Welcome once again to PCGamesN’s Spotlight on Greenlight, our regular Saturday feature where we look at the best and the most interesting Greenlight games that are hoping to make their way onto Steam. We’ve already looked at dozens of other titles in weeks past, so do take a look at our back catalogue.
Flying a VTOL fighter down the struts of a vast industrial complex, bullets pinging off the metal behind you, as you close in on a jet ahead, a jet bleeding smoke and oil from where you clipped it with an unguided missile, is an experience too few games offer us. It’s rarity like that that means whenever the opportunity arises to promote a game approaching the perfect flight combat arena we must shout its name from the rooftops.
Strike Vector may be that game.
Since the Battlestar Galactica remake nailed heart-stopping flight combat I’ve been looking for a game that tickles the same part of my brain. Diaspora came close, as did GoD Factory, but Strike Vector looks to be on the money. It’s got the deathmatch arena qualities of GoD Factory, the agility and unconventional movement of the Vipers in Diaspora, and the industrial world of a dirty future, somewhat reminiscent of Hawken.
Actually, there are further similarities with Hawken. Hawken was a game that came out of nowhere with a trailer that belied the small size of the indie studio making it. Team Strike are a four-person team and this is what they’ve managed to craft in just 10 months:
Pretty impressive, eh? The movement of the VTOL’s – called vectors in the game – is fantastically fast, agile, and still looking to be controllable; the weapons are sizeable, causing explosions with punch, and the bullets look like they could blast a hole through steel plate; and those levels, they look vast and complex, ideal for dogfights.
Of course, how much of the level will be flyable is unclear. It could be that what you see isn’t what you get. Especially as for an effective arena game you need players to be running into one another all the time. So how the team plan on containing the action is unclear, maybe a Battlefield 3 style “You are leaving the operation area” kill box that punishes players for straying too far.
Still, from the footage above and the fly-by video below the levels look to be a network of tight tunnels and box spaces which are the basis of explosive chases, games of cat and mouse, and desperate last stands.
That video also makes clear the two different movement styles you’ll be employing. The wings down, speedy flight mode where you can chase down other fighters, carry flags back to base, and escape a sticky situation, and the wings up stationary fighter mode. I can already picture chases where the lead player slams on the breaks to have their pursuer overtake and fly right into their gunsights. I can’t wait.
Team Strike are also putting in a comprehensive shipbuilding mode, where you’ll be able to craft your own vector. Fit it with the weapons you want in a tight scrape, an engine that provides you the right amount of oomph for your purpose, and a paint job that suits your personality (I’ve my fingers-crossed for hot pink).
The team have also revealed that they’re looking at integrating the Oculus Rift into Strike Vector. They’ve ordered one of the headsets and have contacted Oculus for help on integrating the tech into their game. If that leaves the game anything like EVR then we’re in for a real treat. Plus, with the integration of Rift technology into the Epic’s Unreal Engine – which Strike Vector is being developed in – it may be something ready for day one release. (Although, the integration is into Unreal Engine 4, not the UDK. How much of Epic’s work is transferable is unknown at this point.)
We need a game like Strike Vector on our PCs because the flight combat genre has fallen off outside of the dedicated sims. We’ve had a couple of attempts in the past year, Strike Suit Zero and Miner Wars, but they’ve not hit the sweet spot, leaving a little disappointment rather than the thrill they should create. So help Strike Vector along on Greenlight by giving it the thumbs up.
And, for the heck of it because it’s such a good looking game, some more footage of the game in action: