During my childhood there were very few things that were able to capture my attention for long periods of time. Of the few things that could however, LEGO and Robot Wars often came into the mix.
Besides the rather mediocre Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction and Robot Wars 2: Extreme Destruction games we have all forgotten about, there hasn’t been much that has allowed us to create our own machines and send them into battle. Now though Robocraft Infinity has stepped in, but is it the robotic fight to the death we’ve craved for so long?
So, from the off Robocraft Infinity is very much an arena battler. Your goal is to create a robot, or choose from one of the five pre-made bots available, before heading out into one of two main game modes to battle it out for victory against other players online. It sounds pretty basic and that’s because it is pretty basic.
From the main menu, there are six tabs that provide the structure of the game. Home is where you can choose from your selection of five robots, either self-built, downloaded, or pre-set, as well as group up with four other players to head out into battle.
Play is the next option and this where all the action comes from, allowing players to create their own robots or modify existing ones with the Edit Robot option. Then there is the opportunity to Test your robots, trying out the new creations in a test range, whilst Training is the place to learn the basics of the game.
Whilst there are only two actual competitive modes of play, they are both quite enjoyable to play, provided you have a robot decent enough to compete. With the controls proving highly similar to that of the Halo driving controls, anyone who has played Microsoft’s flagship title will be right at home with the robotic warfare found in Robocraft Infinity. Unfortunately, creating a robot good enough to remain competitive in either the 5v5 Deathmatch or the conquest styled 5v5 Battle Arena is unlikely to be a reality for most players.
Despite being one of the key features of the game, creating a new robot isn’t quite as easy as it probably should be; that’s not down to the controls but how inaccessible getting the right parts is. Building your creation is simple enough though and players are taken to a first-person perspective before using A and B to move up and down and RT to place each block, with things coming across with a Minecraft vibe in terms of block placement.
The problem however comes with gaining access to the multiple parts that really make a difference to the gameplay – wings, weapons, engines, wheels, legs and more. From the start of the game players will generally have only a couple of basic items available, such as one type of wheel, one type of leg and one type of gun, along with a few different blocks. This ensures that at the very least a basic robot can be made, but if you’re wanting to truly express yourself with a masterful creation then you’d be best be prepared to spend some of your hard-earned cash as Robocraft Infinity is heavily focused on loot boxes.
What’s worse is that not only do loot boxes cost for the most part – they can also be gained by levelling up which gives one each time, as well as seeing one earnt each day for logging in – but the sheer volume of duplicate items throughout each box is highly questionable, especially when the cash return is so limited. On top of that, there are many important parts within Robocraft Infinity that are completely inaccessible to any non-premium players.
It is however possible to download other creations from those online, but unless you’ve been grinding away for weeks on end, you’d best head on over to the lootbox section and hope for some decent parts; earning enough ‘Robits’ to afford the best creations is near impossible.
For me what really grates with Robocraft Infinity is that despite showing all the traits of a free-to-play title, with microtransactions almost forced on the player to prove competitive and online play proving the only way to get involved, it isn’t free-to-play at all. On top of that, to only have two very basic modes of play is exceptionally poor for a game that is asking up to £34.99 for its Ultimate Bundle.
Disappointingly, that’s all there is to Robocraft Infinity and whilst I really wanted to enjoy it and had been hoping for a true robotic warfare masterpiece, Robocraft Infinity is a perfect example of why monetizing games after release is a terrible practice and should be avoided at all costs.
If you’re after a game that can provide some moments of fun then Robocraft Infinity could deliver, but with the overbearing lootbox presence and limitations to non-premium players, this isn’t something you should be looking to get involved in, and instead Robocraft Infinity just provides more fuel to gaming’s most controversial issues.