“Stay on target. Stay on target.”
Who likes mechs? Ah. I can see that a fair number of you like the idea of being able to pummel the crap out of things housed in the relative safety of a giant robot. Now how many of you would like to kick some butt in a transforming space mech? Yes, I thought so. Well, partners: gather around and let me tell you about the little purchase that you are about to make called Strike Suit Infinity by Born Ready Games.
Strike Suit Infinity is a really addictive arcade space shooter that forgoes any semblance of a real story (to satisfy your cerebral side), and instead presents your childish, score-hound side with wave after crushing wave of enemies to help you attain as high a score as you possibly can. It’s one of those games that allows a player to sit back and let their higher functions chill on the couch while their base instincts run around the room madly, sinking their teeth into whatever the game throws their way.
And how do you deal with this onslaught? Your space fighter is equipped with cannons, missiles and smaller fare. Upgrades make themselves available as you destroy some of the enemy freighters and bonus credits are rewarded to you for destroying the enemy’s capital ships and shuttles. These credits can go a long way to aid you, as reinforcements (and upgrades for ally units) are available by opening up your credit wallet. Having allies around helps dampen the blow of the enemy forces – but it also means that bonus credits are awarded if any of your compatriots survives the entire round. As you fight, you also gain something called Flux; collect enough Flux and your ship can transform into a fighting robot with a powerful array of weaponry (trust me: this is something you really want to do).
Combos are what it’s all about.
While I wrote about parking the academic, make no mistake: Strike Suit Infinity is not an easy game. With each subsequent attacking wave, the enemies get stronger and tend to attack in larger formations. There were times when I would complete a wave and breathe a sigh of relief only to get completely manhandled as the next round started. Between waves you have ability to change your ship’s configuration; you also get pointers on upcoming fights (and the best weapons to use). These things, while seemingly awesome, are actually little comfort in the face of the enemy horde. It’s definitely not a game for the faint of thumb; nor is it a game for those who have trouble rubbing their stomach and patting the top of their head at the same time.
I play Infinity with a Thrustmaster gamepad and find that the controls are super-responsive. Practically every button has a function, and effectively controlling the various modes of your vehicle takes a fair bit of practice. Once you master the coordination required, and your reflexes become supernatural, and your knowledge of tactics rivals Sun Tzu, you might have a chance at actually earning a place on the mighty Leaderboard (thanks to racking up points via combos). Once you do that, please tell me how you did it – because I suck at getting anywhere near a decent place on the leaderboard.
That being said; even though I never seem to do well enough for my own liking, it never stops me from playing another round. The beautiful graphics -particularly the vistas of space- are breathtaking, and the animation is quite smooth on my PC – even with the plethora of marauding units flying all over the place. The fast and frenetic game-play is complemented wonderfully by a great soundtrack and neat sound effects. The only real problem that I had with this game a distinct lack of guidance when it came to my allies and upgrades – but trial-and-error can be a powerful thing.
They should just call this “asskicking mode”.
At around $7 for Strike Suit Infinity on Steam, I would give two thumbs up to anyone who likes arcade space combat. Great graphics, cool sounds, relentless enemies and an elusive leaderboard position are all alluring features that simply add to the value of a solid set of game-play mechanics and great, responsive controls. The absence of a plot or any kind of structured mission simply serves to remove any delays so you can start kicking alien butt without further ado.
Really, at this price, even if you don’t like space shooters, you should pick it up to see what a great no-nonsense game looks like.