Developed by Mistfly Games Published by Blowfish Games Reviewed on PlayStation 4 (also available on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Steam)
When it comes to science fiction, there’s always been one aspect that I’ve had a particular passion for: star ships engaging in combat. The idea of ships flying at high speeds, unleashing energy weapons, watching shields flare up, and maybe dodging an asteroid in the process. Subdivison Infinity looks like it has almost all of those things I wanted. Mistfly Games made a space adventure game with ship combat at the core and it looked like quite the ride. While I found the visual design and some of the combat elements to be pretty close, the rest sadly fell a bit short.
Your character, call sign “Rouge 1”, is sent on a mission when a station in deep space suddenly loses contact with not even a SOS. You are contracted to seek out the station and assist with rescue if necessary. Upon arrival, you are immediately thrown into your first firefight and the tutorial. In the first few minutes of game play I was honestly a little shocked at how good everything looked overall. The inside view of the cockpit of your fighter, the cluster of an alliance fleet, and then the open and bright star system. A quick jump through a warp gate and bam! Right into combat. Then the game immediately moves you to a third person view of the ship, which unfortunately stays there. I was a little saddened by the fact that the entirety of space flight is from the third person.
Your first taste of combat is a really mixed bag. The speed at which everything moves isn’t sluggish per say, but it certainly doesn’t feel like I put my foot on an accelerator. I encountered another problem shortly after, the color radiating form this galaxies sun gave everything an orange hue and I will be damned if I couldn’t see the reticule most of the time. I had to rely on aim assist for this stretch of the story. I felt my ship quickly began to show its weaknesses. Progression is deliberately slow because the actual game length is also fairly short. I tried to increase my level by grinding the first few levels, before quickly realizing that it was not working as well as just going through the story.
The story is t not terrible, but it’s not a real reason to want to play Subdivision over again. Rogue 1 is a poor amalgamation attempt at mixing Nathan Drake and something else. The writing is bit on the loose side, our hero cracks one liners while his robotic companion is just that, robotic. When you add more characters that Rogue 1 can talk to it’s just more one liners from him. It gets pretty quickly. The story missions are really more than “I need X, go to Y and do Z”. There is a saving grace or two in the game’s presentation. The overall ship designs are actually pretty good. A handful of the player ships are kind of bland, but I kind of expected not all of them to win me over. The various planets you also get to see can be rather beautiful and I wold love to be able to see such things in real life. I can also thankfully say the soundtrack keeps things a bit more lively. The electronic soundtrack has good rhythms and does make combat more fun.
Subdivision Infinity had a lot of potential that I felt was left untapped. It’s presentation is good but not great, and the gameplay is doesn’t quite have the thrill of speed on its side, but it is enjoyable with the music on offer. I think if the progression was a bit sped up I may have enjoyed the experience more.