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Infantry Online

Score: 70%
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Developer: EA Games
Media: Free Downl/0
Players: Multiplayer
Genre: Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

Seeing the action from above (ala Diablo), Sony has done a fantastic job creating believable, futuristic army bases and terrain levels. Each terrain is custom built by either prearranged maps or on the fly computerized maps. In addition, each 'zone' possesses a sort of intricacy that is down to the wire. In game zones such as 'GravBall', the courts are surrounded by wall of spectators. Mission zones, such as 'No Man's Land' and 'Chaos in Eol', crowd the computer display with hills, roads, and buildings. Characters also come equipped with a multitude of classes. From ground troopers to jetpack militias to mutant aliens, each character is well drawn and easily recognizable from other classes.

At the highest screen resolution, these 2D army-men look almost claymatic, and their footwork and animation move crisply from frame to frame. However, sometimes I wished that my character were a little larger. Proportionately, the terrains and the characters are in sync, yet I still found myself straining in a little to see where my character was going, especially when in a crowd of other characters.

The lack of a musical score in Infantry is a bit of a bummer. Furthermore, the audio effects that are included are sometimes a little underplayed. I like hearing my jetpack as it accelerates to its top speed. Nevertheless, I want to hear the noise it makes when I run smack into that wall on the other side. The game is full of other minor effect issues that could have helped to make it stronger and more realistic. Instead, it causes mediocrity, and the sounds that are included sound flat and unrealistic.


The futuristic Solar System encountered in Infantry Online is one where each mission and arena has one true objective: KILL, FRAG, and DESTROY. Take this philosophy to heart and you will be an Infantry expert in no time. Categorized according to style of game play, each zone features a different set of requirements and missions to accomplish while keeping your back safe from anywhere between 1 to 100 army men just like you. With no real story to follow, the online game play and teamwork (or lack thereof) provides enough startling action to play for hours on end.

Getting into the game, you must choose a 'zone', which includes selections based on Capture the Flag, Skirmish, Team Death Match, or Ambush. My personal favorite zone is 'GravBall', a soccer type sport, where each player rides atop hovercraft blasting each other in defense of his teams 'goal.'

Each zone keeps track of your personal score and progress throughout. In some zones, as experience increases, so does your invulnerability and armaments. In other zones, your class is key to helping the team succeed. Without each class, the match would be a loss.

The requirements of teamwork in Infantry Online brings a different kind of playability to the standard 'man versus man' take on MMOG. The above-mentioned necessity for a diverse class assignment merely scratches the surface. When using heavy machinery such as tanks, each player can only control one aspect of the machine. One player controls motion, others control guns. If one person is inexperienced at his aspect of the machine, the entire team is hurt. In GravBall, team members must protect the ball carrier from enemies, as well as pass the ball and protect the goal lines.

Before each zone, you are also presented with a 'briefing', or an introduction to the game play and rules of each level. You start each zone in Spectator mode, which lets you study the map without risking defeat. It is here where you also choose your class and armaments, if available. After play begins, the action will be fast paced, and you may find yourself willingly stuck in Infantry game play for hours.


Because it is a huge multiplayer endeavor with no computer-controlled characters, difficulty in the game is purely subjective. Depending on time of day, and popularity of zone, a level may be easier or harder. The basic concepts of each level are easy enough to solve, however, if team members do not cooperate a difficult session will result. Experience points also reduce the amount of difficulty. You will find that in the beginning, you will likely be killed more times than you can count. Eventually your strength will build up and situations will become easier by default.

Game Mechanics:

The biggest drawback for Infantry Online, which validates its mediocre score, is the unthinkable amount of keystrokes and controls required to properly excel at the game. The online manual is a necessary read if you even want to try to win at any of the zones. You may be able to manage the game without it, but I suggest printing out a copy to lie beside your desktop. There are at least 25 keystrokes necessary in each zone, ranging from function keys to change class to control keys for weapons and inventory commands. I suggest playing the game with a full-sized desktop keyboard, as some of the strokes were awkward on a laptop. Mouse and joystick operated control also takes time to figure out, but do allow some ease between the keyboard-operated controls and basic maneuvers. However, once again I do not suggest the laptop hardware. Your standard hand mouse is ideal for this game. Additionally, a broadband connection may be useful when playing as lagging may cause problems in the heat of battle. If you can overcome these control issues, which is possible with just a little bit of work, you will find that Infantry Online plays well and provides infinite hours of play in an original world with a very addictive style.

-==Boy, GameVortex Communications
AKA Kyle Prestenback

Minimum System Requirements:

Pentium 90, 16 MB of RAM, 28.8kbps Modem, 2 MB Video Card, Windows9x/NT

Test System:

HPN5150 running Windows ME, 64MB RAM, 16-bit ESS Allegra, 4MB Video Card, DSL & 56Kbps modems.

Windows Incoming Forces Windows Jane's Combat Simulations: Attack Squadron

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated