Date: January 11, 2022
There’s been a recent trend in gaming of live-action trailers and intro cinematics, like the impressive Icarus “documentary” or the teaser trailer for Rustler. While neat, they’ve never really done much for me — until I saw Infernax’s teaser trailer, which 100% nails the 90s children’s toy commercial vibe:
So naturally, I jumped at a chance to check out the game, despite having little interest in NES-era gaming. I have always appreciated games that have a sense of humor, and based on Infernax’s trailer, it seemed safe to assume that the game would be at least a little bit silly. While the brief preview I played was a little light on humor, what it lacked in jokes it more than made up for with solid gameplay and an engaging open world.
Since I’m not quite old enough to have played a lot of late 80s side-scrolling action games, I’ve got no nostalgia coloring my view of Infernax. In fact, I’ve never really enjoyed retro 2d games (with the exception of Maldita Castilla, which is free and you should go play it now). Yet Infernax really managed to grab me; the simple controls felt smooth and responsive, and the inability of the knight I was controlling to swing his mace up or down was an interesting challenge rather than a mechanical frustration.
Despite the overall retro feel, the game’s got plenty of modern features as well. There are branching paths to explore, moral choices that affect your ending, and save points that let you level up various stats. The upgrades felt impactful, and the one magic spell I got to use was awesomely overpowered (but limited in uses).
The save system is another nod to both old-school and modern sensibilities: on death, the game offers a casual restart that lets you keep your XP and gold, as well as a more old-school restart that resets your progress back to your last save. It’s nice to see both options, as the game’s combat and platforming leaves little room for error. The casual restart should allow less-savvy players the option to simply brute-force their way through the game, making it accessible even for those of you who didn’t cut your teeth on the likes of Ghosts ‘n Goblins.
I’m hoping the humor present in the game’s promotional material shows up in the game, but even if it doesn’t, I’m sure I’ll still enjoy slaying Infernax’s mushy monsters when it releases next month. A new gameplay trailer dropped today, so curious gamers can check that out now to get a better idea of what Infernax plays like.
Infernax is being developed by Berzerk Studio, published by The Arcade Crew, and releases February 14th for PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One.
Is Infernax the kind of game that ate your quarters back in the 80s and 90s? Let us know in the comments!