If you were to look at Double Helix’s track record around the time their reboot of Strider was announced I wouldn’t blame you for being worried. How could the same developer behind Battleship or G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra do Strider justice? While this new Strider likely won’t live up to what fans of the original want from a new Strider game, I think Double Helix really delivered something great. It’s not without faults but this new Strider is definitely worthy of your attention.
In the first seconds of the game Strider Hiryu glides into Kazakh City as you’re put in control immediately. In the first minute of the game you’ll running around, slicing through enemies, climbing walls, and finding hidden collectibles. Strider doesn’t take long to start and is consistently fast paced throughout the entirety of its campaign. Instead of simply being a side-scrolling platformer Strider features an open world to explore similar to Metroid. Strider’s world comes packed with areas you’ll need special abilities to access and doors that won’t unlock until later in the game. So while the story takes you in a mostly linear pathway through a handful of distinct locations you’ll always have a reason to backtrack with your newly earned abilities. Accessing previously impossible areas will earn you upgrades, concept art, and new costumes.
As you progress you’ll unlock a double jump, air-dash, down-strike, various cypher upgrades, and the ability to summon animal partners for help in both battle and traversing the environment. Each of these are earned after defeating one of the game’s numerous boss fights that unfortunately are rarely ever challenging. Even during my second playthrough on Hard mode I haven’t found even the tougher boss fights to put up much of a challenge. Even then the lack of difficulty never really prevents you from feeling awesome. Navigating the world with your abilities and slashing through random enemies is still a lot of fun even if the only remote challenge only occurs towards the lead-up to the final boss.
My first playthrough on Strider clocked in at just under 4 hours. I didn’t rush through the game and did make sure to grab collectibles as I saw them. I’m currently a little under halfway through a 100% completion playthrough on Hard and at the rate I’m going I don’t see it taking much longer than six hours. I don’t mind the short length as I anticipate multiple playthroughs but I know and understand why that would be a big deal for some. Also while Strider’s checkpoint system is mostly fine I found that the save and checkpoints don’t always align. This forced me to redo an entire boss fight because I thought the game had saved when it really didn’t.
I did run into a bug that probably won’t affect everyone but is something you’ll want to fix if you do run into it. At around half way through the game I started experiencing severe slowdown. I’m not entirely sure what caused it but the game went from a consistent 60fps to something much much much lower. At any rate if you run into that a simple restart of the system should fix it. After doing so I never ran into any slowdown and Strider continued to consistently run at 60fps. Considering I’ve only seen a small number of people say they’ve run into this I’m hoping it’s not a common thing.
If you’re a big fan of the original Strider I don’t know that this new game is going to completely live up to what you’d want. Even still I had a lot of fun with the game and almost immediately jumped right back in for a second playthrough. While the majority of the game isn’t very challenging I found myself just having a lot of fun traversing the world with all of the abilities you unlock. In addition the game’s great soundtrack and numerous throwbacks add that extra boost that makes this a worthy attempt at a new Strider.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Traversing the world
- Great soundtrack
- Boss fights
- I really like the look of the game and that each area feels distinct.
What I Dislike:
- Losing progress because of the checkpoint system
- Running into a bug that caused performance to nosedive. (This may not affect everyone.)