Then a game like “Strike Vector” comes along and reminds players what they all love about shooters in the first place: the thrill of the hunt, the rush of a chase and that rewarding feeling when one nails a shot on a flying target moving at a hundred miles an hour.
The game play of “Strike Vector” seems simple at first glance, but takes a while to get used to. Basically, think “Star Fox” meets “Quake” with a dash of the recent multiplayer hit “Tribes: Ascend.” Players outfit their space jets with “Quake”-style weapons like rocket launchers, shotguns, sniper rifles, homing missiles, miniguns or any other assortment of cool weaponry. There’s even a few “Star Fox” style items as well, like the classic bubble shield that protects you from attacks.
After jet customization is complete, it’s off to the danger zone to fight dozens of other fighters in an aerial dogfight to the death. Modes include the typical multiplayer modes found in other shooters, from standard Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch to King of the Hill.
Every match is fast-paced and allows for a variety of strategies. Players can sit in a corner and pick off others with a sniper rifle, or get someone’s attention and lure them into a trap. Every player is allowed the freedom to play as they want to, and the result is a nail-biting good time.
Unfortunately, the experience isn’t perfect yet. Though the developers claim the beta has ended, the experience as a whole still feels like a beta, with lackluster menus and some weapons that overpower others. When looking at the scoreboard at the end of one round, for example, there was a clear difference between those who were using homing weapons and those who weren’t.
The developers have announced that they will support the game with free downloadable content in the future, which is nice, but the fact that there are still some basic balance kinks to work out is infuriating.
In addition, the pricing may seem a bit high for some. In a market where games like “Team Fortress 2” and “Tribes: Ascend” are free to play and provide a fair and balanced landscape for those who don’t want to pay, $25 for a game like this seems a little steep.
“Strike Vector” isn’t perfect yet, but it has incredible potential to become one of the finest multiplayer shooters on the PC market. If you’re willing to put up with the balance issues, this is a shooter worth diving into.