No, not Aragorn from Lord of the Rings. No, not the Half-Life 2 spindle horror colossus. No, not the giant mecha thing from Stanisław Lem’s Fiasco. No, not the tiny bicycle brand. No, not the pony named after Aragorn from Lord of the Rings. This Strider is an ultra-ninja from a future that (sadly) never will be. He battles the Cybersoviet Union’s robot legion in the year 2048. That kind of thing. Also, he’s renowned for going ages between series revivals – like a fallen phoenix who keeps hitting the snooze button. Strider 2, for instance, came out nearly ten years after the first, and the latest installment has taken even longer to surface. Simply titled Strider, it bears both good and bad news. Good: It’s on PC! Bad: Double Helix is developing, and their track record is not the best.
On the upside, it does look rather spiffy – if a tad barebones. It sounds like exactly what you’d expect, too: tons of robot slashing, bashing, and blasting – except it’s all been stirred into a Metroidvania-style structure.
“Remaining true to its roots, Strider features the same franchise hallmarks of fluid, lightning quick combat and ground-breaking free-flowing traversal that inspired many of today’s third person action titles. Strider further builds upon this pedigree by endowing the player with a vastly expanded arsenal of moves and weapons to acquire and use, while slicing their way through a massive, interconnected and rich game world.”
Of course, there’s still plenty to be concerned about. The animations look sort of awkward, and it’s tough to tell whether or not there’ll be much of a challenge factor to it.
We’ll find out for sure when Strider launches in early 2014. For now, though, cyber ninjas! Who, in your humble, fleshbrained opinion, is the best one? Which one would beat all the rest in a fight? Who’d write the best cybernetically serene haikus? These are the greatest questions of our time.