Between N.O.V.A. and Eliminate Pro, first-person shooters on the iPhone are starting to take off in a big way. While it doesn’t raise the bar in the same way those two did, The Infinity Project from Crazy Robot succeeds by borrowing ideas seen in more familiar console shooters. The Infinity Project combines the corridor shootouts of Doom with the openness of Metroid Prime.
Unfortunately, The Infinity Project also continues the trend of poor storylines for iPhone shooters (and maybe just shooters in general). Basically, there is an interstellar war going on with “The Talons” and you are a part of Earth’s army. Your mission is to investigate the Infinity Station, which is where the Metroid elements start to come in. Aside from some codec calls from your superiors, you are alone on this one big vessel with the enemy, and exploration is the only way to figure out what is going on. It’s a shame the narrative itself isn’t interesting enough to match the fresh way in which it is presented.
Sir, I challenge you to a duel.
There are plenty of enemy soldiers to shoot on the way to the truth, and we’re glad the touch controls work well. It’s the same scheme we’re all used to: drag the screen to aim and use the onscreen analog stick to move. It succeeds mostly due to the solid frame rate. On the default sensitivity, the aiming isn’t as fast as it always should be, but at least it is smooth. And if your health isn’t regenerating fast enough, try throwing some grenades, because headshots in this game barely register.
You’ll never have to backtrack in The Infinity Project, but progressing is usually more complicated than moving straight forward, making for a smarter, more satisfying experience. The somewhat nonlinear progression does have a few caveats, though.
Often you’ll have to find a keycard before moving on, like in Doom. However, while the graphics are technically impressive with sharp textures and lighting effects, it will start to seem that the Infinity Station has infinite, identical hallways, making it easy to get lost. Combined with the minimal use of music and sound effects, you’ll begin to feel your character’s confusion and isolation in a bad way.
This ship’s held together with crystals and chewing gum.
When a soldier, turret, or flamethrower warps in for you to shoot, the enjoyment will return. Eventually, though, you might begin to yearn for some actual human beings to fight against. We’re not saying that absolutely every FPS needs multiplayer, and The Infinity Project’s decent-sized campaign is strong enough that the lack of multiplayer isn’t detrimental. Still, multiplayer would have been appreciated and if it were robust enough, it might have been enough to push this game into Must Have territory.
For two bucks, it’s hard to complain that you’re not getting your money’s worth when buying The Infinity Project. It’s got loads of good-looking, sci-fi FPS action with the added twist of a somewhat open world. Be aware that this game is single-player only, but don’t ignore it solely because of that.