New Game Review

Review – Robocraft Infinity (Xbox One)

The sky (and the paywall) is the limit

In some ways, Robocraft Infinity is a dream come true. I used to play with Lego blocks a lot when I was a kid, and would constantly build robots and make them “fight to death.” Infinity allows me to do the same, but makes things a bit more realistic. Build your robot, put a ton of guns on it, hop into an online match and see if your creation is good enough to kill other people’s creations. It is a phenomenal theory in concept, but lots of questionable monetization decisions and performance issues hinder this game from being one heck of an exclusive that the Xbox One so desperately needs right now.

robocraft1
Robocraft knows de wei

Robocraft Infinity is, in theory, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts without anything related to Banjo-Kazooie in it. You may remember my Cream of the Crap article about that game, and how I actually thought the concept of it was good, even though it completely ruined the Banjo franchise. Robocraft Infinity lets you go wild by creating any type of robot you can imagine with the blocks you unlock throughout the game. You can make a walking robot, a car, a drone, a jet, a tank, and many more. The game even lets you choose from a small set of premade robots if you’re not into building: a car, a mecha that walks like a chicken, a T-Rex that walks like a chicken, and a chicken that walks like a chicken. You can also buy designs from other players. It took me less than a minute to find a Ugandan Knuckles robot. I wasn’t disappointed.

Creating a robot is simpler than expected. Sure, the controls are a bit confusing at first, with some weird button placements (A and B in order to go up and down? RT to place a block?), but it’s the best you could ask for without the option of using a mouse for more precise building controls. Not only can you place blocks wherever you like, but you can also install engines, weapons, wings, and much more, as long as you manage to grab one of those pieces throughout the game. More on that later.

robocraft2
I’m a master of engineering, but not a master of beautiful design

The game’s combat is actually pretty simple. You control your vehicles just like you would control a vehicle in any Halo game, as in, there is no acceleration button, and you steer by moving the camera around. If you’re used to Halo games, there’s nothing to worry about, but if you’re not, it’ll take a while for you to get used to the wonky turning mechanics. Each robot can be equipped with up to four different weapons, ranging from simple blasters to railguns and even a (very useless) melee saw. The modes aren’t very varied, with the option of either a conquest battle or a team deathmatch.

While the modes are pretty straightforward, and the amount of players isn’t very high (a maximum amount of 10 per match), that doesn’t mean that the game runs smoothly. On the contrary, this thing is very rough around the edges. Not only is the framerate extremely inconsistent, ranging from 20 to 60 frames per second depending on the amount of assets onscreen, but the netcode needs a lot of improvements. Lagging is frequent, as well as getting logged out of matches for no apparent reason. The game also does the stupid decision of punishing players who get logged out due to connection issues with the same punishments as those who quit battles when they’re losing. Punishing people due to your own incompetence isn’t the best decision, devs!

robocraft3
My masterpiece

That’s not the game’s main issue, however. Remember when I wrote that I had more to say about the building mechanics? Well, about that…

The biggest problem in Robocraft Infinity is, by far, its progression system. Simply put, it’s as loot crate and microtransaction filled as our most criticized games of 2017, like Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Need for Speed Payback. Robocraft Infinity has pieces that are blocked for non-premium players, insanely expensive blocks, two types of currency (one dedicated solely to cosmetic items that can’t even be obtained through in-game methods), loot boxes featuring duplicate items, and much more.

The amount of blocks at your disposal is very limited at first. You have half a dozen blocks, one type of gun, one type of leg and one type of wheel. You can earn new pieces by leveling up, as you get a loot box by doing so, but the chances of getting duplicates is immense, and the amount of cash you get in return is really small. The game forces you to either upgrade to a very expensive premium version or spend cash on loot boxes. You can’t even use colored blocks unless you upgrade the game to a premium version, which is absolutely ridiculous.

You might be wondering if this game is a F2P title, which would make me tolerate all of those schemes, but it isn’t. Despite being available on Xbox’s Gamepass program, even the simplest version Robocraft Infinity costs actual money when you’re not subscribed to Microsoft’s flagship program. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen: this is a paid F2P game. I thought we had learned by now that those monetization methods aren’t acceptable anymore in non-F2P titles.

robocraft4
I tried creating a centaur as well

Robocraft Infinity is a great concept that ended up disappointing me to a depressive degree. It made me smile like a kid by letting me bring Lego-esque creations to life and letting me control them in online battles, but there are so many paywalls and microtransactions spread throughout the entire game, it reminded me of the worst gaming moments of 2017.

To put it simply, this may be a very fun game, but in the post loot box controversy world we live in, this is also an infuriating reminder of how F2P practices in paid games can ruin enjoyment for everyone.

Graphics: 6.0

While colorful, the game suffers from framerate issues.

Gameplay: 7.0

The combat mechanics are pretty simple, resembling the way you control a vehicle in the Halo series. The construction mode features a confusing control scheme, but that’s the best you can do without a mouse.

Sound: 5.5

There’s not much here. A bit of narration, a forgettable soundtrack, and lots of laser noises.

Fun Factor: 6.5

A potentially fun experience, an endless world of possibilities, all hindered by a ton of F2P paywalls, problematic connection and exhaustive progression system.

Final Verdict: 6.5

About Leo Faria

Founder and mastermind behind Way Too Many Games, hailing from the southern swag that is São Paulo, a Sega widower who considers the Dreamcast to be the greatest console ever released, the greatest Guitar Hero and Tetris player you’ll ever meet. My favorite games include Perfect Dark, Banjo-Tooie, the Guitar Hero series, Bioshock Infinite and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II. I also own an Ouya. Never turned it on.

%d bloggers like this: