I quite enjoyed Strike Suit Zero. It had a few problems, but does the job in a genre that is crying out for more games. Born Ready’s title has been out for a couple of months and we’re still waiting for the first piece of DLC, but in the meantime the developer has decided to whip up the stand-alone Strike Suite Infinity.
While Strike Suit Zero focused on a mission based story, Strike Suit Infinity takes a rather different approach; though it utilises the same game mechanics as its bigger brother. This is a “wave-based-score-chaser” in pure arcade fashion.
There are no missions, nor any plot. Instead you’re slung straight into the action to test your piloting skills against waves of enemy ships which spawn into the mission gameplay area. These ships come in different shapes and sizes, and if you’re familiar with Strike Suit Zero, then they’re all instantly recognisable.
Waves of enemy attacks are broken up with a simulator landing sequence, and it’s at this point players get to configure ships before taking on more waves. You’re also not fighting alone. Squadrons of wingmen can join your ranks in combat, as long as you purchase them using credits earned from progress through the level waves. There’s a good arsenal of allies to choose from, including Interceptors, Fighters, Bombers, Frigates, Cruisers and Carriers. Like everything else in Infinity, better wingman ships only unlock as you progress through the waves, although it’s not that clear how they improve when you assign some points to boost them up in rank.
The space combat in Infinity is fast and fun, once you’ve mastered how the Strike Suit mode works. Painting targets and releasing a barrage of missiles is as satisfying as it was in the original game and the same game mechanics apply with players needing to collect “Flux” to activate the Strike Suit mode.
Wave after wave comes at you, but between every few waves there’s a special bonus round where it all goes even more ape-shit. You have unlimited Flux during these rounds, which means it’s time to unleash endless missile combos to crank up the points. If you die here it doesn’t matter a great deal, and the game continues; which is just as well because more often than not you will become overwhelmed. The game’s pace really increases in these rounds and they’re a great way to perfect the targeting of multiple enemies in close proximity. Master this and the points can be increased still further with combo hits on targets.
There are 18 rounds in Infinity and if you die you can restart in the round you last played before becoming space dust. It’s at these break points that different ships can be selected once they’re unlocked with wave progression. There’s no point using a crap ship if there’s a better one sitting there ready, so it’s wise to make the most of the upgrades and increase your scores.
Infinity also comes with some of the tweaks that were added to Zero post-launch, including the new cockpit view which adds something a little extra to the game. The targeting of enemy craft is also slightly improved, but it’s still not brilliant. This was one of my major gripes with Zero, and the game still lacks a simple way of locking on to a primary objective or nearest enemy. In short, cycling through targets remains a bit of a pain.
By removing all the missions, Born Ready can cunningly repackaged the game’s space combat into a cheaper product on Steam and encourage players to challenge each other on leaderboards. To be honest the leaderboards don’t feel that important. Trying to make it through as many waves and levels as possible in one sitting is the challenge, and that’s strangely addictive.
The release of this cut-down version may look a little cheeky, but for gamers who like to simply blow stuff up and have a quick blast on the cheap, Infinity could be a better option than the story driven Strike Suit Zero. If that game is already nestling in your list of Steam titles then you may be a little miffed that this wave based game mode wasn’t released as free DLC. Hopefully when the first piece of full DLC releases for Strike Suit Zero, it will have been worth the wait.
Strike Suit Infinity is a simple game, but it works well. In fact I can safely say that I’ve had as much fun in this miniaturised version of the game as I did with the full release. At £4.99 it gives a lot of space-bang for the buck.