REVIEW | Dash through the skyies in Skydrift Infinity
Nowadays, if anyone starts talking about games with airplanes, certainly the first title that will come out of any conversation will be Microsoft Flight Simulator. Nevertheless, the exciting realistic experience of this game must not make us forget that there other titles out there that also explore this game style. This is the case of Skydrift Infinity.
I received a game key of Skydrift Infinity from Terminals for Xbox One and played the game on Xbox Series S. After winning a lot of races and testing several different planes, bellow is a detailed review of the game with my opinions and considerations.
To infinity and beyond!
Skydrift Infinity was developed by Digital Reality and published by THQ (the same company behind the Darksiders franchise) and launched for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. The game’s proposal could not be simpler: you are a airplane pilot that competes in exciting and fast-paced races in a dogfighter arcade-style.
Skydrift Infinity has three modes to play the game. The first one is the Campaign, where you find the core focus of the gameplay mechanics. Following a quick tutorial, the game puts the player into the action right away. The controllers are pretty simple and intuitive and the physics of the plane movement is good enough for any newcomers and also the ones that are used to play racing games.
To make the races more exciting and not just simply point the analog stick to specific directions and press the acceleration button, players can collect several power-ups along the stage. And no, there is no blue-shell like in Mario Kart, but that are some good options to dispose of your opponents like guided missiles, machine guns and even a powerful electric shock wave.
In Power Race mode, the player will really get the feeling of being in a “Aeroplane kart race”. In this type of event the players will need to race throught the track over a number of laps and use both offensive and defensive powerups to get into the finish line at first place. You have always to stay focused in grabbing and using as much powerups as possible because if you do not, you can be pretty sure that your opponents will do.
Speed Race is a very simply standard race with no powerups, and where “speed rings” are introduced. Each of these speed rings provides the player (and your rivals too) with a brief speed boost and if you manage to chain several together, you’ll likely find yourself at first position and going ridiculously fast. This type of race will really test your skills as a pilot, because if you can not make good maneuvers when you are going fast, be prepared to crash your plane all around the tracks.
Finally, there is Survivor mode: a typical Elimination event. Unfortunately, this is not the best way to Skydrift Infinity. In Survivor mode will need to wait an entire minute before the elimination countdown begins and you will need to destroy any opponent to keep racing.
Although having a solid and engaging gameplay, Skydrift Infinity suffers from two main problems. The first one being the lack of variety and criativity for its stages. The game only has seven stages with the same tracks repeated over and over until you can almost remember every single curve and obstacles of the racing.
Of course, you can up the difficulty if you find yourself bored racing through the same tracks too many times, but you should not feel too much difference from the normal mode. That is mainly because of the second problem with the game: the unbalanced AI.
When competing against the AI, the race gets confusing sometimes as the other planes have a random behavior: often staying too long in the offensive position or going full defensive. In this manner, your best strategy to avoid getting irritated by the other planes is always try to destroy them or use alternative routes to get away from them during the race.
Skydrift Infinity also has a local and online multiplayer mode that offers both Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch. The races run pretty smoothly and there are not any delay options and if you are looking for a real challenge that is the best mode to enjoy the game with your friends or other online players. Besides, it is only through the multiplayer mode that you ear enough points to unlock all the different skins and planes available on the game.
As for the planes, there are 16 available altogether, each of which comes with a star rating for Speed, Boost Power, Acceleration, Manoeuvrability and Armor. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to tell the difference between much of them though, with only the planes three or four stars slower than others really feeling much different. Visually however each plane is fantastic, with unique designs and there is even planes with designs inspired by Death and War characters from Darksiders.
In fact, visuals really are the strong point within Skydrift Infinity, with both planes and environments looking beautiful as Ice tunnels and volcanic embers are showcased and really light up the screen. Unfortunately, that’s where the positives end for what is a missed opportunity to really shine between other games of this genre.
As a airplane dogfight racing game, Skydrift Infinity is a great and well produced gaming experience. Sadly, that is everything that it can be said about the game. Whilst the visuals are great, they are not good enough to hide the flaws and the missed points that the game could really use to become an unforgettable racing experience.
Final Opinion: OK
By Luis Antonio Costa