“Pulse pounding” and “stunning” are just a few words that are used to describe the action on offer in Subdivision Infinity DX, at least according to the official synopsis, and in a competitive market games such as this really have to stand out from the rest. Priced at £11.99, this is a game that won’t burn too big of a hole in your pocket, but is it worth a shot?
You play as a pilot who is dispatched to investigate a distress signal, as numerous space stations have ceased communication. Jed Riddle is your name, and you mostly go by the call sign “Rebel-1”. There’s a bit of banter with the hub ship’s AI, AV-2; it’s all pretty standard stuff. The dialogue gets progressively more cringey as you play, but the plot is easy enough to follow.
It’s just an adventure mode that’s on offer here with Subdivision, spanning across five different locations within deep space. As well as five missions set in each area, there are also two “exploration” missions. Each one of these is short and basically requires you to shoot a multitude of things including enemy ships, cruisers, turrets etc. And then each string of missions ends with a boss battle that doesn’t throw up anything too complicated to deal with.
The exploration missions see you seeking out crates containing exclusive parts for your ship and harvesting asteroids for resources. These items are necessary to upgrade your craft and build more powerful models as you progress. Alongside this, you’ll earn XP as you complete missions which will unlock new, more powerful ships that you can build from your hangar.
Despite sounding intriguing, the exploration missions are sadly pretty tedious. Whereas the main missions vary somewhat, the exploration sections are very similar to each other, and drag things out longer than necessary. This is mainly because your ship’s top speed feels so slow compared to the size of the environments; travelling takes too long. As well as this, waves of enemies will continue to spawn, proving to be an annoyance more than anything else. This is especially true when you’ve collected lots of items, then suddenly get ambushed, wiped out, and lose them all. You’ll feel very little incentive to replay the mission, but luckily you don’t have to complete them to progress with the main story.
When you complete missions you’ll receive money and materials which can be used to upgrade your ships and their weapons. You can also purchase new parts from the shop whilst in your hangar. It’s a simple upgrade system, but adds a little more strategy to the shoot-a-thon. You will certainly need to upgrade as things get tougher, and this will become abundantly clear when taking on the second boss battle.
Waypoints will guide you to objectives, ammo and indicate which direction enemies are coming from, and during the few times when you don’t take damage for a little while, your ship’s shield will replenish. However, if you lose your shield, your health bar will then take the hits, before you eventually meet a fiery end.
On a more positive note, the controls work well. LT is used to speed up and LB to slow down. The right thumbstick directs your craft whilst the left thumbstick enables your ship to strafe side to side. The right trigger then allows you to use your main gun and RB will fire your secondary weapon. You will automatically lock on when you aim near enemies, but this can be switched off from the options menu at any time. Sadly there are no fancy moves or effective dodging you can pull off whilst flying your ship, so it significantly limits the variety of the action. You can also roll with the D-Pad, but it’s not a huge help.
In fact, things start to turn into a bit of a slog after a short while. You may think rushing in and destroying your main targets will spare you this, but alas, you’ll be forced to clear every enemy in the region. The action does hot up briefly during one mission when reinforcements arrive and a full on dogfight breaks out, but otherwise things are pretty monotonous.
All that said, Subdivision Infinity DX on Xbox One looks really good, and is powered by the Unreal Engine. Overall everything moves smoothly considering how much can be happening on screen at any one time. Every so often a ship will glitch when moving, but it’s normally only the bigger ones that are affected, and you don’t encounter them overly often so it’s never really anything to majorly worry about. Unfortunately, the soundtrack isn’t quite as impressive. It’s pretty generic, bordering on bland, just about doing the job.
Subdivision Infinity DX, despite the exciting sounding name, is actually a run of the mill shooter. It looks good and can be entertaining to play, but after a while it runs fresh out of ideas, and brings along nothing that’s not been seen before.