Infinite Air with Mark McMorris is a snowboarding game published by HB Studios. The game starts off with a pretty standard tutorial to teach you the basic moves, jumps, spins, that kind of thing. Now there are one or two things missing from this tutorial, such as how to control your board through a flip, which is a subject that has sent a fair few gamers on to message boards in search of an answer. When arriving on one of these message boards, you see a developer saying there is no way to control the board in flight, you just time it properly, you’ll get the hang of it eventually. Just as an idea, if everyone is saying “we need this control” would having the option to have that control in the game be such a bad idea? I don’t develop games for a living, I’m just saying that if your game is going to have one of those classic “persevere through the rage or quit and find a new game” moments, the tutorial really shouldn’t be it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Infinite Air, it’s a fun game to play. You do eventually learn there are a few tricks best suited to other players and you’ll find your own set of skills that you can do and with some practice can actually do really well. There are some really good features to this game which are very nice to have, such as a World editor can actually create your own mountains, sculpt the snow, save and even publish your creations, kind of like a sandbox mode. You also have circuit mode where you follow a pre-made run whilst trying to successfully accomplish different challenges, being rewarded with character customisation options at the end. You can also play in the multiplayer mode, which allows you to create your own competition or join one somebody else has already created.
For a game with so much snow you’d kind of expect the colour palette of the game to be a little predictable, but it is actually more colourful than you’d think! There are lots of trees and a lodge at the bottom of the free run paths. The character customisation option in the game comes with an impressive array of outfits and gear including, amongst others, a pepperoni hoodie! The graphics are average (room to improve but not so bad it hurts) and I’ve not noticed any objects going through each other or any other kinds of graphical anomalies either on the menu or in the game play itself. I have seen other people complain about invisible objects but that’s not an obstacle I’ve come across. The controls, aside from what I mentioned above, are intuitive for the most part which is lucky given that there really isn’t any option to change any of the controls in-game.
The audio in the game is very nice and fades into the background just becoming a part of the game, which is ideal when for a high concentration, low tension game. If it was more noticeable, it would detract from the gameplay itself; with Infinite Air having a good bit of gameplay to it, it doesn’t need to rely too heavily on things like the audio, but it is still nice to hear a crisp crunch when you hit fresh snow, and the sound effects in this game don’t let you down.
Now the price of the game ranges between £30 and £40 with bonus cosmetic content available from certain vendors. Given the scope of the game it is one that could be considered worth the cost IF you like snowboarding. If you like sports games it’s 50/50 and if you aren’t that big on either, you might like it on a fluke (I come under the latter of those three categories FYI). I think the price tag from certain vendors at the top end of £40+ is too high, but if this can be grabbed for a modest amount on Black Friday (November 25th) then it could be worth a go.
I personally find Infinite Air with Mark McMorris to be fun to play, but it can be frustrating due to a combination of a lack of instruction and abundance of similarity throughout some of the gameplay. I don’t like that it’s impossible to get all the unlocks because each vendor has a different reward. When a game is rewarding you with cosmetic items, being able to unlock them all is a strong motivator, being able to unlock almost all of them is almost a strong motivator. And when people comment on your game on a steam forum, a developer, replying with “you just need to practice” isn’t as good as “thanks for the feedback, we’ll see what we can do in the future”.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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