Developer: Wales Interactive Ltd.
Release Date: July 14th, 2014
Available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewer’s Note: I played this game on the PlayStation 4. There may be differences between versions.
Werewolves in space! That was really all I needed to know about Infinity Runner to know I wanted to give it a shot. Yet will this running game live up to its entertaining sounding premise, or does it stumble and fall?
Yes, werewolves in space. When the nameless main character wakes up from cryogenic sleep on a spaceship called Infinity, he realizes that he has no idea how he got there, where he is, or who the woman urging him to run is. Along the way he also discovers he is a werewolf, which I guess there could be worse things. He’s also hunted by a mercenary squad named the Black Guard for reasons that are never really made clear. Actually, “never really made clear” is basically the tagline to the plot. The person helping me escape from the Infinity, Riley, seems to have some alternative motive that is never explained. At one point another werewolf on the ship knocks out the main character and he just sorta wakes up perfectly fine somewhere else. Also apparently werewolves can breath in space. Finally, the game ends on a really crummy cliffhanger saying to join them in the next game, Beyond Infinity, whenever they make that.
Infinity Runner is a first person running game, and its big draws are the addition of werewolves and a story mode. Unfortunately, neither really do much. The story mode, which depending on how much you die can last between one to two hours, is a short little thing mostly meant to introduce the player to the game’s various elements. Always running forward, it was up to me to make sure I didn’t die by doing something stupid like running headfirst into a wall (and yes, that kills.) Actually, turns were the hardest and most awkward part of the game: to do them I had to use the right stick to either look right or left. Yet it always felt off, and I never was sure if I was going to actually turn at each turn.
Yet its more than just turning that I had to do. I also had to dodge to the right, left, and jump over or slide under various obstacles. Hallways had random smaller threats in them that didn’t require much to pass by, but what I really had to watch out for were the bigger rooms which has the more “setpiece” threats. Usually these required multiple jumps, slides, and dodges to get through. Yet there aren’t enough of these rooms to really keep me off guard, and soon I found myself having memorized them. Each of the game’s various areas only seems to have three or four total. Sometimes entering a big room instead led to a fight, yet all the fights are is a series of quick time events that slows the game down big time and distract from the running, which is the actual main attraction.
And yes, sometimes I got to turn into a werewolf. In the story mode it just happens at set points and its basically just a near invincibility. During the infinite running mode its basically just a power-up that grants, well… near invincibility. I could still die as a werewolf, I had to go out of my way to do it, but it was a possibility. The whole thing feels like a let down though, since one of the most interesting things about Infinity Runner basically boils down to the equivalent of finding a star in a Mario game. Also while I ran I was supposed to collect data packs. I mention this as an afterthought because that’s what they felt like: afterthoughts. I collected them because I was told to but, besides from the rare occasional extra life, they didn’t seem to serve any purpose at all.
Infinity Runner squanders its best ideas and concepts into what is basically a mediocre runner game. There’s better, cheaper runners out there that do anything Infinity Runner tries only better. Sadly, this absurd concept goes wasted.