Infernax by The Arcade Crew and Canadian developer Berserk Studio is a retro-styled Metroidvania that’s all about saving your homeland while choosing between good and evil. Check our Infernax review!
Infernax by The Arcade Crew and Canadian developer Berserk Studio is a retro-styled Metroidvania that’s all about saving your homeland while choosing between good and evil. The story kicks off with a brief intro on your character, Duke Alcedor. He’s been away from his home for a while and finally comes back, tired from participating in the violent crusades. What he didn’t know is that something came back from the holy land to his homeland, a book that is said to hold great power. Soon after arriving in town, you’ll witness an attack by a giant monster that you will track and defeat. Once killed, you’ll witness a door sealed with five stones, and you’ll have to defeat the bosses holding the stones to destroy them in order to be able to enter the castle.
The game is played from a 2D perspective that resembles the retro Castlevania games. You can move around with either the left analog stick or the D-Pad, and pressing up will allow you to enter opened doors. The Square button is used to attack or interact with people and the X button is for jumping. Once you gain access to spells, you’ll use them with the Circle button, while the L2 and R2 buttons will allow you to cycle between the different spells. The Triangle button will be used for potions to restore your health or your mana. The L1 and R1 buttons can be used to change between the potions in your inventory. Press the touchpad, and you’ll gain access to your map, your spells, a list of the quests, and your character stats to see things like your equipped weapon or armor.
Being a Metroidvania, there will be a few areas in the game that you won’t be able to access right away, but you will eventually get there as you gain access to new abilities. As you wander around, you’ll meet different people that will have side quests for you to do, with some of them having an impact on whether you go down the path of good or evil. One of those choices will show up right as you start the game, when you have the choice of killing or letting a sick man live, as he requests for you to kill him. You’ll encounter a good variety of enemies as you progress and a few challenging platforming sections, especially in the dungeons where you’ll also have epic boss fights at the end.
Visually, the game has some incredible level designs with lots of colorful enemies and environments. It also features a lot of blood and gore, with your character being covered with blood every time you defeat an enemy. You will remain like so until you save your game, since praying at each statue will cleanse him. The music is also incredibly engaging, featuring many fast-paced tunes that reminded me of the Mega Man games, which felt great to listen to while playing.
Right from the moment when I saw the trailer, I knew I’d have fun with this game. And it didn’t take long to prove me right when I ended up attacking that huge monster early in the game. Enemies aren’t too challenging in the beginning. But as you progress, the difficulty ramps up and levels become more challenging, unless you use some codes that will make you invincible or give you unlimited jumps. There is also the famous Konami code that can be used to unlock something that will definitely help you on your quest, but I will leave it at that and let you find out what it is!
There’s one thing I found a bit annoying that actually “forced” me into using the unlimited jumps code and it happened quite early in the game. I was given a key and told to visit Valeshire Keep, in order to probably slay a monster. In typical Metroidvania fashion, I wandered around, ended up in another dungeon, used the key but never found another one to compensate, so I have never been able to enter that keep. Maybe there’s something I missed, but since I felt blocked I preferred to activate the jump code and move on, still looking for an extra key.
As for the trophies, there probably isn’t much of a challenge if you know what actions are good and which ones are evil. There are four trophies tied to the different endings you can get, thus requiring at least 4 playthroughs. Other than that, a few trophies are related to different side-quests and one requires you to complete the game on Classic Mode – instead of the easier Casual mode -, but that can be done with codes, including one that makes you invincible. Manage to do all that, and you’ll have another Platinum trophy for your collection
Infernax is a surprisingly good and enjoyable Metroidvania game that’s definitely worth your time. The gameplay is challenging, the visuals are great, and the soundtrack is even better. Add to this its affordable price at only $19.99, and you’ve got a couple of evenings of fun in your hands.
This Infernax review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by The Arcade Crew.