PlayStation Reviews

Be the hero the galaxy doesn’t know it needs in Subdivision Infinity DX

Review Code Provided

Getting Started

In Subdivision Infinity DX you play as Rebel-1 space pilot Jed Riddle, sent out by the LightWave Tech to investigate a disturbance but, as often is the case when a lone hero is sent on a mission, nothing is as it seems when you arrive and everything goes south from there. It’s up to you to save the day alone until reinforcements can arrive to lend a helping hand, if you can survive long enough to get them there.

Gameplay

Subdivision Infinity DX is one of those games you have a quick go of here and there, eventually working your way to the end over time and it might even be enjoyable in those short bursts but playing it from start to finish in a relatively short amount of time really highlights just how short the game is. Admittedly it does keep you playing for a long time despite its short length thanks to how the game plays. There are fives sections each with five story missions and two exploration missions, I spent the majority of my time playing the exploration missions since the story ones can often be over in a few short minutes. They give you a bit of back and forth as the characters talk and then you’ll be free to navigate the menus and set your ship up accordingly, though unless you’ve recently been on an exploration and have a few coins to spare or maybe some shiny new blueprints, you probably will just go straight onto the next mission.

What you do in the story missions will vary from protecting targets, finding data points and waiting around for a download or simply just eliminating a set number of enemies. For how short the game is, there is actually some decent level of variety to be had, though you’ll most likely just play the game the same way each mission. I found that I would often go as quickly as the ship would allow and circle my enemies, this tactic doesn’t last the whole game though and you’ll be forced to change how you play since you’ll find in the later levels your enemies will be doing some switching up of their own. They’ll begin to leave minefields if you’re too close or they assault you with missiles, both of which can be deadly if you’re not paying attention, as well as the new weaponry you’ve got to look out for you’ll also notice a sizeable increase in the enemy force and it can be very easy to get overwhelmed.

As with the story missions, the exploration missions will also get more difficult as you progress but with more danger comes more reward as you’ll be able to mine more valuable materials from asteroids and find ship blueprints for the coveted ones at the bottom of the list. If you’re fairly attached to your missile launcher, you might have a hard time with the exploration missions because you’ll have to swap out your secondary weapon for a mining tool which is completely ineffective in combat. Mining the asteroids is the name of the game when it comes to the exploration because you’ll need those all important materials in order to craft and upgrade ships, though the things you need to upgrade ships come from destroying enemies and there are plenty to be found in these missions that you can acquire a decent stockpile of them as well as the materials from asteroids. Rather annoyingly, especially in the later exploration missions, enemies are so frequent that it almost seems like you never get a moments peace, never mind long enough to search for the hidden boxes or mine some asteroids which naturally becomes increasingly difficult as the enemies get more powerful.

There are a set number of boxes to find on each exploration mission and you can get radar probes to help you find them but even when you know where to look it can still be a little tricky figuring out where you need to go to get to it. You can find the boxes without the use of the probes if you don’t want to rely on being lucky enough to get them from a box or shelling out the five grand a time in coins to buy them but doing so could take a good while and is a bit of a headache. I would often rush over thinking I’d found one only for it to be one already discovered, it’s just the area looks a bit different now because I’m upside down.

If you just try to go through the game not doing anything extra, no upgrading your ship, your weapons or not taking the time to find the pieces to put together a new ship, then you will most certainly have a bad time. To start with, you might get away with saving all of your resources for the beefier ships nearer the bottom of the hanger list but sooner or later you’ll realise that what you have just doesn’t cut it anymore. Later enemies enter the fray with more health and shields meaning your pitiful little pixel gun will no longer do the job and the zippy little ship that had been holding its own is barely more than a rocket powered coffin for Jed. With a better ship you gain access to a second primary weapon slot as well as a host of armour and shield enhancements but it’s never enough so you have to keep looking on for the next one, which means playing the exploration missions to get the necessary materials to craft the next ship. You could always pay for the privilege of a better ship with the coins you earn but given the cost of some items and the relative small amount you earn, it might be in your best interest to instead pay to upgrade your weapons. You can level up your ship to increase its armour threshold by a percentage and the amount it can store but you can only do this once for each ship so you really have no choice to keep moving on.

When it comes to actually playing Subdivision Infinity DX, it controls quite well, albeit feeling like it’s moving at a snail’s pace. L2 moves your ship forward and L1 backwards while moving the stick up and down moves the ship up and down with left and right allowing you to strafe. If you click the left stick in while moving you’ll get a boost but it only lasts a short time before having to recharge, you can also roll the ship by using the d-pad. It can take some getting used to the movement, it took me a while before I stopped pushing up on the stick to move forward but once you do get used it it you’ll be zipping about the place and in between obstacles with no problem at all. It’s just a shame that your enemies are so accurate in the later stages that it does little to help, particularly when targeted by a missile. Shooting is done with R2 for your primary weapons and R1 for your secondary, both have a limited range so to save yourself from having to reload or overheating, it’s best to wait until your ship has targeted an enemy. I found that it took weapons that could overheat longer to cool down than it did for a weapon that used ammunition to reload.

To Conclude

Subdivision Infinity DX is pretty much your standard space flight combat game, that’s all it really boils down to. While it does have a decent enough story, the game play itself leaves a little to be desired, I felt that the ships seemed to move incredibly slow which only becomes more apparent when you have to travel over a long distance. Also, it’s missing a couple of little features I would say are a necessity for this type of game; one being the option to switch to the cockpit view, something it teases you with right at the beginning of the game and the other being a barrel roll. You can technically barrel roll, if you want to call it that, by way of the left and and right d-pad buttons that allow you to orient yourself but it moves so slowly that it would have almost no effective use in the middle of combat. I also felt that this game would have massively benefited from a VR mode, something I instantly thought about the moment I was transported into the cockpit.

The trophy hunters among you will be glad to know this game has only a small amount of trophies and is topped off with the coveted platinum trophy which you would get without really having to go out of your way for it, if you enjoyed all the game has to offer.

I would say Subdivision Infinity is an okay game at best, while for the game’s relative short length there is a lot to keep you occupied, it mostly feels like busy work to keep you playing a bit longer. It is a very nice looking game though, filled with lots of great sci-fi feeling lighting effects. There are definitely some improvements that it could use but it is worth a try if you get the chance to play but I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way for it if it’s not typically your kind of game. I’d only really recommend it to those of you looking for a space flight combat game.

If you want to  learn more about Subdivision Infinity DX or one of the many other games from Blowfish Studios, you can find their website here.

 

Chris Bracewell
Been a gamer for a long time, is my favourite and oldest pastime. Occasionally, when the mood strikes; I enjoy dabbling in games design, primarily the artistic side.
http://www.northern-gamer.com

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