ReviewsReview: Infernax

Review: Infernax

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My video review with footage captured on my Xbox Series X, enjoy!

Every great journey must come to an end! Therefore, when you return, you expect a warm and heartfelt welcome. Instead of a glorious fanfare, you find that your home is ransacked by evil monsters. This is far from acceptable, so what will you do? Will you turn on your heels and run for the hills? Or will you stand and fight? You, of course, choose the latter option and this is exactly what happens in Infernax.

Developed by The Arcade Crew and published by Berzerk Studios, this is a platform-adventure RPG. It utilises an old-school pixel art style combined with wonderful synth music. Subsequently, it transports players to the marvellous Sega Mega Drive and SNES era of gaming. It’s deceptively difficult, guaranteed to frustrate you, but damn, it’s oh so moreish.

Infernax is all about the consequences. 

You play the part of a returning hero, the Lord of the Manor. He has journeyed long and hard and now wishes to see his people and rejoice in his many stories. Sadly, though, this isn’t to be, as his kingdom is overrun by dark magic. Unholy creatures have invaded your lands and you must stop at nothing to remove them.

The story is as simple and dated as the core concept, but this is what makes Infernax work so well! You are immediately flung into action and within moments; you are comfortable with the tasks at hand. What you won’t know, however, is that there is more depth to the gameplay than first meets the eye. There is a levelling system, equipment to purchase, spells to unlock, a day/night cycle to contend with, and most importantly, consequences to consider. The story revolves around your choices and how this impacts the surrounding people.

Vagabonds run riot and you must decide whether to join them or expel them. The consequences of your decisions are deep-seated and they influence whether you are perceived as good or evil. I loved the small twist that has a massive impact on the gameplay. It was a simple idea that breaks up the hours of hack n slash action and dungeon crawling.

What will you choose?

Grind for the best gear. 

The main story revolves around dark magic and a sealed dungeon. To break the lock, you must kill bosses to destroy their gems. Each of the dungeons comprises a similar layout with basic platforming action at the heart of it all. You must dodge flying arrows, avoid lava pits, clamber on moving spiked platforms and more. Alongside this, you’ll be expected to slay foul beasts, break down walls, hunt for treasure and find keys. You are free to explore as you wish, but the semi-linear approach keeps you on track throughout. Killing your foes will reward you with XP and the occasional smattering of gold. Collecting both is essential as your weak hero needs upgrading before he becomes outnumbered.

This is where the relentless grinding element comes into force. Enemies will respawn as you return to any previously visited location. Therefore, you can use this mechanic to earn endless amounts of gold and XP. Yes, it’s a little tiresome, but the hard and monotonous work is worth the effort. 

So many bloody spikes.

Shrines and shops. 

Once you’ve earned your XP and gold, you are going to want to spend it. You’ll find shrines to invest your XP on power, health, and mana. These are essential to improve and every level costs exponentially more than the last.

The shops are just as important as they sell armour, weapons, and new spells. Your hero quickly becomes a badass fighting machine as you equip a better mace, improved armour, and spells that’ll fry the toughest of opponents. 

What was particularly pleasing about the character progression system was its retro ways and its simplicity. The basic option and easy to gather components allow you to focus on improving your character. Yes, the grind was a little dull at times, but it was worth it when you were slaying foes with ease. 

Infernax is gruesome and grisly. 

If the dated mechanics don’t float your boat, I’m sure the gruesome and gory pixel art will! Infernax uses a dull colour palette of earthy tones to enhance its miserable and sombre atmosphere. There are images of death, torture, and violence at every turn, and this was fantastic. Furthermore, each creature has a unique look and movement style. You’ll face a barrage of monsters from skeletons and zombies to floating eyeballs and ghastly apparitions. The blend of foes is wonderful as it prevents it from becoming a simple hack n slash title.

The oppressive and dark nature of the gameplay is supported by the excellent synth music. The repetitive and heavy soundtrack is heard throughout and it adds energy and drama to the action. I also loved the simple sound effects and the noise of skeletons being smashed and zombies being bludgeoned. 

Slay that big boss!

An excellent tutorial. 

Rarely is an old-school-inspired title complex or difficult to master. Luckily, Infernax follows suit with its straightforward controls and easy to handle fundamentals. Thanks to its helpful hints and thorough tutorial, you’ll be slaying monsters in no time at all. I adored the control setup but found the movement of the enemies to be frustrating. The four-point movement system limits your freedom and attacking options. Consequently, this leads to unnecessary damage, death, and many expletive-laced rants. 

Thanks to the side quests, large storyline, and moral system, Infernax has plenty of replay value. You must decide whether you wish to be good or evil and who you want to side with. This, alongside the grinding elements, ensures that you’ll play for hours. Moreover, its large achievement list is tough and demands you experience both sides of the moral compass. 

Infernax is hard to put down. 

Many titles try but fail to incorporate the brilliance of old-school gaming. Infernax, on the other hand, is a modern classic! Thanks to its moreish gameplay, gory action, and pixel art style, you’ll be hooked from the off. You’ll love the moral dilemmas and the never-ending array of undead foes. Furthermore, it’s included with Game Pass so you have nothing to lose. I loved it and I recommend you to buy it here! Will you be good or evil? No matter your choice, you must slay every monster while removing the dark magic that haunts your kingdom.

SUMMARY

Infernax is a wonderful retro title. It screams Sega Mega Drive and fans of old-school games will adore every moment. Upgrade your hero, complete each quest, and choose whether to be good or evil.

+ Excellent dark and ominous graphics.
+ The synth music adds to the retro feel.
+ Simple to master controls.
+ Gory.
+ Moreish.
+ Plenty of replay value.
- The four-point movement was frustrating.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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Review: InfernaxInfernax is a wonderful retro title. It screams Sega Mega Drive and fans of old-school games will adore every moment. Upgrade your hero, complete each quest, and choose whether to be good or evil. <br/> <br/> + Excellent dark and ominous graphics. <br/> + The synth music adds to the retro feel. <br/> + Simple to master controls. <br/> + Gory. <br/> + Moreish. <br/> + Plenty of replay value. <br/> - The four-point movement was frustrating. <br/> <br/> (Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)<br/>