Edited by: Jade Swann
A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY...
The plot of Subdivision Infinity DX is that a hot-shot space pilot, Srgt. Jed Riddle, is lost in space when he comes across a friendly android who helps guide him to other members of his fleet. He then has to stop the looming threat of evil mercenaries and space pirates, all while building up ships and weapons, and collecting items and minerals along the way.
Starting off with the centerpiece of the game, the environments are possibly the most impressive aspect. While they are all simply in a three-dimensional space area, the amount of details are what give the environment a rich feel, helping immerse the player. The gameplay helps with this as well, giving the player full motion control to explore. While, on the surface, there’s not much difference from one level’s area to the others, there is an admirable amount of thought in the use of colors and objects to at least give a different feel to each area. The title is smartly able to keep objects in the area without ever making the player feel closed in. It allows for the player to travel at high speeds and never hit a single object.
TO BOLDLY GO
The overall presentation of the game is fairly impressive. The layout of the UI is unintrusive enough that it gives the player enough breathing room to experience the world, rather than feel bombarded by menus. It’s a fairly understandable layout for the HUB menu, albeit with some strange design choices (such as when playing on an XBoxgamepad, the “select” button is “A”, but to actually select the next level to play, the “X” button must be pushed).
While one half of the gameplay is space battles, the other half is space mining. Part of the game allows the player to go on expeditions in the areas unlocked to search for minerals and items. This is a nice break from the typical space-flying and shooting, as it adds a slower, methodical approach to the game. It can become a bit repetitive after a while, though, and there are enemies that will show up that the player must fight if they wish to continue, leaving the gameplay mostly the same as it was when playing the regular space-battle levels.
TO SURVIVE SOMEWHERE BEYOND THE HEAVENS
While the gameplay is enjoyable at worst and creatively thrilling at best, the story is where the title begins to falter a bit. Conceptually, it’s fine. It’s a typical jet-jockey, space-pilot traveling around quiping while fighting the bad guys who turn out to be led by a megalomaniacal artificial intelligence. The issue is that’s all it is. There’s nothing really all that interesting story-wise. It pretty much goes through the motions of how these types of stories usually go, leading to a fairly standard ending that is honestly barely even an ending before the credits begin to roll. In fairness, it does not feel like the story was a major focus for the developers, more so using the story as a tool to get from one level to the next. As said before, the story is fine as it stands, but there could’ve been so much more to make the game feel more engaging.
Upgrades can be a bit of a two-way street as far as quality and fun is concerned. On one hand, it’s quite enjoyable to be able to unlock a ship after both leveling up and collecting enough money, then to be able to upgrade said ship to make it more powerful (similar to Ratchet & Clank). On the other hand, it can be quite frustrating when the ship the player is using is clearly too weak to be able to complete a level, which leads to quite a bit of grinding in order to have the coins and items necessary to unlock a new ship, making half the game feel like you’re going back and attempting to collect more.
Dogfights with the ally fleet versus the enemy fleet are the most thrilling aspect of the game. While playing as a lone pilot has its positives, fighting alongside a fleet makes for a more enriching experience by adding another visual layer. One downside is it can make aiming a bit more confusing, but the targeting system helps ease that issue.
This leads to one of the game's most unique features: once an enemy or object explodes, playing with a gamepad will trigger vibrations that are either large or small depending on how far the player is in vicinity to the object. This little detail helps add to the scope of the experience, and overall helps to immerse the player as if they really are traveling through space.
The Verdict: Good
Subdivision Infinity DX’s strengths outweigh its weaknesses. The only thing that could improve the title is simply adding more. It's far too barebones with only two elements of gameplay and an extremely simplistic upgrade system, but it manages to keep interest for the player with impressive graphics and well-executed gameplay. Ultimately, the game is a great time killer for anyone looking for a fun flight simulator in some creative-looking environments.