by William Thompson
previewed on PC
Tibetan monks, English monks, Chipmunks?
When we first looked at the game, the AI was supposed to be high-class, and from what we've seen from Infernal, this is still the case. Enemies work together to try and kill Lennox. Don't expect to knock on a door for the monks to walk out into an ambush, because it won't happen. They hide behind crates, corners and small walls in a bid to keep them alive. If there just happens to be an enemy who looks all alone, just be careful, as there is probably one hiding on a roof just waiting to take a pot-shot at you.
Graphically, from what we've seen so far, Infernal is serviceable. The characters are well rendered, but they are pretty standard compared to most games these days. The locations are also well-rendered. Locations look similar to those seen in many FPS, such as underground dungeons and factory-type areas. This does not pose a problem though, as much of the feel of the game revolves around the well-drawn locations. With boxes, barrels or piles of wood lying around, you almost expect there to be an enemy jumping out at you at any second. The scenery at time is quite dark, but again this fits in well with the overall evil/dark feel of the game.
The audio is also fairly standard, but how many sounds can you expect from pistol firing or explosions. The voice acting is quite well done though. Everything from Lennox speaking to his 'Superior' to the voices of enemy monks is done in such a way to keep the ambience of the game flowing. Indeed, the voice of the Dark Lord is grave and just as you'd expect.
Gameplay is also respectable. The puzzles are fairly easy so that the learning curve of how to use each of Lennox's abilities is not too high. Of course, playing at higher levels requires better use of available ammunition and mana, but that is to be expected. Learning when to use, and how best to use, his skills such as teleportation comes from experience. So as you play through the game, it becomes clear that a particular situation calls for a certain course of action. Saving the game as much as you can certainly helps in case get stuck and need to go back and do something differently. The default controls are easy enough to use, but are easily changed if something is not to your liking.
Has it progressed well then?
Overall, Infernal has progressed well. It is certainly looking like it could be a title to add to one's collection. The special abilities make it a refreshing change from the usual shoot/get ammo/heal with med-kit type of game many gamers are used to. The graphics and sound are at least on par with most titles, and the learning curve for using the various abilities isn't too steep, so that anyone could play without too much trouble. Infernal is scheduled for an April/May 2007 release on PC. We look forward to seeing the finished product.