Space combat can be pretty tricky to get right. Not only does it have to be possible for you to fly in every direction you like, but you’ve got to have environments that look eye-catching while also capturing the vastness of Space itself and making it easy to navigate. On top of that, you’ve got to nail some fun combat to keep a player hooked. Subdivision Infinity DX gets a lot of that right, but there are some areas that could be better implemented.
You take on the role of the imaginatively named Rebel 1 as he’s tasked with investigating a station that has gone dark in a research sector. What greets him is a mystery with a large scale implication for the human race, but the story really plays second fiddle to the action and is used more as a way of getting you from one location to another. The story may pass you by but the on-screen action certainly won’t as tougher and more dangerous enemies cross your path.
Set across five locations there are a number of missions to complete, though many of them boil down to destroying enemies until there are none left. There is some variety with objectives like destroying jammers or gathering information, but the majority of the time will be about taking out enemy ships. It sounds simple enough, but Subdivision Infinity DX is far from easy and your starter ship won’t be properly equipped to handle the increasingly challenging threats. Instead, you’ll have to look to improve your weapons and get new ships.
Between missions you have access to a hangar where you can buy ships, provided you’re the right level and have the right amount of gold, a shop where you can buy tools and weapons for your ships or sell excess items, and the ability to upgrade your weapons and evolve ships beyond the base model. There’s some ships that can’t be bought and can only be unlocked by finding the blueprints in order to craft them. That’s where some of the grinding nature of Subdivision Infinity DX shows most prominently, and it can be a tad frustrating.
Outside the main missions, each zone has exploration missions in which you can roam about mining resources from rocks, as long as you remember to equip your mining laser and search for containers that will contain parts of blueprints. Containers can be found within giant asteroids that have mining facilities attached to them, but these smaller areas can be tricky to navigate and the marker that shows a location of a container isn’t always helpful. If it wasn’t for the fact resources and gold were required to make progress in the campaign I would have ignored the exploration zones entirely.
When I first ventured into these missions I thought they’d offer a bit of a respite from the action, but the game had other ideas. While your mining and searching for containers you are constantly hounded by enemies, distracting you from the resource gathering you need to do, just so you can sell bits to get gold to upgrade gear and ships.
In combat you have the choice of aim assist to lock you onto enemy ships automatically, or you can choose to turn off aim assist and really give yourself a challenge. The difficulty will ramp up from small fighters that can be taken out relatively quickly all the way to battleships and large cruisers that have loads of offensive options that will take out the starter ship out in seconds. I checked and did not last long when facing off against large blaster fire, rockets, and lasers. Movement is key in these situations simply to survive. It can feel a bit slow in certain instances when covering large distances, but when in combat everything seems to speed up and flows really well.
The visual design in Subdivision Infinity DX is really nice to look at and has a ton of detail within its frame. Each location has different lighting and layouts, with things like space stations and asteroid fields to explore, or blinking mines to dodge. Enemy designs are fairly regimented, so you know what you’re dealing with as a ship comes barreling towards you, while weapon fire lights up the screen very well. It’s quite something to approach a cruiser and just see it spitting blaster fire at you from a fair distance away. When hit by an EMP the view distorts and becomes blocky for a little while before things stabilise. The music also fits the theme well with a lot of electronica inspiration to get the action pumping.