Infernal Preview

In the future, the war between good and evil won’t be represented by glorified battles between opposing armies or kings sitting on their thrones as they use diplomacy to settle scores, but instead these wars will be waged between vast corporations. In Playlogic’s upcoming third-person shooter Infernal, Heaven and Hell are represented through intelligence agencies; EtherLight is the equivalent of Heaven while Abyss is the equivalent of Hell. You’ll be playing former EtherLight employee Ryan Lennox. After being fired from the company because of his kickass soldier abilities, he’s hired by Abyss to scope out EtherLand’s plans. Abyss’ boss, known as Mr. Black (he’s evil, give him a break), imbues Lennox with a bunch of supernatural, devilish powers to enhance his abilities. What comes from this is destruction through a variety of environments.

Playlogic released a single player demo a few days ago, which sampled one level. The game will fully utilize the AGEIA physics chip and engine. This means that people with the card will be able to see more realistic environmental behavior without sacrificing CPU power. Whether it’s explosions, item collisions, cloth interacting with the environment, fluid animations, smoke or destroyed objects bouncing around, the card will render them with ease. Speaking of the visuals, the demo ran very smoothly while looking pretty fantastic. Light beaming through grates will gloom the enclosed room in an eerie shadow, and charging up one of Lennox’s powers (explained later) will cast the room in a fiery red glow. Boxes and crates will break apart realistic, while flames will billow up walls realistically.

As mentioned, Lennox is imbued with some supernatural powers. One of the very basic ones is the ability to suck health from dead bodies, which appears to be taken straight from Shang Tsung of Mortal Kombat fame. Another power is the ability to do invisible rolls, which is very handy for dodging enemy fire or going the stealth route. Lennox can also charge up his weapons with some spectacular results. At first glance, your bundle of shuriken or pistol may be a little pitiful compared to your enemies’ machine guns, but after charging them up, you’ll be flinging massive bolts of energy that’ll surely make anyone turn their tails and run for the hills.

The AI is pretty intelligent; busting into a room with a few guys won’t result in a few easy kills as the enemies will hide behind boxes and crates and take caution to make sure they’re not killed. Some guys may try to flank you while others will stay back and perch themselves on higher ground to get a better line of sight. I hope that in future levels, the AI will properly supplement the levels. The demo level takes place in a ruined monastery, so most of it took place in cramped spaces with plenty of cover. In the bigger levels, I hope the AI doesn’t get stupid and just run through the open areas.

While the visuals astound, the audio is fairly bland. The music amps up during battles and fades during the aftermath, but the voice-over work is pretty generic. Since Infernal is a European product, it might suffer from poor localization when it comes overseas to the U.S. Nonetheless, the sound effects are solid. Each weapon has a distinct sound, and charging up a power gives a satisfying whoosh.

All in all, Infernal appears to be drawing its influences from a variety of games. While Resident Evil 4 set the bar for third-person shooters for its tension-filled atmospheres, Infernal will bump up the tensioned battles with fast-paced, action-filled sequences. Unfortunately, the game won’t be shipping with a multiplayer aspect as the focus is on the single player portion, but there will be unlockables and 3 difficulty levels to keep you busy. Look for Infernal to hit stores in the next month or so.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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