Strike Vector EX (PlayStation 4) Review

By Eric Ace 08.09.2016 1

Review for Strike Vector EX on PlayStation 4

Strike Vector EX is an update of a PC game by Ragequit Corporation in which players pilot vehicles that switch from a faster, more agile mode to a slower one with better aiming. The entire game plays like a three-dimensional first-person shooter, and - when it's good - can be a very frantic and fun game, but at its worst is frustrating and lacking in potential.

Strike Vector EX is a merciless game that demands perfection from the beginning, with no tutorial and no way to customise controls, making the path towards rage-quitting closer than many gamers may be comfortable with. The premise of this space-set shooter is interesting, in that the unit can quickly change modes from speed to combat, opening the door for a lot of combat variety. It's essentially similar to classic anime Robotech, and may have indeed been inspired by it.

The point of nearly every mode is to rack up a sufficient number of kills. The maps are huge, and there is plenty of space to carry out both fast long-distance flying and slower close-quarter combat.

Screenshot for Strike Vector EX on PlayStation 4

There are problems, for sure, but one of the better facets is that there is zero collision damage (short of an arbitrary 'suicide speed'), meaning that close combat doesn't lead to an unfair death like in many other jet fighting games. The controls come fairly naturally (despite the aforementioned lack of customisation), and flying is very fun, especially when being pursued in tight areas.

The multiplayer modes range from the typical kill-everyone missions to capture-the-flag and king-of-the-hill options. The capture-the-flag mode in particular is an incredibly fun variation, as its mechanics are relatively unseen in this genre despite its natural fit. When everything is going well, the combat is satisfying, but that's sadly not always the case.

Screenshot for Strike Vector EX on PlayStation 4

Firstly, there is no sense of progression in Strike Vector EX - literally everything is unlocked from the start, and this leads to a highly problematic imbalance in the weapon variety. The ship customisation is a cool feature - figuring out combinations of weapons, traits, defences and passive bonuses is a lot of fun - but it doesn't matter too much in the end, as once the best setup has been found, there's no reason to deviate from it.

Another frustration is the inability to finish someone off - if a player is losing, they can just hit jet mode and get out of the situation to find health items. It's a logical and easy technique but one that's very frustrating to be on the receiving end of. Mixed in with a ruthless "friendly fire" system, a lot of the gameplay is not at all newbie-friendly. Furthermore, the weapons are incredibly poorly balanced. The single-shot sniper weapon is nearly impossible to use given the high-speed nature of the game, whereas homing missiles and rapid-fire Gatling guns invariably clean up shop. As it stands, there's no variety in the multiplayer - every player ends up using the same clearly superior weapons and set-ups.

Screenshot for Strike Vector EX on PlayStation 4

There's a campaign mode on offer, but it's a wreck, to put it simply. The story is worth a look, if only to see how ham-fisted it can get - it's predictable and generic, with cutscenes that last no longer than 10 lines each and plot twists so shallow and frequent that the plot ends up impossible to follow.

Strike Vector EX feels a bit two-sided in a lot of capacities. The flight gameplay is great, with only the lack of control customisation being a major criticism. The game's base is solid, but the problems come from the wreck of a campaign, easy exploitation on many of the battle maps, and the lack of in-game progress available. With a group of friends, this could be a fairly fun romp, but alone against online players who will no doubt exploit the game's questionable design choices, it's likely to end in frustration.

Screenshot for Strike Vector EX on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

At its root, this is a very cool game, but all too often it gets in its own way with poor choices in weapon balance, exploitable map pickups, and all too often luck-based gameplay. At its peaks, it's a great experience and it brings a genuinely interesting twist to the genre, but when it's at its worst, the flaws rise to the surface and become so much harder to forgive.

Developer

Strike Vector Team

Publisher

Ragequit Corporation

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Drove me absolutely nuts right from the start. The controls were so awkward to get used to...reminded me of Star Fox Zero at its worst, sometimes! Definitely only for the more patient gamers out there, I'd say.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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