Infernal: Hell’s Vengeance Xbox 360 Review

May 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

Some gaming genres saturate the market; the action genre is one of them. Each year, this popular genre is bolstered by more titles, although not all of them are classics or are even worth playing. Where does Infernal: Hell’s Vengeance slot in?

Infernal was originally released on the PC back in 2007, upon its original release it was generally known as a dated game, so obviously in 2009 it’s worse off, with decent but unspectacular visuals, and the transition from console to PC hasn’t been a completely smooth one, either.

Infernal: Hell’s Vengeance stars Ryan Lennox, a character that doesn’t just carry guns into battle, but some useful powers as well. The story isn’t that great, but it is improved by some cheesy voice acting, as well as Lennox’s clichéd, humorous lines of dialogue. It’s not going to win any awards for storytelling, but it’s decent enough and doesn‘t outstay its welcome with any lengthy plot progression scenes.

Lennox may not be the most powerful character to have ever graced a polygonal floor, though he does have quite a lot of power to play around with. You’ll be doing a lot of sucking the corpses of your enemies dry, which gives you health, ammo and maybe a keycard. The damage of bullets can also be increased through his power, causing a flaming spew of lead, whilst he’s also able to levitate objects and enemies, as well as teleport to areas that are out of reach. Unsurprisingly, his powers are regularly used for puzzle solving, most of which are blatantly obvious in their solutions, but they do make for a nice respite from all those bullet exchanges.

Where the game does begin to falter are in its controls. The context-sensitive cover system doesn’t seem to sense where Lennox is positioned at all times, but when you are actually in cover, it works, just don’t expect anything as smooth as, say, the slick cover system of Gears of War. The aiming also isn’t up to scratch, making headshots more difficult than they should be, and finally the defensive roll manoeuvre is mapped to a double press of the right stick, but it’s such a bizarre choice of placement that you can find yourself in a roll by a mistake, very frustrating if you end up tumbling off a ledge to your death (for such an apparently powerful being, Lennox can‘t fall very far, either) because of it.

Moving on, I’m not one to complain about linear games (which Infernal is), but the environments aren’t very interesting. Levels are generally as generic as generic levels come, and if it wasn’t for all that shooting and some decent enemy death animations, I think I’d fall asleep.

Despite its problems, Infernal: Hell’s Vengeance does have its fun moments, although it has too many negative issues and far too much competition in the genre, for me to recommend it as anything above a rental or a purchase from the bargain bin at a cheaper, more appealing price.