In a cacophonous explosion of sound and colour, this fast paced Shmup is fast, frenetic fun – if not all that original.
Chances are, you remember the excellent Geometry Wars. Starting life as a little bonus hidden is a Project Gotham Racing title, it soon became one of the most popular XBL Arcade titles at the advent of the service. It’s fast paced, colourful action was easy to get in to, hard to perfect, but most importantly had a sublime control scheme that keep your success and failure in your hands. SVC Games definitely remembers. But while most imitators of popular titles often fall short, Debris Infinity is one of the better cover acts.
The action is fast, no doubt. From the off, you’ll be ducking and weaving various sized shapes from all angles. Early on, these take the form of asteroid-like blobs, needing to be broken up before disintegrating under fire. Soon though, you’ll be contending with the likes of homing missiles, sniper ships and reverse black holes that just chuck a seemingly endless supply of bullets at you. There’s rarely a moment of peace.
It’s handy then that your ship handles so well. While there’s a little drift as you move about, it just feels right, keeping you in control at all moments. Even when you do smash straight into an obstacle, a generous shield keeps you from dying instantly. You can still only take a few hits, but I appreciated the little extra help to survive that bit longer.
Firing with the right stick is as effortless as you’d expect too, though this was one of the weaker aspects for me. While the visual impact is far from understated, there’s no sound effect for bullets firing or hitting their target. When you’re at later stages, with it nigh-on impossible to keep track of everything going on, seeing if you are hitting what you’re aiming at is difficult. Of course, there’s so much on screen that you’ll likely be hitting something, but a little more audio feedback in that respect would’ve been nice.
When it all gets too much, pulling either trigger will activate a different effect; LT for a screen clearing bomb, or RT to slow down time allowing you to slip through tight gaps to safety, or line up precise shots. These expend energy though, which refills veeeeerrrryyyyy slowly when not in use.
The visuals are already wonderfully colourful and crisp, with objects splintering into colourful sparks and explosions. Using the bomb sees an almost transfixing amount of colours and lights fill the screen, while slowing down time ups the bloom for a lovely dream-like effect. This is all accompanied by a great soundtrack, all high energy electronic numbers that compliment the visuals perfectly.
We’ve got 3 modes on offer here to keep you busy, each with its own high score table. Normal is simply a case of aiming for a high score. Time attack has you clearing small waves as quick as possible in order to keep the clock from ticking down. Finally, Survival has you trying to outrun and outgun the horde for 3 minutes. I like the little spins on the rule-set these offer, but that same basic gameplay of shoot ALL THE THINGS pervades throughout. It would’ve been nice to see something along the lines of Geometry Wars Pacifism achievement used as a game mode to further mix thing up.
Debris Infinity wears its inspiration on its sleeve, but manages to pull off such a good cover that it gets a pass. If chasing high scores isn’t your thing then you’ll find little here to keep you going. But if you just fancy something quick and easy to pick up when coming home from the pub then this will likely do the job. If nothing else, your intoxicated brain will be mesmerised the sheer spectacle of it all.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.