I remember a time when I was spoiled for choice with snowboarding games. It’s been a while since I’ve hit the slopes; RL or virtual. HB Studios new game Mark McMorris Infinite Air attempts to end on this drought.
When I first started Infinite Air a rush of nostalgia flowed over me. I went back to the days of SSX Tricky and 1080 Snowboarding and remembered all the good times. Infinite Air tries to find the middle ground of these two titles. A somewhat realistic snowboarding simulator that allows the player to flip through the air for often times a ludicrous distance.
A tutorial mode kicks off proceedings to help you learn technique. By the time ‘d finished it I was certain I still had no idea how to play. Unfortunately there is an insanely steep learning curve which is compounded by an overly complicated control scheme. I could see a lot of average gamers giving up pretty early. But I soldiered on and threw myself into the deep end. It was frustrating, eventually everything started t click. Now, I’m a Frontside 2160 degree melon grab cork machine.
The main objective requires you to complete circuits. There are four to start off with and each one has 5 challenges within. If you complete the challenge, you’re able to progress. The more challenges completed, the more circuits you unlock. You can also unlock new riders and gear for your custom rider. Once I had a grasp of the controls, the circuits were quite fun. They force you to play every aspect of the game. This could be anything from racing, to doing tricks or getting big air.
Possibly the best feature of Infinite Air is the open world /world editor. You can jump in a chopper and drop in at the top of a mountain and just shred your way down. When you reach the bottom you can fly the chopper to another area and carve a new line. You can also create courses or runs and upload them for you and other people to play. The world editor is insanely complex and detailed.
This is a blessing and a curse depending on the person creating it. You can tell the difference between someone who took their time on a course as opposed to someone who slapped it together. The main difference is being stuck between a literal rock and hard place or having a smooth run.
Mark McMorris Infinite Air is not really for the average gamer. I can see fans of the genre having a lot of fun with it though. There is plenty of customisation and world to explore on your board. But with the control scheme and limited circuits it can get stale quickly. If you love snowboarding you can get creative once you’ve grasped the gameplay. I’ll be interested to see what people have created down the line.
Mark McMorris Infinite Air was reviewed on PS4 using a digital promotional code provided by the publisher.
Game Title: Mark McMorris Infinite Air