Infernal Review
Infernal box art
System: PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Metropolis Software 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Playlogic / Eidos 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: May 12, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Arcade shooter from Hell

by Cole Smith

May 21, 2007 - Infernal is not without its charm despite its shortcomings. It's like dating a really good looking girl with no personality. You will definitely expect more from this game, but if you're willing to work with the available goods, you might be able to have some mindless fun.

Infernal screenshot

Infernal has its roots in the arcade. It's a very shallow, linear game where the story doesn't have much meaning, and the characters are little more than cliches. The lack of depth is very evident, even if you're an action junkie. There are plenty of games where I would rather forgo the aforementioned depth in place of some decent action, but while there is no shortage of action here, you will miss the overall lack of sophistication that keeps this game from attaining greatness.

The mechanics of the game don't suffer as a consequence of the game's lack of depth, but the gameplay never really takes off. It remains grounded as you become stifled by the repetition and a general lack of freedom to explore and experiment with your equipment and surroundings. You are forced down linear paths, unable to interact with the environment at will. There are some objects such as ladders and gates that you can climb, but only the ones the game will allow. Often, there will be similar objects in close proximity that the game will not let you interact with in the same way. The environment is already tight, as the game takes place in multi-room nightclub. There are only a handful of rooms and corridors to begin with, leaving you with a claustrophobic feeling. This could work to the game's advantage if the environment was totally interactive as it seems a more realistic location than the typical space station or remote research facility where such games normally take place.

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Infernal is a game that attempts to explore the chasm between good and evil - literally. The main character is a fallen angel named Ryan Lennox who now takes his orders from the man in red, the Devil himself. Ryan's goal is to capture as many souls on Earth as he can before the avenging angels put a stop to the unholy harvest. There are some seemingly interesting plot twists but they are never fully explored. The Devil does little more than fulfill the role of an operations manager, broadcasting Ryan's objectives and giving him pointers on his choice of weapons and conservation of his mana. He's a helpful little Devil, ain't he? Actually, he sounds about as frightening as Louie DePalma from Taxi. Unfortunately, the Devil is the best-acted character in the game. Ryan is pure contrived cornball. At every given opportunity he leers and sneers his contempt for his enemy to the point where his character is so void of dimension, he's only got one side.

Infernal screenshot

Ryan has a good assortment of weapons at his disposal. Standard weapons include a pistol, rifle, submachine gun, and flamethrower. He can acquire more weapons by scavenging them from his slain enemies. The souls of these damned will also increase his strength. Mana is the source of his most powerful ability, his "infernal" power. This special ability is like an explosion which allows Ryan to unleash concentrated energy to bust open doors and destroy other obstacles in his path. It takes a great deal of mana to unleash the infernal. You can always get more by committing despicably evil acts on bystanders. Ryan also gains supernatural powers such as telekinesis and the ability to teleport.

There are always lots of enemies to mow down and, for the most part, they are fairly easy to destroy. There are times when you will be overwhelmed and forced to reload over and over again. Bosses can be trying and there are always some kind of booby traps just waiting to take your energy and mana away from you. After a couple of hours the game settles much too comfortably into its arcade formula from which there is no escape. You perform the same routines in almost the same order, in the same locations. The puzzles are not very engaging and require more brawn than brain. Even with the assortment of weapon and abilities, the game dictates where and when you'll use them, removing any experimentation.

Infernal screenshot

Ryan has a good assortment of weapons at his disposal. Standard weapons include a pistol, rifle, submachine gun, and flamethrower. He can acquire more weapons by scavenging them from his slain enemies. The souls of these damned will also increase his strength. Mana is the source of his most powerful ability, his "infernal" power. This special ability is like an explosion which allows Ryan to unleash concentrated energy to bust open doors and destroy other obstacles in his path. It takes a great deal of mana to unleash the infernal. You can always get more by committing despicably evil acts on bystanders. Ryan also gains supernatural powers such as telekinesis and the ability to teleport.

Infernal screenshot

There are always lots of enemies to mow down and, for the most part, they are fairly easy to destroy. There are times when you will be overwhelmed and forced to reload over and over again. Bosses can be trying and there are always some kind of booby traps just waiting to take your energy and mana away from you. After a couple of hours the game settles much too comfortably into its arcade formula from which there is no escape. You perform the same routines in almost the same order, in the same locations. The puzzles are not very engaging and require more brawn than brain. Even with the assortment of weapon and abilities, the game dictates where and when you'll use them, removing any experimentation.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

Features

  • State of the Art Technology - Infernal offers real life physics by supporting Ageia PhysX Hardware. Bodies react and crumple accurately and objects recoil to being shot, pushed, or blown up.
  • Stunning Environments - Dust particles, superior textures, realistic lighting, and advanced shading techniques deliver a contemporary world so realistic you won't believe you're playing a game!
  • Diabolic Supernatural Powers - Use telekinesis, teleportation, and invisibility to demonically overcome obstacles and enemies. Heal yourself by absorbing the life energy of your fallen enemies.
  • Artificial Intelligence - Enemies duck and fire, evade behind covers and coordinate their attacks making your life Hell.
  • Intense Gameplay - "Balls-out gunplay," puzzles, and computer hacking will immerse you even deeper in the Infernal action!
  • Windows Vista-ready.

    3.2

    Overall Rating - Fair
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
    Rating out of 5
    Rating Description

    3.7

    Graphics
    Decent looking game but lacks style and originality.

    4.4

    Control
    Responsive control system. Easy to learn and use.

    3.8

    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Loud effects. Voiceacting is bad and the soundtrack is forgettable.

    1.8

    Play Value
    Repetitious gameplay will make you feel as though you've played this long enough.

  • Screenshots / Images
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