up the enemy with your support. Similarly, the enemy ships and fighters are just as capable of blowing you up as well if you're not careful.
Technical issues asside, this is one of the best arcadey space combat games I've played in a while. It harkens back to a lot of older arcady space combat titles that were mostly only available on consoles. The game isn't easy when you crank the difficulty up to Hardcore and WILL kick your ♥♥♥ if you're not careful.
Played with a mouse and keyboard set-up, main story campaign completeed in just over 8 hours on Hardcore difficulty. There are quite a few 'Optional Objectives' I've yet to complete in the story missions. There is also the Heroes of the Fleet mission pack which I haven't touched.