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Straight out of the pages of a video-gaming history book, Inferno 2 places you in the seat of little ship akin to something you might find on an Atari 2600. The titles of the levels allude to some form of story, though to be honest I have to shamefully admit I don’t really know what’s going on, I just get carried away with all of the blasting.
Inferno 2 is a retro styled twin stick shooter that has a really back to basics look about it, the neon colours bring to mind something out of TRON as you zoom about destroying your enemies. There’s not much to the environments other than the walls, power ups and enemies so you can just focus on shooting, it’s not as simple as it seems though as there are often hidden paths dotted about some of the levels, where others might force you in one way and leave you to figure your own way out.
When it comes down to the nitty gritty of the gun battles you have a few options to choose from and you can also choose the order in which you unlock your weapons, so you can prioritise the sorts of things you like first and then maybe give the others a go later, if you fancy a change. That’s how I played at least, I started off with the ammo that swarms towards enemies but as soon as I unlocked the one that bounced off walls, I only changed the weapon type to have a quick go with the others but I always went back to my tried and true bouncy bullets.
There are four primary guns, four types of missiles, four different powers and four enhancements; of those the only ones you can have active constantly are the enhancements, these allow you to upgrade your shields or have more active drones at one time but you’ll have been playing for a good amount of time before you come across any enhancements and they are few and far between. Even when you have unlocked all of the available weapons, the little pickups that would normally grant you an upgrade will most often just give you experience. While you can switch between your primary weapons and missiles at any time, you have to visit the shop and pay to change your active power, whichever power you have equipped will probably depend on how you like to play but if you feel like changing it up, it doesn’t cost too much to swap it out. The powers will grant you abilities such as increased speed and damage or they’ll give you a shield to push enemies away and deflect projectiles. You can also top up your ammunition in the shop or buy more drones with the points you’ve amassed but you have to choose carefully as the shop doesn’t hang around and will disappear after you leave.
As you fight your way through the neon hordes of Inferno 2, you’ll accrue a good amount of experience you can use to upgrade any three of the four aspects mentioned above and like the rest of the game, you’re free to choose where you allocate the points first, though they do have a maximum. Given the nature of the game, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably going to pick weapons you like and focus on them while pretty much ignoring the rest, I would advise topping up all of your missiles after your chosen primary weapon though because you’ll end up using them indiscriminately as you get further in. While you can spend your skill points however you choose on your weapons and powers, to upgrade your enhancements you have to find them like you would have done the weapons earlier in the game.
Inferno 2 sets you off on a false sense of security, being easy when you first start, you might think that the whole thing might not be so bad but you can trust me when I say things will get a little more complicated the further you go. The drones that had, up until now, been happily shooting away at your side will now begin to diminish as they take hits for you, sacrificing themselves in the process. The missiles you may have thought you could use sparingly are now needed as there are enemies and walls that can only be destroyed through using them and if you run out, it’s going to spell doom for you and that’s nothing to say of the fact that you’ll start coming across enemies that can now block small arms fire and others that shoot at you through walls you can’t shoot back through. In short, this game that appears to be a fun mindless shooter on the surface, has just introduced a requirement that you think about what you’re doing, no more rushing in and cleaning the place out you’re going to have to be cautious.
Inferno 2 is the sort of game anyone could pick up and play thanks to the simple controls, though it may be difficult to master, it’s definitely easy to play. It might not be much to look at but for what they are the graphics are quite nice and I like the little touches like how the ship changes slightly depending on the weapon you’re using. I did find it to be a little too repetitive for may tastes but those of you out there looking for decent twin stick shooter, look no further and as an added bonus you can play this one in local co-op with a friend or if you happen to be playing on a PS4 like I was then you can always use the share play function to allow a friend to drop in over the internet.
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