Inferno Climber, When I started the game I thought long and hard about which hero to choose from. All of them have something different about them. In the end, it did not matter one bit. The game narrator kept feeding me stories of my greatness and insurmountable power. Naturally, this story sounds way too good to be true. However, that is the curse of a hero, to charge head first into a six-meter-tall dragon-like creature. With only a dingy wooden rod to aid me. The outcome was certain from the get-go, especially since I had no idea of how to play the game. Yes, I died, in a fiery inferno. Normally death is the end, ironically enough I actually met him. He’s an ever-so-cheerful fellow. A very important and very cruel creature. Instead of staying dead, I woke up in a shallow grave, within a dying world.
Inferno Climber is a skill-based combat game, with a leveling system and breakable weapons. After dying to a big bad boss, the player spawns in another location, where the game tutorial actually starts. This level is also one of the most important ones, as each time I return to it, I can pick up weapons and potions again.
Due to the nature of the game, death is a guarantee. Unfortunately, this means that I have to chase down and recover my corpse, after buying a death certificate from Death. But in order to reach my body, I have to pick one of the other heroes available, which is the reason the first pick does not matter too much. However, at some point, I will probably run out of fresh corpses to throw at the meat grinder. The world of Inferno Climber is also covered in puzzles and devious traps. Which is one of the fun factors. Inch by inch, the world opens up and more secrets are found.
Luckily some of the most obnoxious areas gave me a breather when I failed too much. There is a section of stealth, where overly aggressive skeletons patrol. I died a lot there and eventually a giant chicken spawned. The bird gave me a deodorant, which made me harder to see until I broke stealth. Enemies have no mercy and have no quarrels about kicking people on the ground. Which makes recovery from a hard blow very hard, frustrating and unforgiving indeed. Some selected enemies also have quick time events in order to escape them. Luckily the camera cooperates most of the time and the lock-on actually works. Though it hates small spaces and being up against a wall.
There is also a fair deal of towering bosses, that will wipe the floor with anyone unprepared. I learned this the hard way. As my foes fall before me in Inferno Climber, experience points and money is doped as well. Each level-up provides stat points to use. In the start menu, there is the usual selection of stats, which are quite self-explanatory. The other way to improve stats is through loot, however, even the strongest of armors will eventually break. Which is why there is a crafting system in place. Which proves a way to make supplies.
Graphically the game is very basic and a bit rough around the edges. Where everything serves a purpose. It is a bit on the brown and the dark side at times though. Weirdly enough there are a lot of loading screens, despite the stylistic nature of it all. The music is solid and very instrumental, with some jaunty tunes, and adds a lot to the atmosphere. The in-game sound effects of Inferno Climber are decent, if not for the critical existence failure alert. Having a repetitive beeping when almost dead is just a bad design. To top it all the writing is decent and the game can be set to Japanese as well.
To sum it up, fun, frustrating, and flawed. Highly recommended for people who like a challenge, exploration, and skill-based combat. The kind that is after more than state-of-the-art graphics. The Steam Achievements help as well. On a final note, do not expect to complete Inferno Climber in one sitting.
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