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Review: Strike Vector EX


Harrison Lee

Developer: Ragequit Corporation

Publisher: Ragequit Corporation

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Release Date: August 30, 2016

ESRB: M for Mature

 

This review is based on the PS4 version of the game

 

 

The selection of combat flight games is relatively limited these days. The once-thriving genre has dwindled to a scant selection, many of which aren“t very good. Strike Vector EX is a new entry, but calling it a flight game would be a bit misleading. It sits somewhere between Ace Combat with VTOLs and a frantic, arena-based FPS. If that combo sounds strange, don“t be alarmed. Strike Vector EX is a lot more familiar than it might sound.

 

The game immediately starts off with a serious-toned intro movie. The cutscenes (including the intro) feature some nice animated art, but the voice-acting is incredibly cheesy. The intro tries to deliver some semblance of a storyline, yet fails to establish any firm characters or factions. Past the beginning, the game mostly does away with plot. As soon as the hard rock soundtrack kicks in and the bullets begin to fly, you know what you“re in for.

 

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Strike Vector“s campaign is brief, fun, campy, and self-aware. It never overstays its welcome and serves as a smooth introduction to the online component. Missions consist of dogfights, escort segments, aerial one-on-one duels, and more. It“s never too taxing and offers a good afternoon“s worth of action. During the campaign, you“ll be able to swap loadouts and test out a variety of special abilities for your titular Vector. Finding the right loadout, like a plasma cannon with an area-of-effect healing shield, can mean the difference between victory or defeat.

 

The Vectors are remarkably fun to control, transforming into high-speed aircraft or VTOLs with the press of a button. Dodging missiles and pulling hard braking maneuvers to get the jump on an opponent never gets old. It also helps that the controls give you a great deal of finesse when maneuvering through the arenas. Verticality and building-based cover points become important once you start taking on human opponents. The loadout and customization options also allow you to modify your Vector to whatever role and look you please. Whether you fancy close-range combat or long-distance shooting, the choices are limited to your imagination.

 

The online combat is suitably thrilling, translating the pace of an arena shooter to the sky. The modes on offer are straightforward, but the unpredictable nature of Vector combat and the customization options should keep players coming back. The console scene has lacked a fun flight combat game for years. With the dormancy of the Ace Combat franchise, Strike Vector EX provides a welcome respite from the norm.

 

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If you“re hoping for a visually-resplendent experience, Strike Vector probably won“t wow you. I personally loved the sense of speed and particle effects on display, but many of the aerial arenas lack a certain amount of detail. They certainly don“t look bad or anything. That said, I would have appreciated a bit more life in the background. These are, after all, supposed to be floating cities in the sky. Some civilian traffic or signs of other people would have been welcome.

 

Strike Vector has finally found its way onto consoles with this “redux” version, and it“s about bloody time. The PC release was a minor cult hit, and I can imagine a thriving competitive scene emerging for those who take the plunge. Strike Vector EX successfully marries FPS sensibilities with high-flying hijinks. If you“ve been deprived of entertaining aerial action, look no further than this gem of a title. Strap in pilots, because we“re bound for a little turbulence.

 


Pros

+ Brief, entertaining campaign

+ Great controls and handling

+ Diverse multiplayer and customization options

 

Cons

- Campaign might be too brief for some

- Combat arenas are a bit lifeless

 


Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10)

Great

 

If you“ve been deprived of entertaining aerial action, look no further than this gem of a title.

 

Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable code provided by the publisher

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