It’s a rare occurance these days that a computer game isnt hammered into the gaming public for months on end before its release. So rare in fact that it’s always bizzare to find a relatively good game, that seems relatively well made, sneaking out demos that no one has ever heard of! My friend Jason sent me the link to this one the other night, and I had never heard of it. Good, or bad thing ? Well that’s what I wanted to talk about! ( I think )
The game is “Infernal“. From what I’ve gathered playing the demo, you’re some sort of Evil ( “Infernal” ) warrior. Working for someone known in the demo only as The “Boss” ( Might have been referred to as “black” at one point couldn’t really understand what the character said, more on the voice acting later ! ) – You’ve got all sort of nifty powers, teleportation, a firey flamey thing that shoots out of your arm, some weird kinda pointless “evil vision ™”, and the ability so suck the lifeforce out of corpses ( Which makes a whole tonne of sense! ). In a demo, these ideas work as you cant get bored of them. . . However after playing through the two levels ( didn’t finish the last one as I got horribly bored ) stopping every two seconds to suck the life out of a corpse so you can search their pockets just seems silly. Your main enemy seems to be a bunch of monks with weird biomechanical attachments that act like marine soldiers / inept guards ( Standing around chatting, smoking cigarettes, you know – things monks ALWAYS do ). It’s a strange mix. And though I’m sure ( hopefully ) the full game will explain most of these weird inconsitancies, it’s still a little weird playing this game. I don’t really know what to expect. Personally, my favourite kind of demos, are like the Half Life 1 : Uplink demo. Which wasn’t a level taken straight out of the game, but merely a game – made in the halflife engine, set in the same place, at the same time, but just in a different location ( with a lovely dramatic ending! Roar garg. roar. )
Graphically, Infernal is very nice. I’m not sure what engine its running – but it looks great. The Physics works fantastically, and I’ve heard that the game even looks great on lower end machines ( it looks great on mine since I’ve got a geforce 8800 and 2 gigs of ram, if it DIDN’T look good I’d be suprised! ). There’s one or two graphical glitches ( such as snow appearing indoors after cutscenes ), but on the whole, It’s quite nice. It’s just a bit … samey ?
As I mentioned earlier, the voice acting. Well … voice “acting”. It’s horrible. really really horrible. I wish companies wouldn’t waste my time with these horrible voices. It’s part of the experience people. You need to have excellent voice acting to aid the little bits of plot you’ve got. Look back at some of the great adventure games of the time, The Gabriel Knight series’ for a example had Tim Curry as the lead voice actor. TIM CURRY. Cmon developers, follow their awesome lead.
All in all, Infernal strikes me as a great concept, that was poorly executed. Of course, all of this is based off a sub-standard demo that didn’t really explain to me what was going on. Which never sits well with me. A demo should introduce you to the theme. To the game world. Get you wanting more. Not playing through two levels, not knowing why you’re there, or what you’re up to. The idea of the game itself could actually be quite interesting. I’ve always been interested in what would happen to a world where religion was still above the government ( as it was back in the day ). With the technology and the skills we’ve got these days. Or would we even have a science based society? It makes an interesting discussion topic. And it would make a good game, if it was actually followed through properly. Maybe I’ll do some research and see what I might come up with ? I’ve always had an interest in what would the world be like if something changed in the past. And how would that affect human society and behaviour. You look at movies like “Eqiulibrium” and “V for Vendetta” and you see these totalitarianisitc societies with media opression, population control, and all sorts of things. Could our world have actually turned out like that ? And would the population really fight against it ? Who knows! But that’s what the movies , books , and games are for – to explore these sorts of ideas and tell a story. You hear that game developers, TELL ME A STORY.
And I’ve ranted long enough I think. I’ve actually forgotten what my point was. I’m terribly sorry! I’m sure I’ll remember at some point. I think it was something to do with the lack of interesting games on the market these days. And how hard it is to find a computer game that fits my strict requirements. And that’s why I want to make games. So I can sit down and say “There we go, it’s a game with action, adventure, a decent story, and humor” ( if the game requires it of course , you dont want zombies doing standup while people bleed in the audience . . . or maybe I do . . . hmmm ). I really think that in order to create a great computer game, you’ve got to be a gamer first, a writer second, and a developer third. Creativity needs to be injected into sooo many gaming projects. Hopefully we’ll get some this year.