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Infernal: Hell's Vengeance review

One small step above the Red Ring of Death


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  • A two-year-old game
  • Feels ten years old
  • Would've stunk in 1999

What possessed Metropolis we’ll never know. We’re guessing they thought enough gamers weren’t subjected to the nightmare that is Infernal, and so a game that stank up PCstwo years ago has made the leap to 360 where it can smear its brown marks all over our beloved white box too.

Hell’s Vengeance certainly lives up to its name. ‘Hero’ Ryan Lennox is a jerk whom it’s impossible to care about, and the ridiculous plot sees you selling your soul in exchange for demon powers to battle magical ninja monks and lady-boy assassins. While that sounds amusing, there’s nothing funny about Infernal. It’s crammed with irredeemable features designed solely to aggravate.

The cover system doesn’t work when you need it to, but activates at the worst possible moment. Ryan’s love of diving about after a double directional tap turns already messy battles into indecipherable gymnastic floor routines. The gunplay is weaker than the WWE’s ill-fated midget wrestling federation. And incredibly, the bodies you need to search to replenish ammo and health supplies disappear after a few seconds. You’ll rarely need the health top-ups though: even on Hard Ryan can soak up a clip of bullets and only lose one or two percent health.

The so-called puzzles rank among the worst we’ve ever seen. Ryan’s powers include teleportation and invisibility, but both are poorly implemented. Given its extremely limited time usage, teleportation is only useful in the most obvious locations (if a puzzle might be solvable by using teleportation you’re thinking too much), and even then its ass-awkward aiming reticule is a pain to move. Invisibility is even worse. For some reason Ryan turns invisible only when diving – try working that one out – and so laser-trap obstacles are only passable by rolling through them.

At the end of level one you’re trapped in an air-tight chamber as poison gas is slowly pumped into the room. Is the solution to shoot out all the windows to buy some time? Don’t be silly. It’s actually to stand by the four computer panels directly in front of you and hold a single button. Brilliant. Forget Psi-Ops; this is Sigh-Ops. Infernal is so broken, so boring and so worthless it would be much quicker to list the things it actually gets right, so here goes: ...

Aug 25, 2009

More info

DescriptionThis "enhanced" version of a two-year old shooter is so awful, it could only have been made in Lucifer's bile-covered and scream-filled development studio.
Platform"Xbox 360"
US censor rating"Mature"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Matt is former editor of Official PlayStation Magazine, his favourite games include Skyrim, Final Fantasy VII, Braid, Shadow Of The Colossus and Puggsy, and when he's not grinding away in Destiny you'll often find him talking about WWE or NFL (go Seahawks!).