Infinite Undiscovery has all of the ingredients for a potentially legendary role-playing experience.

Backed by world renowned publisher Square Enix and helmed by famed developer Tri-Ace of Star Ocean fame, Infinite Undiscovery has been garnering massive amounts of attention for its various claims of innovation, originality and forward thinking concepts. Unfortunately, the final product never instills anything but a "been there, done that" feeling with a mediocre effort that fails to please.

Cult of personality

Infinite Undiscovery kicks off with a simple case of mistaken identity, as young flutist Capell is confused for a man known simply as Sigmund the Liberator and thrown in jail. When Capell is rescued by the beautiful and deadly Aya, he finds himself unwillingly thrust into an adventure that falls along standard "rag-tag band of rebels set out to save the world" fare. Still, it offers just enough new material to keep dedicated players guessing.

That the story is linear and borderline unoriginal I can live with; what bugged the hell out me, though, was the two-dimensional cast of characters. Capell, for instance, has to be one of the most apathetic and frustrating protagonists I've ever played as. He spends the first five hours constantly complaining and pointing out that he's not hero material.I understand he is in a tough spot but five hours of whining? Dude, shut up and go save the world already.

The sad news is that that the supporting cast is also modeled from various RPG stereotypes such as the friendly and overzealous muscle man, the soft-spoken brainiac magician (complete with glasses!), and the hotheaded oversized-sword-wielding warrior.

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Infinite Undiscovery has all of the ingredients for a potentially legendary role-playing experience.

Real-time strategy

Also problematic is Infinite Undiscovery's gameplay; it plays out completely in real time which, to the game's credit, works rather well... except that when you pause to browse menus, even in the midst of combat, the game continues without you. Still, battles are eventful and rather enjoyable, although not incredibly challenging with simple button combinations enough to take out most foes.

The rest of your party offers helpful support and an innovative Connect feature lets you demand specific attacks or spells from your allies when needed. This also comes into play in puzzle situations where you'll have to Connect with another character and request a specific skill in order to move forward. It's a cool concept and can allow for some truly impressive team-ups, but the game doesn't take full advantage of it.

Then there's the slowdown: yes, in this age of high-powered processors and graphics hardware, Infinite Undiscovery suffers from slowdown. The game itself is gorgeous, with detailed character models to neat-o combat animations, but the action tends to slow to a crawl when too many enemies clutter the screen; it could be caused by the fact that I was playing a review build but it was troubling nonetheless. Party members also have a terrible habit of blocking the camera, constantly causing the player to shift the view around the action just to see who's doing what.

Undiscovery Channel

In the end, Infinite Undiscovery isn't a bad game but it is flawed. I'd recommend renting it before you invest your hard earned cash on a purchase, especially if you're new to the RPG genre. Who knows - you might just find something innovative enough to hook you and keep you coming back.

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Infinite Undiscovery: Specs

  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox 360

OUR VERDICT

Oh, what could have been! An RPG with this kind of pedigree should have been something Xbox 360 owners could be proud of; instead, Infinite Undiscovery disappoints and is yet more proof that the 360 needs more quality RPGs and fast. Keep your fingers crossed, 360 fans, that Final Fantasy XIII delivers the goods.

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