Infliction: Extended Cut – Review
Follow Genre: Horror Game
Developer: Caustic Reality
Publisher: Blowfish Studios
Platform: Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC
Tested on: Switch

Infliction: Extended Cut – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Unsettling atmosphere
Bad: Character movement feels unnaturally slow
User Score
9.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)

The original incarnation of Infliction started life as a Kickstarter and launched on PC back in 2018. Fast forward two years, and the game is now on consoles as an extended cut. It’s a bit of an odd choice to release a horror game at the beginning of July, as it seemed like a title that would fit in more around Halloween. Nevertheless, we took Infliction’s Extended Cut for a spin.

Story

Like so many horror games before it, Infliction starts off with the protagonist taking on a seemingly normal task before things get weird. Here a short cutscene shows how our protagonist, Gary, drives home during a stormy night to pick up the plane tickets his wife absent-mindedly left on the table. When Gary arrives at his house, things quickly take a weird turn. It’s not the most original premise, but things get more complicated relatively quickly. Infliction is the kind of game that was clearly designed around the player figuring out what’s going on, as you’re spending the majority of the game looking for clues and piecing together scraps of information to get an idea of what the hell happened. As such, diving too deep into the story here would venture into spoiler territory. As the mystery is the main draw, we’d ruin the game, so we’re going to refrain from giving out any details, but rest assured, it’s really worth giving Infliction a look for the story. It’s not perfectly executed by any means, feeling a bit convoluted at times, and even after you finish your playthrough, several story elements remain shrouded in mystery, but those loose threads don’t detract from the core experience. 

Graphics

What Infliction lacks in visual fidelity, it makes up for in atmosphere. The game certainly isn’t the most impressive looking horror title the Switch has to offer, mostly due to using low poly models and harsh lighting from the flashlight that makes everything look relatively cheap. Sections that don’t require the flashlight arguably look a lot better, so it’s quite clear that the issue here is that the objects require lighting from the right angle to look decent. Character models fare a little better, mostly because they’ll appear at certain moments and from more forgiving angles. Frame rate is relatively consistent, although the game stutters occasionally during some of the death scenes. 

Sound

You’ll spend most of your time with the game in silence, bar the sounds that are the result of you interacting with objects you encounter. While there is some music present in the game, it’s used very sparsely, serving to underline some of the more weird and horrifying moments in the game. There’s some voice acting as well, albeit limited. It’s very well done, and the voice cast really sells their performance. 

Gameplay

As a horror game, Infliction doesn’t bring anything new to the table, nor does it attempt to hide that it takes inspiration from other titles. However, the game manages to build a genuinely unsettling atmosphere. Playing as Gary, you wander around your house, trying to figure out what is going on. The gameplay itself is relatively limited, and mostly involves interacting with objects, reading scraps of paper, and the like. One of the things we disliked when it comes to the gameplay is Gary’s slow movement speed, especially because there’s quite a lot of backtracking required. Limiting Gary’s speed was probably a deliberate choice, to pad out the length of an already short game -more on that later- but it feels forced and unnatural. Of course, there’s more to the game than just wandering around and finding clues. The game offers up quite a few environmental puzzles and there’s a variety of spooky stuff that inhabits the house, which you’ll need to fight off lest you face your untimely demise. There’s no real combat mechanics involved here, however. Instead, getting rid of any enemy entities involves zapping them with your flashlight or your camera.  

The claustrophobic atmosphere is present from the start of the game, mostly due to it being set in a poorly lit house at night, with a thunderstorm raging on outside. Admittedly, we’ve grown quite tired of the whole “this house has no decent lights and you’re going to have to rely on a flashlight that drains its batteries in seconds” shtick, and we thought this was going to be another bad horror game relying on cheap jump scares. There are still quite a few jump scares in there, but Infliction manages to carve its own niche thanks to excellent pacing. One of the first things you’ll notice is how much attention went into making everything seem normal at the beginning of the game. Most horror games either take everything up to eleven right off the bat or they take place in large rooms that barely have any stuff in them. Here, however, Caustic Reality has taken the time to make the house actually feel like a house, with lots of objects that have nothing to do with the horror plot. Most of these can be interacted with as well. You can even watch a cooking show on the TV, for example. This attention to detail emphasizes the way things get weird as there’s a huge contrast between “walking around the kitchen looking for plane tickets” and “there’s a monstrous deer head laughing at me from the wall”.

With the words “Extended Cut” in the title, you might be wondering just how long this game is. The original Infliction was roughly two hours and the Extended Cut will take you almost double that to finish, taking up about three hours of gameplay. You might feel like you’re not getting a lot of bang for your buck here and we’re inclined to agree that the asking price is a little steep. The game offers several endings, so there’s some replay value here, but overall,  it’s difficult to recommend Infliction Extended Cut at full price.

Conclusion

Infliction might not bring anything new to the table but what it does, it does well. If you’re a fan of psychological horror games like Layers of Fear or P.T., then Infliction will be right up your alley. It’s a relatively short affair and we do recommend waiting for a price drop, but overall, it’s well worth any horror fan’s time. 

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Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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Infliction: Extended Cut - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Sebastiaan Raats
Sebastiaan Raats


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