Developer: Born Ready Games
Publisher: Born Ready Games
Platform: PC (Steam)
Release Date: April 30, 2013
ESRB: N/A (E10+ recommended)
Back in January, Born Ready Games released Strike Suit Zero, their successfully funded Kickstarter game. Strike Suit Zero meant to bring an arcade style space combat experience to PC gamers, and it mostly succeeded in doing so. Many would admit there were a few problems with the game, but for the most part the game was well done.
Saying that, most would find it odd that a scant few months after Strike Suit Zero's release, we receive Strike Suit Infinity with little fanfare or warning. Is this a quick cash-in, a true sequel, or... something else?
To put it simply, Strike Suit Infinity takes Strike Suit Zero's core (the space dog-fighting) and refines it into an even more arcade oriented experience. Thought Strike Suit Zero wasn't 'arcade-y' enough? Well, this title is definitely for you.
How does Born Ready do this, you might ask? The 'infinity' in the title might give you a hint: You face seemingly endless waves of enemies in the titular transforming Strike Suit (or the unlockable ships that were previously DLC only in the first game), rationing ammo and ensuring your and hopefully your comrades' survival. While you're fighting, you'll accumulate points and build on a multiplier, striving to reach the top of the leaderboards.
Thankfully, you do sometimes get a break in between waves. Sets of waves are broken up between rounds, and in between round you're given a breather to restock ammo, as well as buy upgrades. The credits you receive from battle (the amount you receive depending on the score) can buy you AI reinforcements, as well as enhance those pilots' abilities. It's a nice little touch to help you out, especially when the pre-battle screens show what kind of enemies you'll be facing so you can determine which set of reinforcements would be best to bring.
Unfortunately, the game doesn't do the best in explaining what these upgrades do. The actual reinforcements are easy enough to figure out, but figuring out what it means to increase how the pilots' performance is a completely different problem. It's hard to see how well your companions are performing in battle, and the lack of any explanation of what you're using your credits for, it's a little frustrating.
As for the controls, you maneuver your ship in the same manner as you would in Strike Suit Zero. This is good for veterans of the original, as you can jump in and start shooting up waves without issue. For newcomers, though, there is a tutorial you can go through in order to learn the basics of combat. However, like I said of Strike Suit Zero, the controls have a pretty steep learning curve, and the tutorial doesn't give you enough time to learn the somewhat complex controls before jumping into the fray.
Essentially, Strike Suit Infinity really does embody an arcade game, even more than its predecessor: It's all about the score, and how well you survive and destroy the competition. There's no story to speak of, nor of any other play modes or other incentives to advance other than to get a higher score. Sure, you can unlock the rounds and start from whatever one you've unlocked, but that's not much of a reason for many to stick with it.
This is a game with a certain target audience, and it reaches that target, and a few others, quite well. There are still problems, old and new, but it's still a decent addition to your Steam library for the entry price of seven dollars.
+ Takes the core of the Strike Suit series and refines it
+ Frantic and fun dogfighting
+ Beautiful graphics
- The tutorial doesn't explain the complex controls well
- It's hard to tell what certain upgrades do
- No incentive to play beyond score chasing
Overall Score: 7.5 (out of 10)
Strike Suit Infinity is a pretty good game for what it is, but a few problems still hold the series back from being truly great.