Infinity Runner (PlayStation 4) Review

By Luna Eriksson 05.05.2015

Review for Infinity Runner on PlayStation 4

The runner genre is one with a long tradition that stretches back to the early stages of gaming history, with titles like the old classic 3-D WorldRunner for the NES. Today, runners are usually only found roaming in the free-to-play forest. Therefore, they very seldom put much emphasis on the graphical part of the title and usually offer unfair methods that force buying in-game currency or other shenanigans. Now a modern purchasable runner has emerged in Infinity Runner, but will it be better than its free-to-play competition on the market, or is it just the graphical department in which it stands out? Read on for the answer.

Praise must be given to Wales Interactive for taking the risk to release a runner title for a home console system that is not free-to-play, as the genre is usually on the opposite end and free-to-play on smart devices. This allows them to put more power into the genre and the capital to improve the graphics from the common runner title, such as Subway Surfer. However, better graphics is all they succeeded in adding to the genre.

When developing Infinity Runner the goal must have been clear and cut to the developers - to develop a runner title for the AAA audience, which likes two things, and is assumed to like a third. That audience likes good graphics, action and is assumed to like difficulty. There is nothing wrong with difficulty in itself, but it has to be made in a fair and fun way. The issue with the difficulty in Infinity Runner is the fact that it is based on random and sometimes unpredictable quick-time events, and hard to identify obstacles. One of the most important parts of a runner is to be able to easily see and identify the obstacles and work out how to proceed through them, which is not always the case here.

The main problem is that sometimes only about half a second (if that) is given to react to something, due to how close some of the obstacles are put together and the curtains that prevents sight. There is, once again, nothing wrong with difficulty, but when a title and its difficulty is designed in a way that demands either eidetic memory, extremely sharp reflexes or hours of trial-and-error even in the earlier stages of the story mode to proceed in, something is fundamentally wrong in the game design. There is a difference between fun difficulty that engages someone to improve their skills and bad fake difficulty that simply exists to prolong the experience by forcing repeating the same stage over and over again. The difficulty in Infinity Runner is sadly the latter.

Screenshot for Infinity Runner on PlayStation 4

Another big issue is that when the girl, Riley, that is the guide through Infinity Runner speaks, the game does not stop. This is also true when important information is given in boxes. This means that it is sometimes extremely hard to read what to do to overcome certain obstacles and that creates an awkward situation in which the stage must be replayed over and over until what is written has been read, to be able to understand what to do to proceed. This would not even be an issue to begin with if Infinity Runner was clear in its graphical design in what to do to pass the obstacles, because in graphical capacities it certainly doesn't lack. It is simply bad design.

It is sad seeing this, as at its core, Infinity Runner could have been a good game and one of the better ones in its genre. However, the urge to hide the fact that the title comes with only 14 stages in the story mode that would take around two minutes each to complete seems to have made the developers resort to questionable design choices to increase the longevity in the title. Infinity Runner does also - somewhere deep down there - have an interesting, if extremely generic and overly edgy, story; it is just sad that very few will withstand the trial-and-error gameplay long enough to uncover the interesting secrets that Wales Interactive has spread out.

Praise must, once again, be given to Wales Interactive for taking it upon itself to try to improve on the runner formula so that it can be noticed outside of the free-to-play market. However, the problem is that those free-to-play titles are better than this in every aspect but graphics. In the process to appeal to AAA gamers by adding edginess, graphics and action, the most important thing was forgotten: functionality and fun gameplay. The 90s, with game renting and arcade halls to suck in quarters, are over. There is no longer any need to increase the longevity of a title by adding straight-out fake difficulty. It was undesired by gamers then, and it most certainly is now, as well.

Screenshot for Infinity Runner on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

The reason behind this score is simply because of the fake difficulty that makes Infinity Runner enter almost unplayable territory. This is sad since, at its core, it could have been on the opposite side of the spectrum and become a good, if not great, title that could have helped improve the genre. However, now it will be quickly forgotten, and rightly so. The lesson to be learned for next time is that fake difficulty does not take a good, short game and turn it into a good, long game; it simply turns it into a poor, long game. As it is now, Infinity Runner does nothing to make it worth buying over the free-to-play options on a smart device of choice.

Developer

Wales Interactive

Publisher

Wales Interactive

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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