Almost every horror film features a scene where one character shouts, "RUN!" to another. In those films, you occasionally get that one idiot that doesn’t listen, but 90% of the time, the person will simply just run without a second thought. Playing on this idea of running through a combination of fear and panic, Wales Interactive introduce us to their new game, Infinity Runner
, which sees you enter the shoes of someone who has no choice but to run for their life. The question surrounding the game is, can you really make a game out of just running?
Thrown right in at the deep end
As you wake up in a cryo-chamber and force your way out at the beginning of the game, a mysterious woman appears and tells you to run. This initial mystery acts as a good jumping off point for the game, and continues the whole way through. Eventually the mysterious woman introduces herself as Riley and tells you that she is helping you escape The Infinity, the ship you are stuck on. Unfortunately escaping is not so easy, as guards have already been sent to recapture you, so the only thing you can do is run for your life and hope you make it. The story is simple but works well, unfortunately the air of mystery surrounding your circumstances and Riley’s motives are hidden right up until the end of the game, and even then you are left with a cliffhanger and the teaser of a name for the game’s presumed sequel.
The Infinity is a fairly large ship, and has seven different areas for you to explore, each with two sectors to make your way through. Each area has a different design, whether it’s the nature and electrified fenced area of the bio dome, or the various meteor filled mine fields of the ship exterior. The graphics are suited to the space theme with plenty of whirring noises, flashing lights and every other space cliche you can think of. Eventually after you have played the game on easy, normal and hard difficulty, you may get a little fed up of seeing the same greyed walls of the engineering section or the brig, especially if you encounter a death or two along the way.
These deaths can come in many forms, whether it is jumping into a laser wall instead of sliding under it, missing or mistiming a jump over toxic waste or a robot, or even just simply forgetting to turn a corner. Luckily the game is very generous with its checkpoints and you have a health bar which can take a couple of hits on the normal difficulty, but the real test comes on the harder difficulty where you die in one hit and only get two lives per level. This provides a decent enough challenge but doesn’t get so annoying that you give up on the game. The levels' basic layout stays the same, so with enough practice you can learn where and when the obstacles will appear. You may end up finding that most of your deaths simply come from pressing the wrong button under pressure, which I’m sure 90% of my deaths came from.
Don't touch the electricity
You will learn how to avoid most of these obstacles as the game provides a continuous tutorial for how to jump, slide, wall-run and fight. The fights serve well to break up the constant running, by giving you a simple quick time event to complete to win the fight. These vary from a two button press, to a more complex five or six button press, depending on the number of enemies in front of you. An incorrect button press will result in death, which can get more than slightly annoying when you don’t have enough to time to distinguish between an RB or an LB prompt. The biggest QTE challenge comes with the “boss” of the game, where you have four sets of QTEs quickly after one or another. On hard difficulty this will provide you with a tough button mashing section to do under pressure, and a feeling of relief when you finally manage to do it.
To keep your attention whilst you are running, there is a collectible to find in each level. These collectibles unlock a nice selection of artwork to view in the menu and have a couple of achievements tied to finding them. Luckily, the collectibles are rather easy to find and are always on the main path with just a simple jump usually needing to reach them. If you move over from story mode to arcade mode the collectibles change into pickups for you to find to increase your score. The arcade mode allows you to run continuously to gain a high score, or run as far as you can, or simply go on infinity mode and run forever until you run out of lives. A nice novelty, but this mode doesn’t really alter from the main story mode enough to justify having a whole mode dedicated to itself.
One of the game’s biggest points it made before its release was that it would have WEREWOLVES IN SPACE! Unfortunately, they may not have as big a role as some people might have liked. One particular werewolf makes a repeated appearance, but apart from that the only werewolf you will be seeing is if you looked in a mirror. Your character’s ability to transform into a werewolf only occurs in set places in the levels, and enables you run on autopilot. You still have to pay attention though, because there are still certain obstacles you have to actively avoid, as well as being alert when you switch back into human mode. It feels like the werewolf feature was only slightly touched upon, and that so much more could have been done with it to add even more to the game.
I spy a werewolf!
There's a nice, hefty 55 achievements for you to earn in Infinity Runner
, with a lot of them coming through natural story progression. You will be looking to collect a lot of data packs
along your journey, as well as running for a heck of a long time
. You get an achievement for finishing each level
, and then the same again for completing each of the levels on hard
. The most difficulty achievement will come in trying to get the highest wolf level
, as you will need to earn 30,000 point in Infinity mode, as well as some other challenges such as completing the game on hard with no deaths. This is also made harder by the fact the challenges seem a bit buggy, and have the tendency to reset themselves even after you have met the requirements. There's a nice variety here, and all of the running and point achievements are cumulative, so will eventually come over time.
A game where you are simply running all the time shouldn't be fun, but Infinity Runner
somehow manages to be most of the time. The game is unfortunately short, but with the teasing of a sequel at the end, there is obviously the potential for more. At little over £5, it is hard not to recommend the game because you get a nice combination of fun and frustration for your money. It is definitely worth the price, but Infinity Runner
had the potential to be so much more than what it is; a good game that could have been great.
- Easy to jump into and play
- Intriguing story and interesting idea for a game
- Not enough werewolves in space
- Story and levels are fairly short
The reviewer spent approximately 5 hours endlessly running to complete the story mode on easy, normal and hard, as well as constantly bumping into obstacles and escaping the werewolves in space! This unlocked 52 of the game's 55 achievements. The digital code for this game was provided by the publisher.