Xbox One, PS4
October 25, 2016
It’s time to get big air in this new snowboard simulator: Mark McMorris Infinite Air. Pro snowboarder Mark McMorris lends his name to this freestyle snowboarding game, where you can explore a vast backcounty and carve your way through the mountain slopes or take part in big air events… or maybe test your skills in the snow parks. Unfortunately, in Infinite Air, you are actually pretty restricted to what air you can get. They should have called the game Mark McMorris: Limited Air.
The aim of the game is pretty straight-forward: complete trick or point challenges to unlock new beanies, boards and gloves for your custom snowboarder or other pro riders… which are purely cosmetic skin based. And don’t worry, this game has already decided for you that your custom Rider will be male, as there is little difference at all in the look of female and male riders, and all of the Pro riders you can unlock are male too. Surprising in 2016 to see a sports game so non-inclusive of females when we had even the first Tony Hawk game back in 1999 with a female pro skater to choose from.
Once you’ve unlocked all the pro riders, pick who you want. It doesn’t even matter. This game has no attribute system at all. Making the choice, once again, purely cosmetic. You could play the game the whole way through as Mark himself and the game experience would just not change for you.
One feature of the game that is pretty neat is the recording of your runs, so that you can share with your friends any lines that you nail and show off your skills… when it works, that is. The feature seems to appear and disappear at will. So if you nail a sick run, you may not be able to share it all, which is pretty disappointing.
I wish I could say the game looked great, because in 2016, you’d expect a snowboard game set in a vast mountainous setting to look stunning and breathtaking. Instead, it almost looks as if you’re stuck inside a diorama some teenager has made for his outdoor education class for “show-and-tell” about his snowboarding trip with his uncle; it gets pretty ugly at times.
“You keep getting dragged down the endless mountain as if by some evil wintery snow demon whose mission it is to drag you to the bottom of the hill…”
The biggest let down of the game is the physics; specifically, the endless rag-doll falling. You will hate everything for about 10 seconds every time you bail, because you’ll just be tumbling down the mountain. Once you’ve stopped tumbling, you just keep getting dragged down the endless mountain as if by some evil wintery snow demon whose mission it is to drag you to the bottom of the hill, steal your snowboard and snap it in half and then dive out of your TV and slap you for ever playing this game.
Sorry… I let my imagination get the better of me then… it’s just that I got so bored and frustrated playing this game that my imagination had to create things to spice it up!
The controls in the game are very complex for a sports game, requiring perfect precision and a lot of practice to master them. With a tutorial at the start of the game that you’re forced into and then flung into the game, you better take note of everything you can to pull off tricks, because after that all you have is a trick manual in the menu with pretty vague illustrations of how to maneuver the control sticks and triggers to pull off your stunts. You can of course play the tutorial again, but trust me when I say you will only want to go through that pain once. In saying that, once you do manage to master it, there is that very satisfying ‘wow’ factor of being able to nail a trick you’ve been trying to get down for about 10 minutes. But this almost makes this feel like the Dark Souls of extreme sports games… because if you don’t nail that trick and you fall… Wintery Demon’s comin’ to getcha!
- Satisfying big tricks
- Film your runs
- Endless falling
- Outdated graphics
- No reason to keep playing
- Clumsy controls
This game doesn’t take out the title for the worst game I have ever played. You’ll be pleased to know that this game, as flawed as it is, doesn’t have any big game breaks or bugs, so you can keep playing without any real hassle… if you want to, of course.
Sorry Mark McMorris for the shade, but don’t think I didn’t see you and your friends struggling to play this abominable snowman of a game on Twitter.