Afterfall: inSanity Review (PC)
Afterfall: inSanity is the a “what if” story that takes a moment in time where things really could have taken a different turn and changes everything we know today. During World War 2, right before the Nazis are at the point of defeat, Hitler gets his Wunderwaffe and the Germans finish the atomic bomb race first. He launches a V-2 rocket armed with a nuclear warhead at the Soviet Army poised on the Polish-German border. Peace talks commence with German dominance developing in Europe and American presence being reduced to covert operations and support. While the Soviets and Americans are perfecting their nuclear capabilities, Germany has moved on to greater weapons, weapons on a scale so massive their designers don’t even know their full scope. Called Entropy, the bomb is dropped over the La Manche Channel and as a result all the nuclear weapons start flying. World War III begins in 2012, survivors are driven underground and by the time the “Insanity” breaks out in 2035 there is a whole generation who has never seen the surface of the world. Believed at first to be a strain of isolation sickness which arises in the underground shelters, “Insanity” soon proves itself to be a new nightmare all together.
You play a psychiatrist sent to one of the lower levels to check on the behavior of some workers which have been behaving in an unusual manner. “Unusual” if you consider screaming, charging and beating the living snot out of anyone in sight not to be the norm, that is! Once down there, you don’t ask “what is causing these extreme feelings of anxiety?” Instead, you end up bashing their heads in then literally off their bodies in a bloody and gore-filled rage. Soon, you are shooting everything that moves as you pacify aggressive behavior. You are also better at it then dozens of armed security troopers who have trained their whole lives for the same task, as a matter of fact you are tasked with taking said lives. Once the action kicks in, the only head shrinking you seem to do is by breaking it into little pieces. There is one concession to him being a doctor and that is when things break or look scary you can get “fearlock” which results in your accuracy being worse but your damage and reaction time being better because you are scared. If you don’t look too deep into the story, it is an interesting and fun setting for a gory romp through levels of various nasties. The story is original but the action isn’t – it has the feel of Dead Space, Mass Effect, and other games down the third-person shooter line where a heroic figure steps forward to take care of business in horrific times. Not that there is nothing wrong with that!
The scene is not a pretty one, but the graphics and details are so good that there is a certain beauty to this torn and destroyed world. It is a grim atmosphere and the graphics and audio really bring that home. Thanks to its gameplay and atmosphere, it is really easy to get lost in this game and have hours pass without realizing it. There was love put into this game, so much so that items littering the ground from broken pipes, table legs and rebar to dropped firearms and tools can be picked up and used against your enemies. Additionally, there is great amount of detail in your enemies, enough so that you can have two that look very similar but you noticed one has a slightly lighter color clothing or skin and they will even attack in a different manner. The music is very well done, creating a tense atmosphere during the fights and being very quiet or even absent during the other times as you pass clunking pipes, dripping vents, or creaking catwalks and you listen for the slightest hint of danger. Atmosphere, especially if you play it at night in the dark can actually pull you in and have you jumping at what goes bump in the shadows.
At first the melee combat, which is how you start the game, felt a little clumsy. My first thought was that the this clumsiness was due to bad game mechanics. Before long, however, I found myself doing more melee than shooting. Not that there is anything wrong with the shooting aspect, the shooting performs like most third person shooters and is without issue. There is just a certain satisfaction received from picking up just about anything in sight and beating an enemy to a pulp with it. The gore is great both ways but, if you fight just right, your melee ends with a dramatic rage-filled bashing in of your enemy’s head in a short cinematic. When it comes to fighting, this game is a blast and using WASD during melee you can make different combos.
There is one other aspect to the action and that is puzzle solving. These can be kinda tightly-timed and, until you fully understand what you are supposed to do, they can be a bit frustrating. After you figure them out though you can breeze by them pretty easily and it is back to smashing in skulls.
This game started off as a fanmade project and became a professionally-polished third-person shooter you can purchase today. The storyline is different and interesting but when it gets right down to it is a horror/survival third person shooter with mostly the same action you would see in another game of the same genre. There is nothing wrong with that, mind you – give a person who likes the genre a good story, fun gameplay, and plenty of gore then drop it in a great environment and you will have happy players and I am definitely among them! This is a fun game I might play through a few times, simply because of the variety of weapons. I wonder how far I could get wielding a table leg…
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