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Incline INFERNIUM – In the Spirit of Halloween & Cloaks

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by ShadowSpectre, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. ShadowSpectre Learned

    ShadowSpectre
    Joined:
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    Limbo
    Halloween is upon us, so I’ve decided to write up a quick review on a game which surprised me a lot, that is both challenging and ingeniously eerie. So far this game has been without mention on The Codex, so let me enlighten you all. [Game link: https://store.steampowered.com/app/789950/INFERNIUM/]

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    INFERNIUM is a game that started (according to the developer) as a salsa dancing simulator (you read that right), but it’s far from. The finished product is a game which cleverly explores the concept of death and the consequences of your actions by what can only be reflections of your choices in a place you are held in between life and death.

    The premise of where the game actually takes place and who (or what) you are playing as is debated. While “Infernium” is supposed to be a special place where some scuba diving friends entered through a magical mushroom drug they found in a cave, they can only stay for longer visits through deep-diving nitrox. As such, the existence of this strange plane of existence is questionable, but is some sort of reality none the less.

    The game presents a detailed story spread throughout the environments (canisters of nitrox laying around, hand-made poster boards with maps and enemies detailed, is it even real?) and the narrative is written on the walls and sometimes on old Spanish banners. They can add to the gameplay and mood by helping you understand what’s going on, although if one doesn’t care about that kind of thing, it will not ruin your experience.

    What is clear is that you must play through a journey which can only be described as a kind of karmic purgatory. You must succeed through challenges while gathering orbs of life-light and make your way up the proverbial stairway to heaven and realize your fate. The gameplay is challenging, rewarding, and at times very brutal. While “death” (flash to black) means you must restart from a checkpoint of lit candles, you receive only so many attempts before all of your light orbs are extinguished and will result in you facing a completely new area of the game if you so choose to continue and replenish them.

    Your main goal is to make your way through a number of interconnected zones (connected via a main “hub”) while trying to advance your abilities (you start with one “finger” of light and must attain five in order to progress through the final stages of the game). Your best friend is a “dash” ability (more like “blink” or short-distance teleportation). You only have one movement speed.

    The gameplay in each area involves solving a sequence of puzzles, which usually includes finding and activating switches, careful manoeuvres around enemies, timing, paying attention to details and finding the way to the exit or opening a “door” to progress along with other clever navigation of your surroundings. More specifically, advancement in the game requires siphoning light orbs scattered everywhere in each area, as this will let you fill your light-fingers/bars and unlock the doors and abilities you require for progression.

    The level design is excellent and the visuals line right up with it. You can’t have one or the other in this case –the two work as a package. As the game progresses, there are more challenging puzzles and enemies. Zones environments vary widely and include a floating castle (if these walls could talk, but oh wait, they sensually do), water falls to infinity, desert, thunderstorm on roof tops, caverns, gladiator arena, dungeons, river under rock, a snowstorm plane, floating islands, a “hell to heaven” elevator, space as “the sun,” a beach, the list goes on. The environments are amazing and very impressive.

    Graphically, I’m going to repeat that this game is stunning and gorgeous. Each area is unique and finds a way to be interconnected. You really have to experience it to believe it, since the sound also goes hand in hand with the visuals as well. The freedom of exploration and the order in which you can go about progressing is relatively open.

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    Onto enemies, the game has a very iconic enemy (with variations) referred to as “cloaks” and there attributes and behaviours are defined by the colour of their cloak. When solving how to get through an area or arena, distance management and pre-planning are highly useful in avoiding enemies and making your way through the segments in any given zone. Sometimes the game will put you into a position whereby you must rely on reflexes upon triggering intentionally or unintentionally an enemy in order to progress. Timing is everything, and enemies in later stages of the game can become more irritating (such as “exploders” who are exactly as they sound) and other enemy types which will push your distance management and skill of reaction (such as getting locked in a room with a purple cloak which can phase through walls, while you must try to align a number puzzle and activate the fires consecutively all while trying to avoid said purple cloak).

    The game at times forces you to either keep cool or face ‘death’ again. There are few games which match this kind of feeling, where it is a necessity to sometimes wait and be patient (even though you’d rather run away, it’s not a boss-timing we’re talking about here).

    The ambience and sound of the game are amazing. If you chose to unlock and acquire the ability symbol which lets you know when enemies are near, you’ll find that it’s the sound of a distinguished heart-beat that becomes louder and faster the closer you are in proximity to an enemy. Do you take it for the utility it provides or avoid it because it is nerve-wracking? I chose to take the ability and it’s a sound you will not soon forget out of any game.

    My main gripe with the game was at times is there are some areas that are just too difficult when you are unsure of how to go through them. I found that despite this, you can approach the most difficult areas from the opposite side once unlocked, which gives a different (and sometimes easier) approach to completion. Oddly, a few parts in the game which had insane difficulty jumps also had gamey design bugs you can exploit to work around them (probably left in intentionally).

    When you reach the end of your journey, paradise appears at your fingertips and is either yanked away in comeuppance, or you receive that second chance so desired. The choice is almost as arbitrary as it is allegory, since you must pass through with only one finger of light to do so and take the effort and make your way to the white fountain. God only knows why you wanted to go for black. Then again, maybe you rightfully deserved it.

    TL;DR: I played a game called INFERNIUM that I got on sale, which looked neat and took a trip to purgatory. There were lots of challenges and many cloaks. When I got to the end, I decided that I really did want to keep on going and wash away my sins. Thank you for reading. I recommend this game.

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    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
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  2. Zep Zepo Titties and Beer Patron Dumbfuck Repressed Homosexual

    Zep Zepo
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    Divinity: Original Sin


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