Subdivision Infinity DX Review (PC)
Space is indeed the final frontier. However, is the sense of adventure and discovery still there when you’re not the first to lay claim to what is new to you? Of course there is! You just have to do it better, make your own mark, and blast anyone who gets in your way.
Subdivision Infinity DX, from Mistfly Games, is a space combat game, consisting of a multiple mission based campaign broken into areas – with added exploration missions to spice it up. The missions are five per system (location), with there being 5 systems in total. Altogether, the 25 missions follow the same structure. First missions are simple pew pew missions, with the next three consisting of either more difficult pew pew missions, or protection missions, and the final mission being the big/boss fight.
The first thing I noticed is that you are unable to use a HOTAS for this game, with the only control options being Keyboard and mouse, or a gamepad controller. Keyboard and mouse was my preferred option of the two. But with the addition of HOTAS compatibility I would revisit this game again to do a comparison. The keyboard and mouse option felt more natural than controller, with the only downside being the thrust up and thrust down being space and ctrl respectively. These are the generic buttons for jump and crouch, but having to hold them down and switch between shift for boost and ctrl for thrust down, I felt that manoeuvrability was hampered.
Throughout my playthrough, on the default normal difficulty, I did find that I had to restart missions due to my almost certain defeat at the hands of the game. This was due to my headstrong unchanging strategy of Guns blazing/no retreat. However, this strategy would ultimately fail on the mid missions as the combat became too much (yet worked surprisingly well in later boss battles).
The story is told through text based dialog between your character (Jed/Rebel-1) and a series of friends and enemies that make appearances throughout the game. Some minor characters are memorable, while others are instantly forgettable. Jed initially makes the acquaintance of an AI named “AV2”. A no nonsense intelligence that sets up the initial distress signal. The now tropic juxtaposition of straight lace character A partnered with humorous character B is present in this game. However, with the addition of further characters, you are drawn more to the partnership of the two as they are present from the start.
Dialog is hit and miss. There is no spoken dialog, everything is through text and with not all of the sentences making complete sense. What with a few of the sentences having missing words (context saves the day), you could be forgiven for thinking that it was an afterthought. But with there being no audio dialog you would hope that the script itself would be complete. This being only a minor blight in what is an otherwise stellar game.
You have a choice of 10 ships in the game to pilot, all with differing abilities in the armor, shield, speed, and cargo traits. Your ships can be upgraded by evolving them, which will give increased benefits in 2 of the traits. Upgrading a ship has requirements that you have to meet, including evolution items that can be picked up during missions, and money which can also be obtained from carrying out missions or by selling items you have in your inventory.
Visually the game can be stunning at points, and the usual Space exploration affair the rest of the time. I did find that there were weird lighting from asteroids during gameplay. However, with the amount of action that is happening on screen, you could easily ignore it/miss it if you are paying attention to the dog fighting.
Combat is generally good in Subdivision Infinity DX. And with AI bumping into debris and astral bodies, as well as getting stuck in some places, the combat can also be quite comedic. The initial missions give you a general feel of what the combat will be like for the rest of the game. With fast paced action, facing multiple enemies at a time, or having a singular enemy that may be slow, but packs quite the punch.
Targeting is aided with a reticule that you can aim for that will usually hit the enemy (one weapon I found that sometimes missed was the rail gun “Purifier”). Speaking of weapons there are quite a few to choose from, ranging from ammo using conventional guns and blasters, continuous energy weapons that make use of thermal capacitors that can overheat and require cool down, and finally guided missiles, the fire and forget best friend you need in a pinch.
One aspect of combat and exploration which I came to be agitated by, which was likely due to design, were the proximity mines. Or as I came to, exasperatedly, call them “SPACE MINES!”. These little bundles of joy are littered throughout the systems, and can even be dropped by some enemies in combat for a bit of offensive defense. Thankfully the mines usually have lights that signify that these itty bitty bombs are present. However, as they are surrounding stations they can be confused with the lights of the stations. To deal with these proximity mines, you can let off a little steam by dismissing them from afar. Even then, you should still fly carefully.
The music during combat can be quite over bearing. It comes in too heavy and too quickly on default settings and initially takes away from the immersion of the game as a whole. Eventually, my brain catches up and I am back in the fight.
Subdivision Infinity DX is a blast from start to finish. With genuine feeling combat and a story that holds ups up well, I would recommend Subdivision Infinity DX. Especially for anyone who is interested in space games and requires a break from more simulation style games. From the start, I had made predictions on where the story would go and how it would unfold. With a few right and wrong guesses I am happy with the overall arc of the story. Albeit it was short, with total gameplay taking up under 5 hours – just playing the main campaign. And with the way the game ended I am hungry for more chapters.
7 space mines sniped from afar out of 10