hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Afterfall: InSanity Extended Edition
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Review: Afterfall: InSanity Extended Edition

2:00 PM on 04.09.2013 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

Dead Space meets Fallout meets Silent Hill meets being awful

I'll suffer through many things if the promise of a post-apocalyptic horror is on the cards. To that end, I've lived through such atrocities as I Am Omega, and once really tried to like Hardware. A game like Afterfall: InSanity seems right up my alley. The promise of treasure hidden under the dirt is hard to resist. 

Having played the Extended Edition thanks to Steam Greenlight, I can report it was not the buried treasure I'd hoped for, though it had every opportunity to escape its restrictions and be something uniquely enjoyable. It's certainly unique, and even does manage to be enjoyable for a considerable portion of the adventure. 

Then it all goes wrong, and never gets better. It is, indeed, the Hardware of videogames.

Afterfall: InSanity Extended Edition (PC)
Developer: Intoxicate Studios
Publisher: Nicolas Entertainment Group
Released: December 03, 2012
MSRP: $19.99
Rig: Intel i7-2600k @3.40 GHz, with 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 580 GPU (SLI)

To say Afterfall: InSanity owes a debt to several of its interactive peers is to put it in the most diplomatic way possible. Borrowing heavily from Dead SpaceFallout, and Silent Hill, the story centers on one of humanity's few remaining survivors in the wake of a nuclear attack, eking out his existence as a psychologist in a claustrophobic, heavily governed shelter. Before long, spooky things start happening and all hell breaks loose, as denizens of the shelter turn into mutated, enraged monsters. 

Poorly voice acted, though to admittedly humorous degrees, Afterfall's plot really does feel like that of a straight-to-video horror flick, with production values to boot. Graphics are simplistic, animations stiff, and controls feel unwieldy. However, like those budget horror adventures that so often tempt us on "eight movies for five bucks" DVDs, there's a certain stunted charm to the whole affair. Indeed, for the first half of the game, Afterfall actually manages to be quite effective, utilizing its dark corridors and dirty aesthetic to produce something approaching scary.

InSanity is an action game, fundamentally, with some light horror elements. Though our protagonist, Albert Tokaj, has access to pistols, assault rifles, and shotguns, ammunition is scarce and players will mostly rely on the many melee weapons scattered throughout the environment. Axes, batons, sickles, and table legs helpfully litter the world, and can be used to batter monsters, though the variety is mostly aesthetic, all weapons split evenly into both heavy and light, as well as blunt or bladed. Obviously, heavy weapons are slow, and bladed weapons can take off limbs. Any other differences are purely cosmetic. 

Combat is as simple as clicking the mouse until everything is dead. There's a block button and a dodge move, though defending is usually less effective than all-out offense. Tokaj's actions are determined by a stamina meter, and he'll be unable to keep fighting if it drains, yet stamina recovers almost instantly, so should be little more than an afterthought in most situations. Should it drain, Tokaj need only back away from the largely ineffective enemies to regain his strength in a handful of seconds. 

Every now and then, the action will be broken up by some simple hacking minigames or switch puzzles, the only challenging thing about them being the game's obfuscating, vague tutorial screens that make each puzzle seem more complicated than they actually are. Most hacking involves rudimentary memory games, pressing keys in the correct order using trial-and-error tactics. 

Restricted by a general low quality, both visually and interactively, Afterfall: InSanity utilizes the one thing it has going for it -- atmosphere -- to startlingly decent effect. The first half of the game, taking place in the isolated shelter of Glory, is well paced and does a great job of fueling one's paranoia. Dark corridors and churning machinery hide all manner of gruesomely designed mutants who, while not really all that threatening in a gameplay sense, are at least horrific enough in visual and sound design to provide some scares. 

It is through this savvy design that InSanity manages to transcend the limitations of low-budget development and become something with serious potential. The first half of the game, while clearly simplistic and more than a little rough around the edges, is still enjoyable enough, even if Tokaj infuriatingly drops his melee weapon on the floor every time one switches to a firearm. The story is at least interesting, if not delivered all that well, and the oppressive environment makes for a compelling adventure. In essence, it has everything required to be a diamond in the rough, a worthy experience in spite of its many flaws. 

