|System: X360, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Metropolis||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Playlogic||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 30, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Other abilities include Infernal Vision, which helps you see secret codes and power-ups, and teleportation, which lets you briefly warp to another part of the area to flip switches and shoot enemies from behind. You can also charge your weapons, delivering the powerful blast needed to break through bosses' shields, and even move objects and enemies from a distance, much like the gravity gun enables you to do in Half-Life 2. Many of these powers use "mana," a form of magic you gain by "sinning" (mainly, killing the forces of Heaven). You also gain mana by hanging out in dark places, and you lose it when you're in the light, which can make boss battles complicated.
Speaking of boss battles, they provide some of the game's best moments. You have to keep your mana stocked by (for example) shooting out the lights, hiding in a dark corner, or killing a few lesser enemies before unleashing a charged shot at the boss. Figuring out exactly how to tackle each major foe can be a pain, and we'll confess to consulting an online FAQ now and again, but overall we found it a satisfying experience.
In terms of presentation, the game is a mixed bag. The dialogue and voice acting fluctuate between "so bad it's good" and "just plain bad," and as already mentioned, the music gets on one's nerves in a hurry. Also, whereas the PC version's graphics earned almost unanimous praise, we found the 360 version's visuals to be merely above average. Most of the environments are well-detailed, but not all are, and the characters look unnatural when they speak in cutscenes. We even noticed a few visual hiccups, including framerate drops.
On a platform that's actually been criticized for having too many shooters, it's tough to recommend a shooter so mediocre as Infernal: Hell's Vengeance. Once it hits the bargain bins, it might be worthwhile for killing some time, as it does have its good qualities. At $40, however, it's impossible to forgive the many flaws, in particular the truly terrible control scheme and cover mechanic.
CCC Freelance Writer