Last February I had the pleasure of reviewing, and quite enjoying, the original PC release of this title, so with the announcement of a PS4 version in the works, it came as no surprise when this code dropped into my inbox for review.
Born Ready Games have since, released a DLC pack and repackaged the title for the current generation to enjoy alongside their PC cousins.
For those who have not read my original review, I will briefly recap the main story, as this has not changed for the PS4 director’s cut release. It is the year 2299 and after decades of colonising outlying star systems the colonists dissatisfaction with the long distance rule of Earth’s government leads to civil war. You are placed in the role of Adams, a recently re-enlisted Earth pilot and soon become embroiled in the core of the drama unfolding as the colonists make their way to Earth, equipped with their latest devestating weapon in an effort to thwart the colonists and save your home.
The main story mode is identical in its telling between the PC and PS4 versions, with the original controls remapped to work intuitively with the DualShock 4 controller. Manuevering your ship around the beatifully rendered scenes is handled with ease on the new tech and if you have played the original (or any space combat sim since Wing Commander) you will soon pick up the nuances of navigating and fighting the Colonial enemies in three dimensions.
Once again you begin with you default ship, but soon upgrade to the more devastatingly powerful Strike Suit, which swaps maneuverability for firepower and utilising the “Flux” available to do so at the right times is key to surviving the sheer overwhelming numbers you will face on most levels.
Without any change to the design of the campaign, it undoubtedly suffers from the same drawbacks that its original release did, with the same lack of diversity that also held back the success of its first incarnation. Escort missions are few and far between, and even these purely boil down to destroying wave after wave of enemy until they either succeed in destroying your defensive target, or you have turned enough of the enemy peons into space dust. Even with a variation of ships to choose from, the overarching move, kill wave of fighters, then move again nature of the game is one of the biggest drawbacks of the title.
The Heroes of the Fleet section is a new addition that was released as DLC on the original title after I had reviewed it, and is contained as one as part of the PS4 Director’s cut version. Tasking you with five critical battles in the colonial wars, you are challenged to fill the role of key pilot’s during these encounters. These pilot’s tend to have weapon and ship preferences which helped shape their contribution in these fights, and although it is obviously intended to have you try out new combinations in order to more thoroughly understand the options available, you can quite easily choose any ship or weapon with which to undertake the challenge.
These key battles are decidedly more difficult and proved to be a challenge throughout even with the experience of the core mechanics that I brought over from playing the game on its original platform.
Once again, the soundtrack comes across in its entirety, and the beautiful score never fails to leave an impression. Nothing is lost in the novation, and it is still without a doubt my favourite element of this title.
Sadly, the transfer to the PS4 has not been as kind on the graphical fidelity. Although the backdrops are beautifully rendered and truly capture the solitude and scale of fighting in space, the same cannot be said of the models. On the PC I sung the praises of this titles appearance, but regrettably I cannot wholeheartedly do the same for this iteration. Close ups the textures of the enemy ships, and your own, lack the fidelity experienced on the PC and sadly this greatly detracts from the overall impact of the title.
If you are a big fan of the WC or freelancer series, and do not have a PC capable of running this title, there is a lot to love in this title.
Although this is a fine addition to the genre I would have to say that overall the PC edition of this release is the far more complete version, and would have to recommend picking that up if you have the option.
MLG Rating: 7/10 Format: PS4/XboxOne Release Date: 9th April 2014
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Strike Suit Zero: Directors Cut for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of two weeks on a PS4. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.