2GHz Pentium M CPU
2GB DDR2 RAM
GeForce Go 7800GTX
Radeon 9600/GF 5950
3GHz Dual Core CPU
Pixel Shader 3.0 Video
Ah, yes. A war between Heaven and Hell being waged right here on innocent little Earth. We've seen this premise in many movies and video games, and every time someone comes up with an interesting, slightly new take on the whole thing. Whether it's the man standing between both as in Hellraiser/Constantine or the wandering soul channeling the devil himself in Diablo, we've got plenty of choices. The newest take on the whole thing is in Infernal, a new third-person shooter on the PC from Eidos Interactive and Metropolis Software.
In Infernal you play as Ryan Lennox, a young guy with a hip look and a chip on his shoulder about having gotten booted out of the Heaven corporation (Everlight) and its elite group of soldiers. When Ryan is attacked and almost killed by Heaven's forces trying to silence him for good, he gets an offer from Hell to come work for the devil and start exacting a bit of revenge. A plot unfolds that shows Everlight isn't really as heavenly as people thought. Ryan starts to learn new Hellish powers and over the course of the game he'll get new ones that improve his fighting abilities.
But the majority of this game is shooting. The visuals in this game are pretty impressive at times, but this one still winds up being a bore almost from the start. The action is just plain dull, and your enemies are about as stupid as they can get. Enemy soldiers rattle off the same stupid lines over and over, while the otherwise interesting music gets drowned out by the same rock tune every time a fight starts up.
As you move from one location to another you'll be draining the souls of the soldiers you've killed (which has the nice effect of snagging their weapons and ammo), but the downside is that it takes several seconds to do this. If you cleared out a room of them and are low, be prepared to spend a minute or two just getting your health and some ammo back. During some levels you'll be spending more time draining souls than actually shooting the people who supply the souls.
The game runs through a list of both old-school shooter and modern day action game stereotypes as well. From the Heaven/Hell story to fairly standard boss fights to my favorite part, the key-card hunting, you'll find that this one is highly derivative. Sure, the physics system and lighting and textures are pretty nice if you've got a PC to handle that stuff on, but they don't really do anything for the actual game. The story starts off alright but starts falling over itself quickly, while the main character is some pompous jerk who doesn't have any endearing qualities to speak of (unlike, say, Duke Nukem).
In the end, Infernal will take you a paltry six or so hours to complete - less if you need fewer souls to drain as you go through the five main levels. With no multiplayer in sight and little reason to ever touch this game again, this one asks a lot of the buyer with its $39.99 price tag (available in stores or via <a href="http://www.steampowered.com">Steam</a>). It feels like a budget game and it really should have been one. Unless you're just dying to play yet another shooter with the same old stuff you've seen in all the rest, then just avoid this one.