Originally released on PC in 2020, Infernal Radiation is a strangely unexpected action RPG with turn based combat reminiscent of a rhythm game. With a focus on exorcism and dark humor, this title’s oddness and jank hold back the experience.
Playing as an exorcist trying to save the world from a reactor that unleashed Hell, the gothic and horror vibes are strong. Never scary but always dark, the emphasis on story is refreshing for an action RPG but the immature language is unnecessary, the writing is bad, and the typos are hilarious for the wrong reasons.
If the script wasn’t bad enough, the visuals are going for that over-the-top creepy aesthetic but ultimately screams low quality and low budget. In fact, the game is so dark, literally, that it is difficult to distinguish any detail in the environments or enemies. The awkward grunting during spell casting doesn’t do the experience any favors either.
When not walking from battle to battle, the player must duel numerous monsters boss battle-style. There really isn’t any common enemies to grind but this makes each battle mean something. Although performed in real time, this isn’t a button masher by any means. During battle, when your hazmat suit beak-donning priest is highlighted with a green glow, the player can tap one button to attack or another to generate a short lived defensive shield. Tap too early and the player will be stunned, left wide open for attack.
Each battle is extremely difficulty for a couple reasons. First, enemies take way too many hits resulting in each battle being an act of attrition. Second, there is no rhyme or reason when this green hue will ignite the player. The randomness is frustrating at best because sometimes it will appear right away while others it will take a few seconds. This makes fighting troublesome because the only way to defeat enemies is to drain their health by attacking but the player will usually need to spam the shield button more often than not. That is why each fight is almost like playing a rhythm game because reacting to the green glow needs to be acknowledged quickly and without delay. The short tells of the enemies do not help lower the difficulty either.
While it deserves some credit for its different approach to the action RPG in both terms of story and action, Infernal Radiation has its heart in the right place but crumbles under its own weight. The moody atmosphere is cool but is ruined with the awful dialog and writing. The different approach to combat is refreshing but suffers from imbalance, difficulty spikes, and inconsistent enemy patterns. The visuals represent the unpleasantness of Hell but suffers from jank and poor lighting. For every one step forward, it takes one step back.
Not As Good As: your favorite ARPG
Watch It Instead: Constantine (the movie with Keanu)
Wait For It: Priest Simulator