If you took a look at PlayStation Store before reading this review, please forget what you read there. Infernium is advertised in the shop as survival horror, but those expecting a Resident Evil or Agony here are wrapped crooked. Instead of horror, the title offers an unusual mixture of two well-known game principles.
|Platform(s)||PS4, Nintendo Switch|
|Genre||Action Adventure, Indie|
|Release||April 3, 2018|
|MATURE - Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.|
At first glance, it does not match at all to Pac-Man and Dark Souls. At second glance, this works well thanks to non-linear areas and vertical level design but has a significant disadvantage compared to the two models. Because they are hard, but fair. Yet, too often Infernium feels unfair.
Infernium strives to be accessible beyond its game mechanics and offers an extremely flexible gaming experience. On console and PC, for example, there are settings for disabled, deaf or color-blind players. You can also adjust many details such as the camera angle or let off steam in a photo mode.
Up to now only on the PC additional game settings were introduced via the patch. You can disable Permadeath, play without enemies or with slower enemies and activate more tutorials. If you want, you can only concentrate on exploring the world. We expect the update for PS4 and Switch.
Alternatively, you can try a New Game Plus, which is more challenging with more and more laborious opponents.
A castle in the sky
We are in the world of Infernium without explanation. There are occasional tutorials, but we don’t get to know much that way. The story is similar: Instead of learning about a specific narrative, we learn the background about notes distributed on the walls of the game world.
You can explore the 17 open levels freely and complete them in any order. That’s how we read our way through the story snippets. But that doesn’t bother me, because the story is quite insignificant anyway. Five hobby divers discovered access to the world of Infernium, a kind of hell.
Apart from small, moderately exciting conflicts (shall we tell humanity about them?), the reports read like a holiday diary and reveal almost nothing about the game world. The Infernium thus remains somewhat a silent setting.
But the surreal surroundings make us visually curious: For example, we explore an upside-down castle or platforms floating in the middle of a dazzling sea of white clouds. Or a pitch-black cave. Sometimes the fantasy landscapes of Infernium are stunning and atmospheric.
Especially when gruesome noises are added, we still experience a little horror atmosphere. However, you can tell from the title’s tight budget. Too often we stomp through the same dark corridors, and many objects repeat themselves at every corner.
Circulating instead of slamming
Infernium is playful when you are ready to get used to it. At first, we feel like being in a puzzle platformer. With our Dash, we can teleport from one platform to the next. After the first environmental puzzles also enemies come along.
As we experience painfully at first hand, you can’t fight them directly. Without clues, we’ll have to find our way around here. Like in Pac-Man, we merely circumnavigate opponents.
For example, if we want to cross a bridge with an opponent, we lure him first. He follows us into the next building, and we can shake him off in the corridors. Afterward, we quickly cross the bridge and close a door behind us to lock out the chaser.
The principle remains the same but is becoming increasingly difficult due to several enemies and more complicated environments. Some types of enemies also require an entirely different tactic. There are invisible monsters you can only see in the rain or ghosts that can walk through walls.