Afterfall Insanity is a survival-horror game by Intoxicate Studios that aimed to deliver an intense shooter experience that would scare you out of your seat. As a huge fan of this genre, I was excited when I had first heard about this game and all the preview videos and hype built me up even more. Sadly, my experience with the game was overall a disappointment. Although this game does do horror well, I found its combat rather repetitive and boring, multiple significant bugs, and voice work that made me cringe.

First off, I must give credit where it is due. This game gave me goose bumps multiple times with its overall eeriness and intense build-up of suspense.  The downside of this immense suspense is that as a player I often felt let down. Seeing the same old easy to kill monster pop out from its usual, predictable location while often posing a very limited threat gets old very quickly. The game’s story has a very cool premise which leads to some interesting ideas, but as a I mention in-depth later, the overall sound quality hindered the story’s ability to grow. As a result, I was unable to make any real connections to the characters.

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Combat was never exciting.

This game has very few unique enemies, and for the most part they are rather easy to defend against.  Ammunition is rather limited in the game world, which made for some challenging game play at some points, but I felt that the guns were overpowered when it came to killing the zombies assaulting you. For instance, shotguns were basically able to one-shot anything that came close to you. This lead to a boring combat system that felt extremely dry and disengaging, right up until the first boss battle where all of a sudden, the difficulty dramatically increased. This spike in difficulty was primarily due to the fact that the boss itself was bugged, as he was able to attack me through cover rendering me vulnerable at all times.

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This boss was tough mainly because he was able to glitch-punch me through the environment.

After this boss battle the difficulty went back to being fairly easy with mundane combat. This continued throughout the course of the game. The final boss, without giving away any spoilers, was once again a dramatic increase of difficulty. Much like the earlier boss, it was able to shoot me through seemingly solid pieces of the environment, and after several unsuccessful, maddening defeats I googled a walkthrough and learned that in order to beat him, I had to utilize a game mechanic that was never introduced to me throughout the course of the entire game. I don’t see how that could be considered good design.

Although often frustrating, Afterfall Insanity did have a few challenging encounters which left me with a feeling of accomplishment once they were beaten.  I love having to develop a strategy, test it, and possibly fail. I don’t mind having to sleep on it before being able to move on, as this gives me the mindset that I’ve beaten something challenging which is a great feeling as a gamer. The game also introduced a fun and unique mechanic late in the game that I really enjoyed. Whenever the player stood in daylight he spawns an enemy, and if you stood in the light for long enough, you’d die. This made traversing the city quite engaging as you’d have to carefully plan your path in order to stay alive.

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Leave me alone, damnit!

While the bugs and difficulty swings were irritating,  the sound and voiceover quality was completely unbearable. My experience in the game was filled with sounds coming from the wrong direction, often misleading me to where things were spawning and moving. The voice work was absolutely brutal, almost laughable by the end. Most characters spoke with little to no emotion, and when emotion was attempted it felt completely wrong for the situation. This really hindered my game experience as all of my attempts to connect with any character in the game failed miserably. This greatly decreased the overall impact of the story, which I believe has a pretty cool premise behind it.  Its unfortunate but with better sound and voice acting, the story would have been significantly more engaging. Trying to enjoy the story was also often disrupted by the game’s lack of navigational support. Without a mini-map or directional pointer, some tasks are near impossible to complete without frantically searching online for help. These issues made it very difficult to enjoy the game’s storyline.

Overall, I found that while this game has an interesting premise and a lot of potential, none of that translated into an enjoyable gaming experience. I was expecting a scary, action-packed shooter but after a very slow start to the game, repetitive combat, multiple bugs, and sub-par sound quality, I was left feeling a little disappointed. The money in your Steam Wallet can be better spent elsewhere.

Summary

+ Intense horror sequences

+ A few fun and unique gameplay mechanics

– Lots of bugs

– Very poor sound quality and voice acting

– Connecting to the characters and story is near-impossible

– Game world difficult to navigate

Final Verdict:

Afterfall Insanity might be scary from time to time, but with the all the bugs and quality issues, you’ll find it hard to enjoy yourself.

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