November 15, 2013
Whenever discussing anything, first and foremost, be honest, even above being a sarcastic git. With that said, if you’re ever in the situation where you have to review an indie horror game, the fastest and simplest way to answer that is to ask yourself, “How many seconds will it take for me to load up my britches once the lights flicker?” Because on a scale of Dead Space to Slender, Afterfall: InSanity sits comfortably at an Alan Wa- OH, SWEET JESUS! WHAT WAS THAT?
And with that intro out of the way, let’s take a look at Afterfall: InSanity, a fully-voiced, indie horror game by Intoxicate Studios, set in a post-apocalyptic bunker designed to preserve all life, except for the Germans; because fuck them. You play as Albert Tokaj, a Polish doctor with a Japanese last name who specializes in dealing with long term exposure to Confinement Syndrome, the disease that just so conveniently starts the domino effect leading up to the gameplay. So basically, its Metro or Fallout, but instead of leaving the shelter, you pace hall to hall, toting a gun, just itching to blast someone’s face off.
Alright, so what about the game play? In addition to your basic horror game tropes such as jump scares and flickering light, now you see me now you don’t zombie-… I mean plague-infested individuals popping up to give your alimentary canal a swift cleaning; this game has a few unique ones. For instance there’s the weapon system, which lets you pick up two guns and a melee weapon, but you can only hold that melee weapon and is dropped as soon as you switch to the guns, and if you’re going to actually survive, you had better keep the melee weapon. In fact, it’s probably easier to beat this game using the fireman’s axe exclusively because they are literally around every corner, and the game doesn’t give you nearly enough ammo for the weapons which are about as powerful as warm milk in a bottle. There’s also… note collecting? Yeah, that’s pretty much it. I mean I guess you can count that whole side plot of saving his girlfriend, but she rarely leaves the main storyline anyways so there’s really no point.
Now you may be asking yourself, doesn’t this sound like Dead Space back before they went complete corporate Sub? Well you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. The games play extremely similar, but if you must find a difference between the two, here’s my explanation. Dead Space is the pioneer of the one trick ponies, with everything from the jump scare to the predictable spawn points and tight hallways, whereas Afterfall is guy who came in after and tried to capitalize on this ship after it sank. Perhaps the only redeeming factor is that the story is interesting enough to keep you suffering through long, dark hallways with limited ammo and visibility, even if the ending is predictable.
How predictable you ask? It’s a story about a doctor studying a disease that just so happens to pop up and cause a non-stop domino effect of death, and everyone around him seems to be out of the loop. It is fairly easy to see where this is going after about forty minutes of suffering. For those who don’t have the cash on hand but want to know what this is all about, just picture this and you’ll hit almost spot on. Fight Club meets Spec Ops: The Line.
Image Credit: Intoxicate Studios