Tech News on G4
Take to the skies with Strike Vector EX
September 6, 2016
By Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada
Originally released on PC back in 2014, Strike Vector delivered frenetic, arcade-style aerial combat and a multiplayer suite aimed at satisfying those with a yearning for competitiveness. Met with a predominantly positive response, the indie title has made its way to consoles. Now with “EX” added to the title’s moniker, console gamers can expect a couple of new additions to Rage Quit Corporation’s latest.
The most advertised of these new inclusions is the campaign mode. Tacked on campaigns usually have a tendency to under deliver mainly due to these modes being afterthoughts and not being given the same attention as the rest of the title (case and point: Street Fighter 5). Unfortunately, the poorly stitched together missions that comprise of Strike Vector’s newly added narrative fail to break this trend. Quite simply, the tale told here is dull. The story follows the escapades of Marv as he begins his career as a Vector pilot. Throw in some standard narrative tropes, brainless A.I. and hammy writing and you have a campaign that’s almost entirely worth skipping.
Though, if one were to approach the campaign mode with the intention of familiarizing themselves with the game’s mechanics instead of expecting a legitimate narrative to unfold, then that’d be wise. Doing this allowed me to gain a feel for combat before hopping online and getting obliterated by considerably more skilled opponents. One of the other new additions is the offline skirmish mode but I’d recommend playing the campaign to hone your skills, as some tips and instructions are given.
Vehicular combat has always intrigued me, although mastery of this particular gameplay genre has continuously proved elusive. Thus, leaving me to vicariously enjoy the genre though videos while remaining on the periphery watching in envy. I usually hit a metaphorical wall and struggle when it comes to grasping gameplay in these types of titles. Handling both maneuvering at breakneck speeds while also trying to lock onto targets simply was too much to ask. Thankfully, Strike Vector EX’s combat is insightfully crafted in a way that alleviated the aforementioned issues. The aircraft you pilot, in this case a Vector, has two modes to toggle from. Hover mode and Fly mode. The former mode stalls your vector in mid-air, allowing you to trade fire with opponents and strafe around them. The fly mode evidently allows you to blast off and soar through the skies, either to withdraw from a losing battle or to find your next opponent. The ability to shoot while jetting off in fly mode is available but tough as the speed in which you travel doesn’t allow for precision shots.
Strike Vector comes alive during online Multiplayer. A diverse mix of modes ranging from classics such as capture the flag to more unique modes such as demolition, which has teams of two try and destroy each other’s bases, round out the multiplayer offerings. The ability to outfit your vector with weaponry and changes to the vector’s aesthetic allows each player to tune their killing machines in a way that best compliments their preferred play style. I opted for a more close range weapon load out, as I found up close combat to be more satisfying. Although, those who excel in mid-range or far-range combat will be glad to find that the arsenal respects these combat preferences.
Graphically, Strike Vector is impressively detailed, especially for an Indie title. Environments have a ramshackle dystopian look to them and the weather effects in levels simply look awesome. A powerful soundtrack comprised of ripping guitars accompanies the frantic gameplay, which adds a layer of personality to the title that the campaign did not. Strike Vector’s aesthetic and soundtrack evokes elements of Mad Max and Space Truckers, resulting in a truly cool atmosphere.
If Strike Vector EX was fleshed out to the level of a triple a title, I truly believe it would have a decent chance at giving current mainstream shooters a run for their money. As it stands, Strike Vector EX is a solid aerial combat title and a fresh alternative to those who have grown tired of the traditional multiplayer shooter.
Strike Vector EX
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