“Definitive” Director’s Cut for Strike Suit Zero

By Ben Barrett on February 21st, 2014 at 8:00 am.

Strike Suit Zero, to use a perfect term, is my jam. Sci-fi? Check. Space Transformers? Check. Almost comical disregard for the sanctity of life and natural resources? Check. It’s bombastic, beautiful insanity that, to my eternal anger, proved rather unplayable on my aging hulk of a machine. Nathan proved measurably harder to impress a year ago, which may in part by why things have ended up here: a special edition of the game, initially for console release but eventually spreading out into our sector. It’s designed to fix many of the issues players and critics alike had with the campaign, as well as include DLC at no extra cost. Morph this post to its heavier form for a look at the trailer and details.

I am absolutely in love with that backing track. Anything that blends with explosions and gunfire is a feast for my ears. On the sound front the promised improved dialogue, presumably with a new recording of the voice over, is much needed. Similarly the undullening continues with a restructuring of the campaign to hopefully remove kill X of Y objectives and damned escort missions. You can still grab the original version of the game in all its flawed glory over on Steam as well as the “arcade high score chaser” spin-off Strike Suit Infinity. A word of warning: it’s unconfirmed whether the Director’s Cut will be available as an upgrade (free or otherwise) or an additional full purchase for PC owners, as details are still forthcoming.

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18 Comments »

  1. boundless08 says:

    I’m a kindred space fighter/robot thing loving soul dear Ben! I never got to finish this game due to my craptop being crap. I thought I might be able for it as it was playing smoothly… Then the tutorial ended! Such graphics!

    Someday!

  2. SuicideKing says:

    Well, seeing that it hasn’t been able to hold my attention so far, and remains mostly unplayed, i do hope it’s a free upgrade when it comes (except the DLC, since i haven’t bought any).

    • Sucram says:

      Word from the devs at the moment is:
      “To those of you that own the game on Steam already — you’ll be looked after. We’ll be talking more about this – in addition to more concrete release dates – in the near future.”

  3. drvoke says:

    Steam says I dropped 9 hours on this game, including going back and getting S ranks on missions where possible using unlocks I had earned. A fun arcade space shooter, nice and tight controls (using gamepad.. and really games like this should be played with pads), but short. Very short. And not incredibly difficult, once you get into the flow of combat. Is a 9 hour game worth your money? Will you spend a lot of time going back to beat your old high scores on missions, grabbing unlocks, etc?? Things to consider when thinking about dropping full retail on this game. Also, I’m not very good at games, so if you are quite skillful, I’m sure you could halve that playtime.

    • Kefren says:

      As someone with limited time, I’d go for 9 hours of fun over 20 hours with less fun any day. There’s a focus on game length as a measure of value, but I would often prefer games to be shorter (and instead have some replayability – I’ve been spoilt by System Shock 1 and 2, Desu Ex et al). I just finished Bioshock and even felt that was just a bit too long.

      Having said that, I have been playing HOMM3 for over a decade and still have only completed a third of the missions, so perhaps my preference doesn’t apply to all games!

      • SomeDuder says:

        It’s VERY much possible to just play this game, go through it (Maybe replaying a mission now and then if you think you did exceptionally horrible) and then just be DONE with it. I also got the arcade-ish Infinity DLC, and, while it’s fun, I’m no longer of that age to spend days playing arena-mode games with infinitely respawning enemies.

        The main game’s campaign is fun – brutal, harsh but not impossible, especially when you’ve finally got some upgrades going. Controls are fucking mess though, and a gamepad is very recommended (Even then, be prepared to reconfigure the sticks and some buttons to a more logical placement).

        • SomeDuder says:

          And I just checked that post:

          “The Director’s Cut features a restructured campaign – particularly relating to the first few missions, allowing the player to get in the cockpit of the Strike Suit much earlier – with an adapted story and all new dialogue. We’ve also given the game a complete graphical overhaul, including upscaled ships and updated textures and lighting. We’ve also included the Heroes of the Fleet mission pack, and both the Marauder and Raptor Strike Suits. We’ve taken a year’s worth of comments and suggestions on board, too, directly addressing the points of our community and critics.”

          That’s pretty great, actually. The Heroes of the Fleet missions are fun and definately a worthwhile addition, only fair to include in the base game (While I had to pay for it… *grumble*). Updated visuals are nice of course, though the original was nothing to scoff at.

