Infinity is a Mighty Long Time
February 5, 2009 – Infinity, what a concept. While some RPGs seem to go on forever, Infinite Space by PlatinumGames is a game you may never want to finish.
Exclusive to the DS, Infinite Space is an RPG that takes place in outer space. Over the course of the game, you will do battle with numerous enemies while acquiring and customizing more than a hundred spaceships. In addition to the ship, you will also amass and control hundreds of crewmen. Expect a lot of exploring, collecting, customizing, and combat.
While there is plenty of shooting, it’s not possible to blast through this game. You’re in for the long haul. The developers claim that it’s possible to get through the game in 50 to 60 hours. If you explore all the options, the game could last you more than 100 hours. That’s serious value for your money. The developers claim this is easily the most ambitious RPG ever produced for the DS, but they aren’t content with the content, it’s hoped the graphics will set a new standard for the DS.
All of the spaceships will be rendered in 3D, with some so huge they can’t even fit on the screen at once. All of the equipment on the ship, including layout and weapons systems, are all modular, so their locations can be changed and rearranged. A blueprint is available for each ship, allowing you to edit/customize its design from the outset.
A young space cadet named Yuri comes from an underprivileged background, but he’s determined to make a name for himself in the outer space armada. His loyalty and passion help him rise through the ranks quickly, as he starts to command his own ships and eventually entire fleets. The story is based on sci-fi legend Arthur C. Clarke’s novel, Childhood’s End. It’s a story that encompasses action while embracing philosophy, displaying a level of depth not typically commensurate with the anime graphics that typically embrace weak, corny stories with equally shallow character models.
In Childhood’s End, which was written in the 50s, human civilization comes to terms with not being alone in the universe. Another race of beings is looking over them, apparently trying to help them but also placing restrictions on various activities such as space travel, in return for a peaceful existence and unparalleled prosperity. Of course, over time, the humans become suspicious of these overlords and begin to question everything including the existence and roles that humans should assume in the universe. It is this human element of mistrust that eventually uncovers the overlords’ plans to destroy the human race as we know it, by force-evolving the species.
The larger ships are more powerful, but they are also not as agile or quick to react to commands. All orders must be submitted onscreen where they will be followed depending on a variety of parameters such as weapons used, destination, and experience of crewmembers. All controls are facilitated on the touchscreen. A “command gauge” is an attack system that must power up before it can be released. Once it’s filled, you can unleash various attacks ranging from huge plasma cannon blasts to multiple blasts that are significantly weaker. Battles will be performed in real-time but some delays may be experienced in maneuvering and attacking due to the nature of each individual ship. More experienced crewmembers, as well as ship upgrades, can seriously enhance performance.
Your level of armor will determine the best proximity for an attack. The further away you are, the more inaccurate your attacks are likely to be. Getting in close will almost guarantee successful hits, but it can make you vulnerable to a counterattack if you can’t fire up your engines in time to make a hasty retreat. Getting in real close quarters may allow you to board an enemy vessel in hopes of capturing it and acquiring more upgrades. These elements of strategy give the gameplay variety and depth.
Not only do the graphics look epic, with massive 3D battleships rotating in space, but the command interface is very impressive with its futuristically-complex look. Multiple windows give you instant visual references of your most important stats. Enemy ships explode into fragments accompanied by an impressive fireball of nuclear proportions. Fans of anime-based space operas will appreciate the style of the graphics and the look of the characters.
With a blend of turn-based and real-time, action gameplay, Infinite Space promises to give players a well-rounded gaming experience – not to mention a long one.