PS4 Review: Strider

Can Double Helix hit its stride with this HD re-imagining?

I must confess that I didn’t play the original Strider games, something I have long regretted and playing the latest instalment makes me want to all the more. For those who are in the same boat, Strider is a Metroidvania type game that has a basic plot where the game tells the story of Hiryu, the youngest ever “Super A” ranked agent of an elite corps known as the Striders. Strider Hiryu receives orders to assassinate Grandmaster Meio, supreme dictator of Earth, who has plunged humanity into a dystopian dark age. It’s enough to get you through to the end, but it’s the replayability that will get you to keep coming back…
The game has a number of levels for you to progress, each with tough platforming elements and boss battles that border on cruel at times, Hiryu himself can climb any surface which is handy but it can be a bit clunky at times and problematic during combat. There are a number of hidden areas that Hiryu can access with later abilities, much like Metroid while the combat is definitely more aimed at fans of the series and Castlevania. It’s flawed, but fun nevertheless and fans of the original will remember just how difficult it could be, but found it impossible to put their controller down…well, even as a newcomer to the series I felt the same urge to continue to the end.
The visual style definitely has some nods to Shadow Complex, another great Metroidvania style game for XBLA. I’m reviewing the PS4 version and it looks great in 1080p at 60fps, although the overall visuals are a bit on the bland side, I was hoping more from the PS4 version if I’m being honest but it seems to be almost identical to videos of the other versions I’ve seen. It’s not a huge problem; I just wish they had put a bit more effort into the next-gen versions. The music is classic retro with a new age feel and the overall sound is decent.

The Verdict

Double Helix’s entry into the Strider universe is a welcome one that feels fresh but stays true to its roots. I may not have played the originals, but I was hooked from start to finish despite its flaws. It’s a nice affordable game to boot at just £11.99.