          I’m most interested in the restructured campaign though. Without spoiling too much, in the original game, it’ll take a few missions till you transfer to the titular suit. The first few missions are done with conventional fightercraft – kinda bizarre for a game that basically revolves around your transformer in space.

  4. Gap Gen says:

    I’m unsure why, but this never clicked with me, and I loved stuff like Freespace. I guess I needed more time to get the suit and how to use it best. The story also didn’t grab me – it seemed to be the normal garbled mess of acronyms shooting each other for no particular reason, which normally for a space shooter shouldn’t be a problem, but then Freespace 2′s story genuinely had me interested and wondering what would happen and wanting to know more about the Shivans. I guess I should go back to it at some point and see if I get into it the second time.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      It’s likely because Strike Suit Zero actually does the space combat incredibly badly. The manouvering both of your own and enemy ships is very floaty. Weapons completely lack impact – exemplified perfectly by the machine guns, which don’t even have projectiles just an invisible flamethrower-like cone of insta-hit damage that magically only applies to the target you’ve got locked instead of everything in the AoE – and any damage is invisible unless you’re looking at the health bar numbers going down.

      Compare that to Freespace, where every impact throws shields and sparks around, where every weapon has a projectile with travel speed, where every impact has a kinetic force component that slews the target around as it’s hit, where capital ships shudder and break apart as they go down and where it feels like both you and the enemy AI pilots are really *flying* through space instead of simply moving through space.

    • SuicideKing says:

      My thoughts exactly, today given a choice between playing through FS2 for the bazillionth time and playing Strike Suit, i’d pick FS2. Especially since the SCP mods make it look better than Strike Suit…

  5. SanguineAngel says:

    @Gap Gen: I’m a fair way into it – I dip in and out as I find the gameplay great for short bursts of fun. but I am actually enjoying the story of the game so far, there are some notable characters doing crazy stuff in there.

    Reply fail!

    • Gap Gen says:

      Yeah, I guess it dives in with a bunch of factions, and maybe fleshes out later – I’m only a few missions in, I think, although they’re normally big missions with cutscenes in the middle.

      EDIT: I will also say that I loved the crazy architecture floating above Earth in the first mission.

  6. _Nocturnal says:

    The “kill X of Y” objectives weren’t the problem. The problem was that while you’re killing those Ys, some other ships are firing torpedoes towards your allies which you need to intercept. Except the game doesn’t tell you when the bunches of torpedoes are being fired, so you end up missing them while you’re fighting Ys. And there’s no elegant way to switch between automatically targeting the Ys (as opposed to all the other letters of the alphabet flying around) and the torpedoes, you need to cycle through all the possible target types each time.

    Another similar case: You need to destroy the big guns of an enemy ship, which are dangerous to your allies. But that same ship also has smaller guns, which are dangerous to you. Ideally, you would take care of the small ones first and then switch to the others, except auto targeting works only for your objective and so you end up fighting with the targeting system in order to lock on to the smaller ones with the crosshair.

    But man is it a fun game to play otherwise! Excellently streamlined, while still giving you lots of interesting options. Each fight is like a puzzle you need to solve, except you’re solving it with your guns. And that robot transformation: I was kind of skeptical, but they pulled it off perfectly!

    • Gap Gen says:

      Oh yeah, I remember despising the torpedos. I suspect this might have been the reason I put it down for a while, although I was moving at the time so it could have just been that I forgot about it in the chaos of moving computers. It was a thing in Freespace, yeah, but normally it was balanced to be manageable. In general, though, escort missions aren’t fun, and protecting a stationary target from projectiles isn’t that fun either. And yeah, the targetting system could be better (obligatory Freespace mention again).

      As for the big guns, I found the best way to do it was to charge up the strike suit and nuke a few targets in an instant then fly away while you recharge. It’s not a feature I’ve got used to yet, but I found that kinda worked.

  7. Moraven says:

    I just want an updated Robotech:Battlecry. Or the Macross games that never got localized.

    Battlecry worked so well and the multiplayer was great on it.

  8. hideinlight says:

    Many people don’t even know you could change difficulty setting in the game…
    Second last mission was way more doable on easy.

    I take out the torpedos in strike mode vai normal firing. There is a cooldown period at which the enemy ships fire them.

    And something else people completely missed is that ships have weak points in them which causes massive damage when destroyed.

    Cannot blame them for that since that information is only contained in the DLC.

  9. B0GiE-uk- says:

    I tried it and gave up after an hour of trying to get my joystick to work with it.

    Have they fixed joystick support yet?

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