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With a rocky introduction reminiscent of YouTube’s golden days of let’s players delving into cheap horror video-games with exaggerated ahs and oohs, Infliction sets the stage for a rocky but charming experience. However, it goes above and beyond that first impression.

Gameplay

If you were to boil down Infliction to a singular sentence, it could be summed up as narrative-driven linear survival horror. It plays as you would expect a title in the genre too, with you being thrown into a first-person perspective, taking the wheel of a protagonist embarking on a horror-rich journey through an atmospheric and eerie setting. There are light puzzle elements, an investigatory angle, and objectives to complete with the first being a fairly simple retrieval of plane tickets for your wife.

However, things amp up rather quickly and before long, you’re thrown into an arena with a ghost, fighting to rid your home of this menace that’s creaking through the corridors, unscrewing the lightbulbs and lingering in the shadows, unbeknownst to you. From your limited perspective, the supernatural hides away, but through the means of a polaroid camera that you cling on to for dear life, you can take snapshots that reveal the true nature of the world around you. It also serves as a means of warding off the spirit that roams the halls as the flash seemingly disturbs it, which explains the removal of lightbulbs to keep you from flicking the switch and turning them on. It’s a nice touch that adds a spice of life to the atmosphere, only pushing you further towards the angsty edge.

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Story / Personality

Voice acting is, at times, fairly substandard with some incredibly jarring moments such as the interaction with the wedding right bang at the beginning, but the narrative itself is strong enough to keep you hooked, with plenty of twists and turns that keep the momentum going.

Introductions aside, the early beginnings of Infliction are stellar, with the setting unfolding, despite a lack of context, as a dreary and glum home laying dormant and empty with signs of life straggling. Your job is a seemingly normal one, with the aforementioned goal of retrieving some plane tickets.

What unfolds, however, is a startling revelation that leaves you with a plethora of questions and answers that don’t disappoint. Toppled with the stellar sound design, dreary and ever-changing haunted house, and the persistent unnerving feeling of constantly being watched and followed and Infliction bellows in its rich horror aesthetic, succeeding in spades.

Graphics / Art Direction

It’s safe to say that Infliction feels unbelievably archaic in appearance, with its jagged props, simplistic but blurred environments, and outdated skyboxes. Nonetheless, given the budget and technical limitations of the Switch, it’s passable, and mostly masked by the dark setting – the only time you’ll truly be tugged out of the immersion, pushed face-to-face with Infliction’s lack of graphical prowess, is when you inspect items to find that you can count the pixels. At any rate, the direction and style oozes indie horror film.

Music / Sound Design

Sound design is one of the strongest aspects of Infliction, as, from the get-go, there’s an unbelievably unnerving sense of paranoia that stems from the creaks and echoed footsteps, making it feel as though there’s constantly someone at your heel, following and watching you from the darkened shadowy crevices of the home. Labored breathing, eerie static, and the clicky clacks of a satisfyingly responsive UI are just a few of the standout aspects of Infliction’s sound design.

Final Score: 70%

Infliction is by no means perfect, and it has its own handful of jarring quirks that are bountiful in the indie horror genre, calling back to those early YouTube days mentioned in the introduction. However, it benefits from a captivating story, a lack of reliance on jump-scares, and its responsive technical prowess.

Thank you for checking out our Infliction Switch review, thank you to Blowfish Studios for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:

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Posted by James Troughton

James is a writer from England who also works for TheGamer and CBR