Mark McMorris Infinite Air is the authentic/realistic snowboard game I didn’t know I wanted. If you’ve played SSX or Amped then you know what to expect, and if you’re a fan of EA’s Skate games then you’re in for a treat as it handles the board and tricks in the same way. Every trick and every turn of the board is mapped to the triggers and the left and right analogue sticks – though that’s presuming you’re using the controller because honestly, why wouldn’t you?
Much like Skate, Infinite Air uses the analogue sticks, which gives a huge amount of control over everything you do. It also means that if you’re like me, then it’s quite an uphill struggle to do all the cool tricks other games give you at the push of a button. Flips and rolls are two of those things. I have yet to perfectly land – or even just “good” – either of these and that means that when I did pull it off without bailing I did end up feeling like I accomplished far more than if everything happened perfectly at a button press.
After making my way through the tutorials, I had a chance to go through some of the circuits. These are multi-objective levels that let you take multiple passes to complete objectives. One was a score attack run with a few grind rails on a downward slope; another had me launching myself off a ramp in a three round competition. Each area only had specific areas with “scoring zones”, so there isn’t any “cheating” to get higher scores. I also managed to unlock a few bits and bobs for my custom character as well as Craig McMorris, Mark’s older brother, after “beating” him at a race in a special level.
I say “beating” because while he was doing his run of the course with tricks in mind – and after many failed attempts at beating his score – I decided that racing to the finish first was my best option for getting anything done. This still took me multiple attempts as I ended up going so fast that I ended up taking massive jumps that either catapulted me into trees or off the track. Also I landed on the rocky bits a few too many times, and the “Get Up” feature ended up spawning me back on the rocks fairly often, leading me to bail all over again, or trapped me in a ditch I couldn’t get out of. I’d then watch Craig shred on by and finish the race.
There’s also a Mountain maker, which lets you generate your own mountains by picking a few variables. After generating it you can further modify it to your liking, adding or removing snow and such like. I had a go at this and it seems alright. The mountain seemed better without my finesse-less touch altering the landscape, though I did make a pretty cool ramp to trick off. As all these mountains are shareable there’s opportunity to share with your friends and never admit that their mountain is better than yours.
I like it so far. I’m not very good at it yet and only managed to complete a single objective from each circuit, which wasn’t enough to unlock the next tier of circuits. Because it plays similarly to Skate – the best skateboarding game of all time – it’s fun but the control scheme is difficult to master, so I can’t see myself getting anywhere without putting much more time into. It comes out 25th October, so I’m hoping that they fix the spawning issue before release but so far so good.