Most children at some point, be it in an elementary school gym class or through sheer pre-adult life experience, are familiar with not just the concept, but the game of dodgeball. Have you ever wondered to yourself, what would this be like if we added spears, axes, and arrows to the mix? In Strikers Edge by Fun Punch Games, they answer this question in its entire pixelated splendor. This is our Striker’s Edge review for PC.
In its most basic form, dodgeball isn’t a confusing game, and the simplicity of the premise of Strikers Edge doesn’t do justice to the complexity and strategy that Fun Punch Games actually accomplishes. Not only is it just hurling weapons back and forth at your opponents, but you also have the ability to dodge, block, and use charge attacks with special abilities. You also have the ability to block incoming attacks with your outgoing attacks, and you can do additional damage to your opponents through headshots.
There are 8 characters to choose from, each with their own special abilities, benefits, and detriments. For example, the first character I chose was a Knight whose abilities consisted of his block reflecting incoming attacks back at his attacker, and his charged up lance could also shock and stun opponents if they get hit by it. The real complexity of this character came through when I was able to throw my charged lance behind my opponent and activate the shock mechanic when my enemy was close enough leaving him vulnerable to additional attacks.
There are several ways you can play the game as well, from the local co-op to online versus matches in the 1 v 1 or 2 v 2 styles. They’ve also included a story mode which I’ve been having a blast working my way through. Strikers Edge also has 3 difficulties, and even on normal, the learning curve is pretty steep. I found that utilizing a controller was much tougher than using a Mouse and Keyboard, as with the mouse you can more easily keep your cursor trained on your adversary. My first few matches against the AI were frustrating as I worked to keep my arrow marker trained closely on the attacking Spartan warrior, but with him constantly moving, it became daunting and disheartening.
With a little more practice and using the mouse and keyboard, I learned that you have to utilize everything at your disposal, even the levels themselves, in order to prevail. After half a dozen matches, I narrowly scraped through both rounds and had my first victory. After several harrowing losses, I bathed in the glory of a victorious match. In Strikers Edges’ most basic form it could still be considered a sports title inasmuch as dodgeball could be considered a sport, and at that moment I felt like an accomplished athlete. It’s a small meaningless self-praise, let me have it.
Strikers Edge didn’t have many technical faults in my experience but it did have several that pretty much stopped my progress until I rebooted the game. One of them was, I was stuck in a match after my opponent was defeated, during which time everything moved in slow motion. Another was an issue where my mouse cursor completely disappeared, I couldn’t exit a mission. Some further criticism has to be leveled at the execution of gameplay, which in my estimation is severely unforgiving for gamers looking to play with a controller. The game is also available on console, so I feel an aim assist, if the controls can’t be adjusted appropriately might be helpful. My online experience has been somewhat hit and miss as sometimes it could take a while to find an opponent during my play times. Strikers Edge was still very entertaining and I look forward to honing my dodge-lance skills further and trying out all of the different characters as I continue my campaign for dodge-brawl supremacy.
Striker’s Edge Review Score: 7.5
- Exciting Dodge-Brawl Gameplay
- Different characters and levels aid in different strategies
- Several different gameplay modes with local co-op and online options
- Some bugs were encountered and controller play feels somewhat erratic when aiming
- Finding online players may take time
- The story elements of the campaign seem like an afterthought