NS Review – Subdivision Infinity DX


Be the most destructive spaceship you can be, the galaxy awaits your help!

When I first heard of Subdivision Infinity DX (from now on “Subdiv”), published by Blowfish Studios, I didn’t know that the game first debuted on mobile phones. In fact, I thought it was a console game to begin with. I was blown away by its visuals and being a big fan of dogfight games since Star Wars: Rogue Squadron on the Nintendo 64 (and prior to that 2D shooters a la R-Type), I was thrilled to put my hands on this new title.
And prior to anything else I am going to write in this review, I need to tell you: it did not let my expectations down!

You are Sergeant Jed Riddle, also known as “Rebel-1”, sent at the M-t12 facility to investigate on ceased communications and malfunctions. Something weird is happening, mercenaries have started to spread like oil and cause damage and destruction in their search for the “Element-122”, a mineral compound used in robotics and technology development.
Why does everyone want this mineral? Who are the mercenaries sent by? Most importantly: are your actions going to benefit humanity… or destroy it once and for all?

“You”, also known as Sergeant Jed Riddle.

The gameplay is inspired by staples of the genre, like the above mentioned Rogue Squadron and classic 2D games, like Xenon. At the beginning, we will be controlling a rather basic ship, armed with the weakest weapons and rather fragile. As per all dogfight games, you can move in space in all directions, in a 360 degree fashion, through dual stick controls.
A common complaint in these type of games is moving around can be rather nausea inducing and confusing, but the excellent hub system and the onscreen aiming sight really help in limiting these issues. I played the whole game and I can assure you, by the second mission you’ll be absolutely used to it and the controls are some of the finest one I’ve seen in this type of game.
The left control stick causes our ship to strafe while the right one controls movements in space (vertical and horizontal). It sounds hard but it really isn’t, although you might need a few minutes to get used to it if you’re new to these type of shooters. Clicking the left stick uses the turbo mode of our ship and makes it go much faster, although after playing for a few consecutive hours, this really starts giving cramps to your thumbs, this is the only critique I feel giving to the controls.

Exploring these beautiful landscapes is painful when you have to constantly push down a control stick to boost.


The game consists of 5 worlds each containing 5 main story missions, that see us fighting a variety of ships and completing objectives such as destroying jamming devices or escorting a ship to safety. The levels offer enough variety but it all boils down to: blast most that moves. The general difficulty level is balanced, although the game really shows it’s free to play roots, where incredible difficulty spikes nearly made me throw my controller at the screen more than once. Your shield suddenly becomes way too weak for the enemy lasers and your projectiles barely dent their armour, especially during boss fights (which get an honorable mention for variety and spicing up the game mechanics).

Something is approaching, therefore we shall demolish it.


This is where the upgrade system comes into place. In the hangar you have a selection of ships you can purchase (unlocked progressively by leveling up), some can be bought with money and some can be crafted using materials found in space, dropped by defeated enemies and can be upgraded using “Evolution Kits” given as mission rewards or enemy drops. A shop sells weapons and sub weapons to improve our arsenal and every weapon can be upgraded through “Gear Crate” modules.

There’s plenty of spaceships to buy or craft and they all look rather cool.

Not every material needed is dropped by enemies though, so how can we upgrade our tools?
Each world offers two “Exploration Missions”, where we are free to roam and explore our surroundings, in order to find crates containing goodies or farm asteroids in search of the materials we need (provided you bought and equipped the “Mining Tool”, which I highly suggest to upgrade as soon as possible as the base model takes ages to dig up materials). Exploration mode is actually a nice breathe of fresh air and is fundamental in order to obtain the most powerful ships and weapons needed to face the later missions.
Although fun for the most part, hordes of enemies will randomly spawn in the area and seeing how you lose everything you gathered if you die without returning to the hangar, this can become a big nuisance, especially because enemies spawn so quickly and some times waves overlap, interrupting your exploration very often.
I did find an exploit where, if I left one enemy alive, then no more would spawn, but as a player I shouldn’t need to resort to such tricks.
We mentioned crates to open and collect: these are most times hidden inside bases located on the biggest meteors and their doors are locked by keycards. I absolutely loved exploring such locales, because the game suddenly takes a slower pace and corridor and halls are plastered with traps, turrets to disable and remind a lot of games like Descent, one of my all time favourites. Same as the above mentioned game, some of the most intricate bases can become quite confusing and I found myself lost, trying to figure out where the exit was and where that crate indicated on the mini hub might be. I would also be aware of hatches, releasing enemy waves and sometimes trapping you inside them if you accidentally decide to explore them, as they’ll never open again. A very irritating glitch that surely can be easily patched.

Exploring bases its so much fun, but can be confusing at times.

The dogfights are A BLAST. They’re fast paced, enemies offer a decent challenge and their number and variety is high enough to never get boring. Thanks to the fluid controls chasing spaceships is immensely fun and destroying your enemies incredibly rewarding. You can use the environment to your advantage for protection, although I noticed, rarely, the AI gets stuck on the surface of such obstacles if they accidentally crash into them, “deactivating” their motion. A weird bug.
You will find yourself so accustomed to the controls, by the end of the game chasing, doing alley-ops and performing barrel rolls to dodge incoming lasers will be an absolute breeze.

Fights can get very intense!

All in all an amazing experience, the only critique I feel giving is there’s not much in the way of replay value. Once you complete the game, nothing unlocks and there’s not much more to do.

The graphics are so so so good. I was literally blown away by how well the game runs: its powered by unreal engine 4 at a mostly stable 60 FPS. Textures look extremely detailed and the backgrounds are absolutely astonishing. Lasers are bright, explosions huge (although the only thing that can tank the FPS in case of the biggest ones) and in general, the game is an absolute joy for the eye.

Stunning.
Some levels are just breath taking.

Music is sort of a mixed bag. Rather anonymous techno tunes accompany our missions but I was positively surprised by how the music kicks in with exciting tracks in case of dramatic events and boss battles. Sound effects on the other hands are boring and bland and way too quiet. I could hardly hear the sound of enemy lasers when I first started playing, getting hit doesn’t have enough impact to give the idea of how much damage our ship received and generally I was under the impression not enough effort has been put into the sound effects department. It’s a shame, because although rather bland, some of the music really manages to conceive that sense of desolation and loneliness typical of games such as Metroid Prime.

All in all I highly recommend this game. It’s priced at £11.99 and totally worth it. It’s an incredible mobile game port, as it should be done, full of content and a decent length, roughly 20-25 hours based on how much of a completionist you are. It’s no Rogue Squadron, but it’s an incredibly enjoyable experience.

A big thank you to Blowfish Studios for providing the review code.


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