We’ve come a long way since the early days of customising your own characters. Originally it was just making minor modifications to a character’s outfit or changing faces. In many ways, this is still the majority of custom character options, but Robocraft Infinity tasks players with building their own creations and then battling other players in multiplayer third person shooting action. While the level of customisation is to applauded, it just isn’t fun as a game.
The game’s biggest selling point is the ease of creating your own contraption and just how customisable they are. You can have anything from a tank, to a flying drone, to a T-Rex mounted with laser guns. The possibilities are nigh-on endless and I’ve seen some awesome, and indeed some rather questionable designs that people have put forward – you can even share and download designs from the community.
What’s even better is that there is a great focus on making the construction easy to implement and customise, with even a relatively painless option to test out your new ride before taking it out onto the battlefield. If something doesn’t work the way you thought, you can easily go back and tinker with it to make it perfect.
It really did remind me of constructing with Lego back in my early childhood and while there is one major limitation that I’ll get to later, there is definitely fun to be had either making your own from scratch or tinkering with someone else’s design.
My only real complaint in the building section is that the frame rate tanks on a standard Xbox One to a crawl. In the multiplayer game it’s relatively consistent, but depending on where you’re focusing the camera and how much stuff you’ve put on your prized creation, the constant stuttering when building was a tad too much.
It’s just a shame that these building blocks aren’t exactly put to good use. At the time of review, there are only two playable game modes – a 5v5 Deathmatch and a 5v5 Conquest mode – taking place on one of two maps. Rather quickly, the thrill of having your own creation go head to head against the rest of the world boils down to a war of attrition, and since there’s no single player content, this is all you are getting. It’s barebones, even if it works relatively well.
As for controlling your creations, it’s all relatively simple and straightforward, with only flying craft taking a tiny amount of getting used to, which is genuinely a good thing given how powerful this manoeuvrability can be. It’s sadly very uninspired and despite some rather windy maps it just doesn’t go far enough to keep me interested after a handful of games. There’s a small amount of replay value via choosing a different type of contraption, but this is really all you get.
Then there’s the progression, or what I like to call “Robocraft Infinity’s death knell”. It has loot boxes that are earned each time you level up or a smaller box that you get for logging in each day. Similar to Overwatch, you can cosmetics can be bough in special premium loot boxes – which feels exploitative in its own way – but thankfully the only way to get new guns and equipment is to play the game.
However, since all the loot is randomised, there’s a small chance you’ll get decent stuff and those who play more can and will have a distinct advantage in each match. The fact that it doesn’t discriminate between designs and their methods of getting around mean you can end up with a team of flying vehicles against a team without meaningful anti-air that just end up lopsided. You also can’t swap designs mid-match, so you’ll be stuck in this gaming purgatory. It’s simply bad design and in a multiplayer setting it actually impacted my already limited enjoyment of playing the game. It’s not worth the full price and barely justifies the download even on Xbox Game Pass.
While you can of course use Xbox Game Pass to try this out for yourself, I can’t say that you’ll be playing Robocraft Infinity for long. Limited tools aside, the construction process is the best thing the game has going for it, while the multiplayer just seems to play second fiddle; there’s too much focus on the creation and not enough on making the game fun. I’m sure they’ll add things to it, but the progression is just a tad on the frustrating side.
Reviewed on: Xbox One