- Developer: Caustic Reality
- Publisher: Blowfish Studios
- Release Date: 02/07/2020
- Price: $19.99 / £16.19
- Review code provided by Blowfish Studios
Introducing: Infliction Switch Review
Horror, like art, is subjective. What may be horrifying to one may seem just odd or weird to another. Horror games allow us to explore these ideas even further by placing the player in direct control of situations. In the case of Infliction: Extended Cut, we see a story which harkens back to the infamous P.T. demo while also trying to tell a unique story of its own. Does it chill us to the bone, requiring all the lights to be left on in the house? Keep reading, if you dare…
Infliction places the player in control of a husband that returns home to find it empty. His wife is waiting for him at the airport and he must retrieve her lost plane tickets. Yet, something is amiss and it’s impossible to place your finger on it. You soon discover there is a darker force at play and worse still, you cannot leave. Over the next 5-6 hours, you must find a way to navigate your once peaceful home while keeping your sanity and hopefully escape.
The story always kept me focused, and I genuinely liked the extra bits of narrative I was able to get from items scattered about the house. There were odd points in the game when I was not exactly sure where to go next, even with my objectives being displayed. By the time the credits rolled, the end of the journey made sense, but it was not one I would want to take again. The story is bleak and the ending bleaker still.
The Unfriendly Ghost
Infliction, while a horror game in content, feels closer to a walking simulator or puzzle game. The player must explore the house and its surroundings looking for clues or items to use to further the story. You cannot run or jump, but you can crouch and zoom in on items. Around the halfway point in the game you discover a camera, which assists in puzzle solving and defending yourself from evil. It’s not used often, and even when it is, the range and hitboxes don’t always make sense. One section placed the entity in close quarters with me, but even though I could clearly see it in the camera, taking the picture did not work, which forced me to replay this section a few times until I finally got in the sweet spot.
The only other mechanic present is the ability to hide. I would duck and dodge under everything I could, not sure if I needed to or not. Truth be told, there were only two times I needed to hide in the game, and it was near the end. I understand having it present for the whole game, but it felt like it should have been introduced near the end, to save myself from randomly hiding when I did not need to.
For the scares in the game, the atmosphere and sound made me jump more often than the jump scares themselves. A few times I was caught off guard when something grabbed me and led me to my doom. Many times though, I felt it was more like a nuisance than a fright.
Bump in the Night
The design of Infliction was well done. While graphically, it was not the best, the amount of detail put into every item that could be interacted with was impressive. When walking through the house, you could pick up silverware, cups, cereal, flashlights, and they were all presented in detail, even if they were a bit blurry at times. The character models, on the other hand, fluctuated in quality. The first time you see the entity, it looks goofy and not scary. Then when it confronts you up close, it’s like a completely different beast. This model was quite menacing in contrast.
The audio of Infliction featuring decent voice acting from the radio broadcasts down to the memories that were read to the player. It may have been the way they were mixed or the studio that recorded them, but the quality of each actor felt different. Regardless, their performances were believable and added to the overall vibe of the game. As I mentioned earlier, the creaks and scuttering noises that were present in the house did their job extraordinarily well to keep me creeped out.
During my playthrough, it was without hiccups until midway through the game when my character just got stuck looking at the ground. I had inspected a kitchen knife and then the camera locked onto the ground and I was stuck there until I reset the game. I wasn’t able to replicate this issue and it was probably just a one-time incident. The rest of the experience was without issue, even though the game did look better in docked mode compare to handheld. This could be due to limitations with porting it to the Switch.
When the credits finally rolled, I was unsure how I felt about my time with Infliction. There were truly spooky sections that unsettled me, but some of the mechanics detracted from the experience overall. As a walking simulator, it presented a story that was both thrilling and dark. I wanted to see how it ended and when I got to the end, even if it was not how I wanted it to go, I was happy to see the conclusion nonetheless.
- Creepy audio design
- Enthralling story
- Sometimes blurry visuals
- Irritating mechanics
- Odd character models
Infliction: Extended Cut takes you on a ride through the darkness of the human mind and even through it stumbles from time to time, horror fans will find it to be a pleasurable distraction.