Strike Vector EX review for PS4

Platform: PS4
Also On: PC
Publisher: Ragequit Corporation
Developer: Ragequit Corporation
Medium: Digital
Players: Multi
Online: Yes

If you like games like Wing Commander or Ace Combat, but thought that the action needed to be more fast paced, then Ragequit Corporation (great name), has the game for you. Strike Vector EX takes the feel and control from traditional air combat games and throws in a little first person shooter death-match action, and it works really well.

The PC version of Strike Vector EX has been out for quite some time, but you can consider this release for the PlayStation 4 to be far beyond the original. There is a newly added single player campaign and an offline battle mode so you can sharpen your skills for when you decide to take the battle online. While the single player mode is very welcome, it mostly serves as an extensive training program, as the narrative is largely forgettable and the payoff for completing it is almost non existent. I compare it to the first Call of Duty: Modern Warfare games, where you are thrown into increasingly bad situations and your only option is to fight it out, mostly alone as something will happen to a teammate and you must save or avenge them. It's all very dry and typical, but the action itself hardly gets boring.

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Each battle you fight is intense and can go on for a while. At first you will die a lot, and in some instances you may think that a battle is impossible, but the more you play the easier everything becomes. Trust me, there were times I wanted to give up, but I eventually powered through. It takes time to master the controls, but once you get the hang of everything, you'll be a master pilot!

The heart of Strike Vector however is its online mode. After you feel you're ready, you can dive into one of 6 different match types, ranging from traditional death-match to capture the flag. I managed to get a few really intense games going as there is no server lag whatsoever. There was a shortage of human players from time to time, but there are bots placed into empty player slots so the games don't feel deserted. The bots aren't just cannon fodder either, as some of them will give you a run for your money. Battling in online mode will unlock upgrades and new weapons for your ship as you level up. There is a nice amount of customization options, but not an overly large amount. What is offered is pretty good though, as you can get a nice distinct look to your ship over time.

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Control is very smooth and works well with a PS4 controller. It's responsive and easy to get the hang of after a short time. Battling and trying to avoid enemy shots while getting used to flying your craft will have you crashing into more things than you want at first, but as someone once said, practice makes perfect. The visuals are stunning to look at, ranging from vast open spaces to tight enclosed cities and airships, but you may not have time to admire your surroundings as the action hardly lets up. The music is perfectly matched up with hard rock tunes guaranteed to get you pumped up for battle. As you take damage, the music seems to get lower and drop out, leaving you with the silence of death surrounding you, until you find some health boosts on the field. It's a really cool effect that makes give you a real sense of danger.

Strike Vector EX brings traditional FPS game play to the skies, and it does this almost perfectly. It takes practice to get good, which may put off some players at first, and this is definitely not a game you pick up and master in your first sitting. While its single player modes are good, the main game is found online, and while there are a few players out there, sometimes it's a chore to get a full room going. Overall, Strike Vector EX is a great game that should be experienced by everyone. Give it a try, I'm sure you'll like what you see.

Grade: A-