The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Infinite Space is a game about adventuring through the galaxy, but
its best parts have nothing to do with the things you associate with a
space opera. The story of a young boy assembling a rag-tag crew to
fight evil and uncover his destiny is ordinary, and the combat system
does what it can to capture strategic starship battles. However, the
game’s depth and true spirit lie elsewhere.
The heart of the game
is in ship creation and management. To build a ship you have to buy
blueprints, but mixing and matching the modules is what ultimately
gives the ship its characteristics and what delivers the fun. Unlike
many upgrade systems, it’s not just a case of buying the best laser
turret or shield generator at the shop. Every ship mod you add takes up
space on your ship. Moreover, mods come in different shapes and sizes,
which means everything has to fit in the ship’s grid of boxes.
from being frustrating, I loved the challenge of arranging mods and the
strategy in balancing the tradeoffs among them. I was also impressed
with the sheer amount of mods: mess halls, navigation bridges, radar
rooms, crew cabins, security rooms, and much more can all be added
along with your standard complement of weapons, shields, and engines.
Given that you can cruise the galaxy with up to five ships at once, you
can build a whole fleet to your own specifications.
If the mods
define your ships, your crew optimizes them. There are 33 crew
positions, and while you don’t have to have someone in every spot, a
crew member gives you combat bonuses, and much of the game’s story
exploration is tied to recruiting new people. Unfortunately, scouring
every tavern in the galaxy for hired hands is part of what bogs down
Infinite Space. On multiple occasions, I missed the chance to hire a
crew member or skipped a plot point because I simply didn’t go to a
specific tavern enough times, which is frustrating.
the preparations that you put into your fleet, the real-time combat is
the weak link because of the basic rock-paper-scissors gameplay (for
both ship-to-ship and melee combat) that doesn’t hold up through all
the grinding and random encounters. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t
deliver the payoff (and neither do the isolated multiplayer battles)
after the time you spend on the more exciting ship building. I guess
it’s true what they say: It’s better to create than to destroy.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.