I’m not a great fan of twin-stick shooters. I occasionally play one that’s fun, but mostly they’re too generic, shallow and uninspired to appeal to me. They’re either variations on Asteroids, Geometry Wars clones or I Made a Game with Zombies wannabes. Dull.
I played Infinity Danger because I’d read something intriguing about it. More on that later. I entered the game expecting another wave-swarm-survival-arena-spraying-shooty yawn factory. What I got was my little ship, a huge ship that wanted to kill me, and a load of guns pointed at my face. I bricked it, just a little bit.
Infinity Danger drops you in a combat zone and has you square off against one solitary enemy – a sprawling airborne fortress that would be an end-of-stage boss in other games. It’s given a variety of names that are determined by its exact armaments, but in a nod to Sonic & Knuckles I think of it as The Flying Battery.
When you first butt heads with this thing, it’s merely large. Its arsenal is limited to being just slightly overwhelming. With some nimbleness of thumbs, you can wear down each fortified limb until the core is exposed, then finally trash the beast.
Bask in the glow of victory. You have all of five seconds before the next cry of “Danger! Danger! Danger!” heralds…well…danger. You were expecting someone else? Hell no. The Flying Battery is back, and it’s seriously pissed off. It’s bigger, it’s more heavily armed, and it’s more determined than ever to rip you apart.
And that is how Infinity Danger plays out. It’s a series of boss confrontations against ever-evolving forms of the Flying Battery. Sounds boring replaying the same battle over and over, right? Surprisingly, it isn’t. The key word to take from the above sentence is ‘evolving’. The Flying Battery doesn’t just grow larger and get tougher, it actually responds to your play style, fortifying against your strengths and jamming a rusty fork in your weaknesses.
Did you strip it of most of its armour before you took it down last time? Well this time it’ll have much more armour, that will take you longer to get through. Did you manage to dodge its lasers but sustain a couple of painful hits from its missiles? Bad news; this time it has three times as many missile launchers, and the lasers have been traded out for a vulcan cannon. Sorry.
This is true escalating difficulty. Infinity Danger doesn’t increase the challenge by throwing in things that someone thought would be tougher to survive. It assesses you with an unflinching eye, then attacks you where you’re vulnerable. And if its new strategy doesn’t pay off, it changes again. Each revival of the Flying Battery is one step closer to being an enemy custom-built to be your personal worst nightmare.
And the real kick in the teeth is it doesn’t even need to beat you. You’re running on a time limit, trying to score as highly as you can before your stock of precious seconds trickles away into infinity (danger). All your nemesis has to do is stall for time. But don’t think for a moment that this means it’ll go easy on you. Oh no, the titanic screen-filling nightmare death fortress will do everything it can to grind your face into the industrial landscape below, and it will enjoy it. Sooner or later you will reach a point where the pre-battle cry of “Danger! Danger! Danger!” ceases to be just a routine commencement klaxon, and instead becomes a teeth-clenching warning of an impossible struggle against insurmountable odds.
It’s always worth playing a game that delivers on its promise. An infinity of danger awaits.