Big Sky Infinity is a fast paced, twin-stick shooter, with several unique attributes that significantly further the genre. Featuring randomly generated missions, with dynamic gameplay that is modified based on a player’s performance; you’ll never play the same game twice! Read More »
Genres: Twin stick shooter
Platform: PS3, PS Vita
Release Date: 21/11/12
TheIndieJar: Big Sky Infinity Review
Big Sky Infinity is a fast-paced, side-scrolling twin-stick space shoot ‘em up exclusively available for the PS3 and PS Vita that mixes a handful of varying sections and ‘events’ with a bucketful of flashy lights and lazers. For those of you not in the know, Big Sky Infinity is essentially a spiritual successor to the PC-only Really Big Sky, that carries on its predecessor’s vision of creating a chaotic bullet-filled mess, infused with a constant barrage of banging sounds and disorientating colours.
To pull away from the average SHMUP, Big Sky’s unique attributes come in the guise of a constantly random level generator and perpetual upgrade system, funded by collecting ‘Starbits’, that steadily allows you to modify everything on your ship. Upgrades ranging from shields to mines to your Starbit collection field can be slowly maximised until your ship can give as much as it gets, and with the amount of enemies on screen at one time that’s a lot.
However, there is double-edged sword of all this fantastic replayability and this will most likely be a bit of a ball ache for any first time player of Big Sky especially. The constant upgrade mechanic requires the player to start somewhere, and that is the bottom. This means you must persistently die after a minute or so of actual gameplay for at least half an hour until you have collected enough Starbits to effectively combat the game’s enemies.
Another unique gameplay element within Big Sky is the ability to turn your ship into a drill (which you can also use as a powerful but limited attack). Sounds strange, but it effectively allows you to drill through planets and collect minor power-ups, or bore into area to defeat a rock-encased boss. Although not exactly ground breaking, this addition does act as a welcome bite-sized mini-game that breaks up the constant barrage of bullet hell quite nicely. The one gripe I did have with this is that there is no real physical change to you spaceship once the drill has been activated; in fact there is no real ‘art’ to the ship’s design or movement in the slightest. Although this is nothing more than a minor issue it is juxtaposed by just how ridiculously pretty the rest of the game is. Bright colours, flashy beams and random screen inversions all work together to put you into an almost zen-like state
Sadly all my monging out is often interrupted by the most well meaning but annoying voice-over narratives I have ever heard in a videogame. The guy’s Hugh Grant-ingly polite voiceovers that just about air on the wrong side of funny chime out around once every thirty to sixty seconds and are often repeated multiple times per sitting. Add to this cringworthy ‘cool’ video game quotes like “SNAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE” or “Do a barrel roll!” and I am comfortably made to feel the most uncomfortable I have been since I accidently laid on some chocolate in bed with my girlfriend and thought I shat myself.
Outside of some of Big Sky’s surface faults sits an incredibly addictive and enjoyable game, its controls are smooth and at times you will find yourself feeling completely immersed and unreservedly addicted to re-starting, just to see if you can beat your latest high score. Add an online leader board and extremely well built stat tracker to the above and we have something as morish as pictures of cats on the internet. If you’re lucky enough to be a member of PS+ you can grab the game on the PS3 or PS Vita for free this month, I highly suggest you do.
- Great look and trippy art
- When the gameplay is in full flow it can be intensely stressful fun
- Voice-over acting spoils immersion
- Steep learning curve
- Poor art design of the spaceship
Big Sky is a perfect representation of an addictive five minute toilet break game that can quickly evolve into an hour long play though at the flip of a coin. With the few minor but very visible/audible issues aside I frankly cannot fault anything about the game’s mechanics, gameplay or visualisation. Boss Baddie and Ripstone can be happy in the knowledge that Big Sky Infinity accomplishes absolutely everything that it sets out to achieve.
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