There's something about flying around and blowing stuff up that's just awesome. Strike Vector EX tries to offer exhilarating gameplay but does it soar high or crash and burn?
I'll get straight to it; Strike Vector EX controls like a dream. Soaring through the air in your combat mech-like ship is just awesome. The sense of speed is phenomenal and when you consider the fact that you can crash at any moment by flying into a solid object; you'll constantly be on edge as you weave through narrow gaps and blast your enemies to smithereens. Speaking of which, firing your weapons at enemy forces feels great, especially considering there are so many such as a homing missile launcher, a Gatling gun, a rocket launcher, and a gun with explosive bullets. The intuitive control setup makes both flying and shooting simple which allows the action to come alive with its inherent intensity. If this sounds appealing to you then it goes without saying that this is a must-buy game.
Strike Vector EX's visuals are stunning. The detailed environments and ships look like they belong in a big budget title while the sound effects make combat even more satisfying. It's quite impressive that you can customize your ship's appearance by selecting and painting unlocked parts and applying decals yet the ships always look great. The rock soundtrack plays quietly in the background but it still provides a layer of excitement to the action. Overall, Strike Vector EX's sights and sounds go above and beyond expectations.
The main attraction of Strike Vector EX is its online gameplay. Thankfully, there are plenty of modes to enjoy it within. Of course, there's team and everyone for themselves battles but there are a few interesting gameplay dynamics as well. Demolition has two teams of players try to destroy each other's bases which involves juggling between shooting at enemy infrastructures and your opponents themselves. Capture the flag has teams race to the opposite ends of a stage then return the other team's flag to their base before getting shot down. I enjoyed it but found it confusing as to where to put the flag. As far as I know, you need to touch your own flag at your base with the enemy's flag but it's still hazy and could use more explanation. King of the hill has teams compete to occupy certain zones. It's not the most exciting mode but it does offer variety. Finally, bounty hunter mode is my least favourite. Basically, it's like tag where shooting down the player in first place rewards you with loads of points. Whoever wins each match is essentially random because the person with the most points when the timer is done wins. That being said, there's still plenty to love here.
I don't have many complaints about Strike Vector EX because it's a great game. However, it does have some downsides. First of all, there is a single player campaign which is cool but it doesn't differ much from a series of multiplayer matches. I wish there was more to it such as massive boss fights or interesting scenarios but nothing really stands out as memorable. Next, I would have liked to play with (or against) another local player. If they implemented a split-screen mode that let you join the fight online, too, then that would have been awesome. The final issue that disappointed me is the lack of accessible instructions. The only way to find out all of the controls is to play through the campaign and memorize everything they present to you. I looked all over and there isn't even a control layout screen to be found. To show how much of a problem this is, I played a lot online without even knowing that I could dodge incoming missiles.
Strike Vector EX is such a solid game that it makes me wonder why more developers aren't exploring the genre. If you're in the market for an enjoyable multiplayer aerial combat game then you have to add this to your collection.
- + Incredibly satisfying combination of flying and combat with intuitive controls
- + Fantastic graphics and gratifying audio
- + Variety of enjoyable online modes
- - Single player campaign could use more variation such as epic boss battles
- - No local multiplayer option
- - Lack of comprehensive instructions