Strider is an absolutely awesome game series that’s been in desperate need of a new entry, and leave it to Capcom to finally oblige. Of course concern slipped in when it was revealed to be developed by Double Helix, who doesn’t have the best reputation. But everyone deserves another chance and Double Helix has proven their chops with the recent Killer Instinct, which turned out really good, and Strider will definitely help make the case that Double Helix can overcome their image problem because their latest installment of the series is a badly needed shot of awesome right in the arm.


This has never been a game series predicated on a lot of context, from the moment you start, you hang-glide into a base of unknown origin and leadership, slash the present guards into pieces and go from there. The story unfolds over time, to an extent, but really all you need to know is that you’ve got a plasma sword and everyone else is asking for it. The game has a very sharp, crisp look to it with stark-white cityscape stretching into the distance as well as steel-laden bases that you’ll be frequently infiltrating, and the titular strider himself stands in the forefront in all his ninja laser scarf glory. The enemies on the other hand don’t pop quite as much, but it hardly matters what they look like since they’re on the receiving end of your blade.


Aiding Strider in his endeavor is the fact that he controls like a dream. He darts across the screen with his hand ever on his blade, he doesn’t have time for overlong fancies animations, he’s got stuff to wreck. He slashes his blade with such speed that if not for the flash of blade you might not even realize he did anything. Watching him tear though anything in his way is a joyful sight that never gets old, but as the game progresses the difficulty will ratchet up exponentially, requiring you to use all the tricks at your disposal to come out the other side alive, but as you grow more acquainted with the controls, you’ll quickly find that there are few challenges you can’t surmount.


And speaking of tricks, you’ll be gaining new one throughout your playthrough. In addition to new blade types that do anything from freeze enemies to deflect bullets, you’ll also get throwing knives, advanced moves, and your own personal laser eagle (you heard me) and these tools will help you track down all the little bonuses hidden throughout the game’s rather expansive areas. Often times you’ll find things like concept art or new challenges, but sometime you’ll find upgrades to your health and energy. And if you’re really thorough (which you are) you can find new costumes to let Strider dispatch his ninja justice in style. But while Strider is formidable, he’s not unstoppable, and every so often you’ll have to contend with some incredibly hard bosses, and you will die, a lot. But while they’re frustrating, they’re not the kind of frustrating that makes you want to stop playing, they’re the kind that makes you want to overcome the challenge no matter what, and the rewards for doing so are always satisfying.



Double Helix has done right by the Strider legacy in just about every way. Long-time fans will appreciate its true-to-form style, while new fans will appreciate the more modern additions that make it truly stand out. I really hope this isn’t a one- time thing; I want Capcom to keep Strider alive and as badass as this. But if this is all we get for a while, well at least it’s awesome.