Strike Squad Review
By Brian Egan |
This game will leave anyone playing it convinced that the game is a sequel to Tegel's Mercenaries. If not a direct sequel, since events do occur ten years after the initial confrontation with the very same insectoid race of K'Kistiks and the obvious fact that the same designers created both games, then at the very least it's a kissing cousin. There have been a few changes made to playing options and some in-story additions in the area of gear available to your commandos. There are still twenty mercenaries to choose from on any given mission but this time your Strike Squad consists of only four for any individual sortie instead of six as in the previous game. You ease into missions based on innuendo and conversations pieced together as you and your band head into the wild space yonder to do battle.
Even with these seemingly cosmetic changes in Strike Squad, the area that needed change most was inexplicably ignored. The interface is still just as awkward and unresponsive at times with one very huge exception. Thankfully, the user now has the welcome option to play either real-time as before or change to a turn-based mode. Playing in turn-based mode exacts its price on game play in relation to the pace of the action but the tradeoff in being able to know exactly what your troops are doing and controlling their actions should please most gamers.
Since the designers went to the trouble to include a two player mode in Strike Squad, it's surprising they didn't allow for online play. The setup now for two players is nearly an impossibility because one person uses the mouse while the other must labor over the keyboard. In this mode, adding joystick capability would have been the only saving grace, but as it stands the split screen of two player mode requires close proximity of the two players and the awkward mix of keyboard and mouse just doesn't get the job done.
The overall premise of Strike Squad is a bit on the questionable side when you suddenly realize that what you and your band of mercenaries are really going after is High Commander of the K'Kistiks. You must pursue the High Commander in the thin hope that eliminating him will end the heretofore well coordinated frightful advance of the bad guys. Not likely, but you do what you can I suppose. The manual does give a nice rundown of the twenty mercenaries you can choose from for each mission. Missions do have a tendency to develop nicely from one to the next in a quasi-adventuring style.