Strike Vector was a game that was in an interesting position; Inspired by games such as Quake and Unreal Tournament, it took the arguably dead Arena Shooter genre to the air. In a game with a skill ceiling so high, it was hard for newcomers to hop in when the player-base began to dip. I don’t think that this was a failing of the game, per se—I want developers to feel safe creating games that pander to a hardcore demographic—but unfortunately Strike Vector‘s community floundered for one reason or another. Maybe part of the issue was price, as the game was originally released for $25—a relatively steep price for an unknown studio, and certainly out of range for many consumers to just randomly purchase without thinking too much about the commitment.
Regardless, Strike Vector was definitely a new sort of Arena Shooter—a game in a genre that is most closely associated with the PC platform. Therefore, the so-far PS4 and Xbox One exclusive version of Strike Vector—now dubbed Strike Vector EX—comes at a little bit of a surprise. Needless to say, although the game is mostly the same as its PC counterpart, coming over a year after the original PC release, a lot has been changed with the game’s move to console.
First things first, on the Xbox One demo that I played, both the game’s graphical fidelity and artstyle remained intact. The framerate for the most part stayed at a solid 60 fps—though dips did occur for a split-second now and then. The biggest change with the demo that I was playing was actually the demo itself. The original Strike Vector release did not incorporate bots or any sort of meaningful single-player experience. One thing that’s new this time around is not only the inclusion of some really neat AI—I was rather impressed with some of the tactics employed by them—but also a new singleplayer campaign to go along with them. On the multi-player side of things, bots will take up any unused spots during the round. In addition to that, matchmaking has been introduced.
The new controller interface took a while to get used to—holding down LT changes the Vector into Vector mode, allowing for finer movement and aiming, and LB/RB shifted the Vector’s height—but it seems to work well. I didn’t notice any traditional aim assist, but one thing that seemed rather noticeable is that any Vector even slightly in your sights seems to be hit if shot at, regardless of whether or not they’re in the center of the reticle. I didn’t ask how the team managed the “two fire buttons” conundrum, but it seemed to me as if both weapons now fired simultaneously.
If you’re already a fan of Strike Vector, then chances are you’re more interested in this version coming to PC in hopes that it might rejuvenate the game’s multiplayer, and if anything, matchmaking would be a wonderful addition to the formula that would probably help the game in the long run. Unfortunately, the studio doesn’t currently have any plans to bring Strike Vector EX or its changes to PC. All that was said on the matter was that depending on fan demand, the version might see a release on PC, but for now, the focus is on consoles.