Gaming Review: Infinite - Beyond The Mind

Review: Infinite – Beyond The Mind

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It truly feels like a breath of fresh air whenever a game such as Infinite – Beyond The Mind comes along. In an era where old school shooters are rare, this is the sort of game that has the potential to bring back fond memories for the older gamers out there.

As far as tributes to the heydays of the 16-bit era go, this game definitely has the potential to live up to any expectations. The story follows two female characters called Tanya and Olga who are forcibly separated after one of them gets kidnapped by the tyrannical Queen Evangelyn Bramann. The one that the player chooses to play as then must save the other from this dastardly villain and also free the world from the evil queen and her followers whilst at it.

It’s nice to see that choosing one of the characters at the beginning isn’t purely an aesthetic choice. Indeed, it feels slightly different to play as each of them and that makes it interesting to try to play through the story with both characters. This difference in play style is more significant during flying sections where each character’s individual abilities mean that it’s necessary to take a slightly different approach to fighting.

Now what is truly impressive about this game is the level of creativity that went into creating each of the levels. Each one looks completely different and it’s the same with the bosses and the actions needed to defeat them. Despite the fact that it’s a simple platform shooter, the varied scenery and way that shooting cover and other environmental factors are used makes for a thrilling journey.

It truly feels like the next logical step on how to approach such a traditional genre without having to step into the realm of 3D. It looks and feels like a proper shooter from the old days of 16-bit without making it irrelevant to those that weren’t around back then or even old enough to play these types of games. If anything, it’s a handy introduction to the genre given the use of various difficulty levels to make it more accessible. Those who just want to enjoy the ride can go for easy, whilst the purist out there can take on a harder difficulty. It takes guts to tackle a fast paced game such as this where even playing on normal will result in the character starting from the beginning of a level when dying.

Unfortunately, it’s not always the case that dying is the outcome of the game testing a player’s skills. There are pitfalls that will result in losing a life and these have a tendency to pop up more often in later levels and become a bit of a nuisance. It’s difficult to avoid them once there are more of them and the limited field of vision may result in falling in one whilst progressing. It becomes more of an issue when they appear in narrow pathways.

There are also a couple of occasions where it becomes difficult to see parts of levels that are platforms and this makes it difficult to avoid the aforementioned pitfalls. On the bright side, the precise controls do help with minimising the amount of pitfall related deaths. It’s exactly what you need in a game such as this where any issues with the controls would make for a bumpy ride.

The amount of levels included to play through is surprisingly big and each of them has its own inspiring look and is set in a different location. It’s harsh that losing all lives means starting from start of a level on some difficulty settings, but at least the fast nature of the game means that it never feels frustrating to go through a level again.

The commitment to the 16-bit era means that even the visuals are presented in a manner that feels authentic. The addition of very rudimentary static “cut-scenes” of the downfall of each boss adds charm to the whole experience. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a group of developers that fully commit to an idea. Even the quirky chiptune soundtrack will make for a pleasant trip down memory lane for some.
As already mentioned, each boss fight feels unique and although the way to defeat each of them might seem vague at times, it still doesn’t make the experience any less positive. If anything, the only real criticism is aimed at the final boss, since the whole battle feels somewhat unfair, due to the use of abilities that are rarely used throughout the journey.

There’s also the possibility of playing through the whole game with another player for those who may need a helping hand or just to have more fun.

Overall, Infinite – Beyond The Mind is a really fun retro style game to play and it’s surprisingly easy to play it for hours without realising.

SUMMARY

+ Faithful creation of a 16-bit style retro shooter.
+ Plenty of creative levels to play through.
+ Precise controls and slightly different abilities for characters.
- Somewhat questionable design decisions like pitfalls and ways to defeat bosses.

(Reviewed on Xbox One, also available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC)

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