In the 1990s, the Strike series by Electronic Arts distinguished itself in the genre of helicopter action games. It combines a flashy, eye-catching form of presentation with a solid game engine. The series peaked with the release of Soviet Strike. The taut storyline and innovative full-motion video work of the game created a highly superior product. As a successful hit, it was logical for Electronic Arts to rekindle the magic with a follow-up game. So, does the most recent of the Strike games match the glory of Soviet Strike?
Oddly enough, the strongest points of Nuclear Strike also work to outline its primary weakness. For instance, the graphic engine and visuals in Nuclear Strike are decent. The game uses a 3D isometric viewpoint with the camera hovering behind the vehicle of your choice. The effects, including some nice looking explosions, get the job done. The best aspect of the game is the FMV, an awesome video presentation that, combined with a number of high quality voice-acting jobs, does a great job of conferring the intensity and danger of the nuclear dilemma at hand.
Unfortunately, as good as these aspects are, Nuclear Strike is just more of the same of what has come before. The visuals seemingly could have been pulled straight from the previous game and the game fails to show any marked improvement over Soviet Strike. In addition, the visuals have a slightly archaic look, something that has always been a problem with Electronic Arts. The highly popular company has perfected the ability to recycle animations and graphics with only minimal improvement. In this case, the lack of effort is a big mistake.
In the aural department, the lack of originality continues to plague Nuclear Strike. The sound effects are all decent, showing a good attention to detail and the humming chopper blades and gunfire help set the mood of the covert excursions. In addition, the voice acting talent is topnotch. The designers obviously spent a good amount of time getting the dialogue done right as it's an integral factor in advancing the twisting plot of the adventure.
Nevertheless, the "If it ain't broken, don't fix it" methodology of Electronic Arts lowers the impact in the sound department. A more fitting name for the game would have been Soviet Strike 1.5. It lacks a feel of individuality and is really nothing more than a repackaged version of the earlier game -- even a number of the voice actors were used in the preceding title. While this does tie the plotlines together, it also makes for a stale, slightly boring experience. For owners of Soviet Strike, the overall value of Nuclear Strike is diminished since there aren't any solid reasons to buy the newer version.
Graphics: The visuals are the high point of the game with excellent terrain and level details. The FMV is topnotch. Still, Nuclear Strike is a carbon copy of the earlier "Strike" games.
Sound: The effects don't stand out as anything special with the exception of the voice acting.
Enjoyment: The adventure isn't bad but it becomes stale in a short period of time. You can only blow up so much stuff with a helicopter. If you've played the earlier games, be ready for a blast from the past.
Replay Value: Once you've beaten the game, the reasons for returning are minimal. It's worth a single playing to see all the great FMV.
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