I have been playing Subdivision Infinity DX on and off for a few weeks now on Switch in the lead up to its release. While parts of it have been fun, I have mostly found myself dissatisfied and forcing myself to keep playing to get as much out of it as I can.
It feels like No Mans Sky with less content and Star Fox without the fun.
Single-player, third-person shooter, like Star Fox, you can shoot forward, or slowly pull back and have more precision with going up/down/left/right with the left stick and you have limited boost to speed it all up, but it does recharge. Combat is simple with lock-on for enemies for precise firing or launching missiles. You start out with a main gun and secondary but can unlock more and have more onboard at a time, but the basic machine gun and missile launcher can last you a while through the game with leveling them up. You can buy more guns with in-game currency alongside ships.
Subdivision Infinity DX is a simple game with a simple premise, and players should expect that going in. It feels like a free to play game, which I’m happy it isn’t, but instead of microtransactions, the game is fueled with repetitive farming to unlock your ships and weaponry. You see, five main locations with five missions within them, and two exploration missions to boot. That’s thirty-five missions in total, but those ten exploration missions aren’t fun and are kind of necessary to unlock better ships to make the game easier for yourself and just a nice little thing of collecting.
They entail going into the open space of the location mining asteroids with a laser and searching for tiny boxes in asteroids, locked ships, etc. Now you can make this easier and faster with buying probes and leveling up your laser, but it still takes a while
to shoot around with your booster running out and the map being huge. And sometimes the crates can hide themselves down nooks and crannies’ in ships.
But anyway, that’s my second biggest qualm with the game. The missions do stretch in variety and can be fun, especially when there’s a lot of enemies and asteroids. But whatever you do, if you’re playing on Switch as I have, don’t try to shoot up close to enemies.
The controls sometimes can be hell, the sensitivity is way too high when aiming up. This clip below is my own recording, I’m moving the right stick as little as possible and the aim snaps.
I think an improvement would be to have the aim gradually build up speed as you aim. I found myself aiming often with the left stick as I drift up and down. This is especially aggravating when trying to destroy tiny mines that need a dead-on shot to explode safety if you miss just one and come within a couple of feet of it; you can instantly die.
It’s a very small thing but when I would fire my gun the ammo count wouldn’t go down and never went to full capacity apparently, you can see it in the bottom corner of this clip below.
The layout of most missions can vary which is fun, my favorite I think I found had been early on trying to destroy a large ship, while little drone ships attacked like little anti-bodies.
Something very funny I found was that when you start some missions you can cheese the game and kill the main enemies without ever going near them as you’re out of their reach but you’re not in theirs, making the whole objective harmless but you will feel like a cheat. You can see this in my clip below.
Some boss battle missions can be god-awful in design and just be drifting back and forth between each other as they’d fly forward, stop, turn and repeat, all while firing at you. Others are too slow to turn, and you can just attack their arse without them hitting you if you keep moving.
Some enemies can feel overpowered and destroy your ship rather quickly, for instance, turrets, but again you can just cheat and attack from below so they can’t get you, and other enemies are too easy and get destroyed with one missile of a little shooting.
A huge annoyance is this game has no checkpoints so long difficult missions can be utter hell some times.
While this game’s main focus is gameplay it tries to have a story alongside its missions. It’s mostly shown through your character, exquisitely named “You” (with his never-changing expression) talking with his Robo-buddy “AV-2” through text bubbles, and yes you can skip it.
The dialogue can be cringy and basic sometimes, but I didn’t expect Billy Wilder coming into it. Oh but my absolute favorite guy is Major Farrell, he looks so goofy, how can I take him seriously:
The game looks fantastic, especially for an indie game and the ships are all very unique. The skyboxes for outer space are beautiful and is definitely a high point of the game.
My favorite ship was an early one called the SS-Vertex, but I just wished I could have it throughout but eventually, you’ll have to ditch them for a stronger ship. I think the game would be better for it if you could level them up with you or give more customizability as there’s next to none. You start out with a grey ship when you buy it and once you level it up you get the default paint job, so yeah some cosmetics could be nice.
Music is kind of forgettable, basic techno as you’d expect from an indie space game. After a few days of playing, I turned it down.
Subdivision Infinity DX released on August 8 on Switch, PS4 and Xbox One.
Note: Most of the clips I took early on in the game when I noticed things for the first time.