Fans of 2D action games on the NES like Castlevania and The Adventure of Link are sure to love Infernax’s gore-filled love letter to those games, but some hidden extra modes will give them even more demon-slaying thrills.
Release Date: February 14, 2022
Suggested Audience Age: Rated M for Mature for Blood and Gore, Violence, Partial Nudity
Time to Play: 4 Hours per playthrough, but you can play through it plenty!
Availability: Switch, Xbox, PlayStation, Steam
Recommended for fans of: Castlevania, Zelda II, and copious amounts of gore
Geek to Geek Media was provided with a review copy of this title.
The initial trailer for Infernax had me hooked from the moment I saw it. The showcase of fantastic side-scrolling action combined with the sense of humor that said “yeah, let’s release our ridiculously gory pixel art game on Valentine’s Day” was an amazing pitch. Now that I’ve played through it once, I can give this an absolute recommendation. It’s ridiculously fun, ridiculously gory, and has a few hidden surprises that will keep you playing over and over!
Infernax is Outstanding on It’s Own
If you haven’t picked up Infernax yet, what on earth is wrong with you? This game pulls inspiration from NES classics with a Metroidvania structure. The action and combat feel great. You wield a mace that you bash into the face of zombies, skeletons, and all sorts of demons, and it feels absolutely fantastic every time.
The world of Infernax is really solid, too. There are a few towns with interesting NPCs to talk to and lots of side quests to do to help them out and earn some extra cash. Abilities and spells that you uncover throughout the adventure let you get to new parts of the map, and also give you new ways to approach combat encounters.
I found myself lost a few times during my adventure. Like, well and truly “I have no idea where to go next” type of lost. Thankfully, the map is small enough and the basic gameplay is solid enough that wandering around to find out where to go next never annoyed me.
More than Meets the Eye
It takes a handful of hours to play through the story in Infernax, but there’s a lot of extra stuff to do in the game as well. Throughout the adventure, you’ll have quite a few opportunities to decide between two options on how to handle a given situation. Those choices contribute to a hidden morality meter that determines what sort of ending you’ll get when you beat the game.
From what I’ve looked at while trying to avoid spoiling the other endings for myself, I think I got the “Good” ending. There’s also an “Ultimate Good”, “Bad”, and “Ultimate Bad” ending that I’m looking forward to seeing.
I’m hoping that I can unlock those endings with the secret characters because the secret characters are awesome.
What if gun?
Alright, so this is a Castlevania-inspired game… but what if it wasn’t? What if instead of being inspired by sword and sorcery fantasy games it gave you a gun.
That’s right, putting in the Konami Code on the title screen of Infernax turns it into a Contra homage.
Playing through a game designed for close-quarters combat with a machine gun does make a lot of it absurdly trivial, but it’s an absolute blast.
What if big battle ax?
Leaning further into the fantasy side of things, you can equip the main character with a big ole ax instead of a mace, which naturally comes with a barbarians loincloth to match.
To play as this character, enter your character name as “Axcedor” when you start the game.
The ax has a really long reach but a much slower swing than the mace, so the game feels very different this way. What’s awesome is that the ax actually hits enemies above you as you swing it, so dealing with annoying flying enemies is a lot easier.
What if fireballs?
Finally, you can give up weapons entirely. No, I don’t mean there’s a pacifist run through the ultra-violent demon-slaying game, I mean you can be a mage who destroys enemies with fireballs.
Put in the name “Gardakan” at the start to play as a wizard.
What’s interesting with this character is that your basic attack is magic-based, which means it uses your extremely limited mana. As a trade-off, your mana regenerates over time, but combat becomes a much more strategic affair.
I really love Inferax, and I’m totally blown away that there are basically three alternate gameplay modes hidden away in it. Not only does each of these characters have a different approach to combat, but the gear and abilities you unlock are customized for each of them as well. I mean, come on, you can’t expect a machine-gun wielding super soldier to put on a knight’s armor, right? Instead, you buy a series of bulletproof vests, which are only more powerful because of their lack of sleeves.
Seriously, this game is so dang good, y’all!