“I’m sure all of this is all a little bit confusing isn’t it? Well you’re going to have to trust me, and trust me when I say RUN!”
Cryogenically frozen in a large vat of embryonic fluid for 30 years aboard the research habitation vessel Infinity, you are suddenly stirred from your prolonged sleep by a mysterious woman named Riley.
Unaware as to precisely why you are in danger, you make haste as you sprint down the seemingly endless corridors before you. Running into an open room, you are confronted by unsuspecting Black Guard soldiers that are easily dealt with as you grab ones gun to blast the other before regaining your momentum. Sliding under lasers and making death-defying leaps through space, Infinity Runner promises a thrill at every turn as the player negotiates their way toward securing their eventual escape.
That you are stark naked is the least of your concerns, especially when it comes to light that you possess the power to erratically transform into a werewolf. It emerges that the Terran Council had been researching those with such a rare ability, and produced a genetic suppressor that grants control over when the player can turn into their strengthened canine form.
This empowers you with the chance to wall run, neutralise guards without having to succeed in the usual quick time event prompts, and to barge your way through weakened walls to bound down electrified pathways. That you are soon stalked by another werewolf is cause for concern, but drives the player’s intrigue throughout Infinity Runner‘s main Story Mode.
It is an enjoyable marathon, with Wales Interactive seamlessly merging a first-person viewpoint with the endless runner genre popularised by games such as Temple Run. That sense of speed is perfectly captured, and while lower difficulties help the player to find their feet it is on hard where Infinity Runner comes into its own – pushing the player’s reaction speed to its limits.
It quickly becomes a game that tests your skill, the player shifting between three lanes as they dodge overflowing plasma and flame-spewing pipes while collecting electronic documents to increase their point score. Your escape will take you from Engineering right through to the Infinity’s Bridge and Biodome, sliding into a lift that takes you deeper into the hulking spaceship at each level’s conclusion.
That it excites is proof that the concept has merit, but the overall execution leaves much to be desired. The frame rate can be remarkably inconsistent, deaths can occur somewhat prematurely, while in-game text notably has spelling and grammatical errors. But, of more concern, is that it repeatedly made my Wii U crash – more so on the final level, which I haven’t even been able to load despite numerous attempts.
It detracts from a game that, while it could all look and sound decidedly sharper, otherwise shows plenty of promise. Infinity Runner certainly isn’t a flash in the pan experience, and, given more investment, could amount to something resoundingly special. The hallmarks are there, it just lacks as much bite as its protagonist.