Where this all goes wrong, however, is in the second half of the game, once Tokaj breaks free of Glory's reigns and reaches the blasted surface world. The horror elements soon give way to banal, Mad Max-inspired action sequences for which the game clearly was not designed. It's plagued by instant-death quick-time-event sequences with inconveniently placed checkpoints, and a narrative that cashes in all its previous build-up for a rushed tour of every post-apocalypse story cliche in the book. Here, guns become more important but the ammo count hasn't upped to counter it, infuriating enemies that can't be hit with melee weapons appear, and there are some excruciating boss fights designed to exploit the game's own dodgy physics to score cheap kills on the player. 

After all the goodwill accrued in the first portion of the game, InSanity indulges in its weakest elements to an overwhelming degree while unceremoniously eradicating anything it did well. Thus imbalanced, the game becomes practically unbearable to the point where it feels almost like a totally different title. Quite why Intoxicate Studios felt the sudden shift in gears was necessary, I do not know, but the result is a dramatic drop that switches the entire adventure from forgivable to detestable. Rushed, sloppy, and exposing the game's already evident problems in magnifying detail, the closing half is an absolute destruction of the first half's achievements. 

I reached the final stages of the campaign before getting too sick of it to continue, and found little sanctuary in the "Dirty Arena" mode that seems to be an exercise in seeing how long you can get shot at before dying. There's not a lot else on offer, and even at a budget price of $19.99, I'd say the game fails to provide enough compelling material to be worth the plunge. 

InSanity was never going to be a great game. It would have struggled to be considered a good one. It did, however, have that certain special something, possessed of enough charisma to at least make me debate whether or not it was a bad game. That is, until the gear shift and rapid decline, at which point I gave up trying to be nice and settled in for an absolutely terrible time.

It's a shame, because it had its hands all the tools necessary for underground success, but failed to prove itself consistent enough to stand out from all the other obscure, low-budget, bottom-feeding action games on the market.



THE VERDICT

3

Afterfall: InSanity Extended Edition - Reviewed by Jim Sterling
Insulting - I feel mocked by this game. It's engaging for just long enough to pull the rug out from under me and scream in my ear, "surprise! I suck!"

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Snaveage avatarSnaveage
Phantom Pain is fucking glorious.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
Anyone remember the cartoon "Freakazoid"? I'm doing artwork for a box for work to hold my supplies, but I cant remember some of the better characters. Freakazoid, Steph, Cosgrove, Candlejack, the Lobe, Caveguy... but who else?
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Gotta love all those Dtoid community members that magically appear whenever there's a giveaway.
DSBrad avatarDSBrad
Newest Madden may be one of my favorites. Been taking all my time up.
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
TWITCHTOID! I'll be playing some more PS4 Zombi and then some Until Dawn if'n I want to change things up. Link: [url=http://www.twitch.tv/thedefenestrator]Twitch.tv: TheDefenestrator[/url]
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Bless Wasteland 2's custom portraits [img]http://i.imgur.com/JuWaB1W.png?1[/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Sorting out a bunch of university stuff and going through a bit of writers block. I'm also holding some of my best stuff back for freelancing purposes (uni ain't cheap!), so sorry if my blogs have been a bit lackluster lately. And will be for 4-ish weeks.
gajknight avatargajknight
Been looking for a car to buy today. I swear, I am so sick of my mums voice. "It's too expensive!" "Don't you think it's a little big..." "INSURANCE!" Goddamn woman, chill your beans.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Hey look! I bought some toys and stuff and junk and what-not. [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b321/Felth/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-08/IMAG0656.jpg~original[/IMG]
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Yes, it's essentially a trace job, but this is my first piece of pixel art: [img]http://i.imgur.com/N0zmHiL.png[/img]
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Oh for fuck's sake, why is there no Netflix app for my PSTV?
Zenbrains avatarZenbrains
A new fun game for iOS and Android devices. Featuring a beautiful minimalistic design and an easy gesture based interface. Hope you'll like it. [url] https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1022015201[/url] [img]http://bit.ly/1EtWjdJ[/img]
Ben Davis avatarBen Davis
Apologies for the lack of Experience Points lately! I'm taking a short break from writing them, but don't worry. They'll be back soon enough!
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Am I the only one excited to play the Forza Motorsport 6 demo?
The Travisionist avatarThe Travisionist
Adventure games are a big part of the indie scene, but there's a reason their popularity plummeted as graphics evolved. This clicking on everything, just in case, nonsense is for the birds. 90s birds, but birds.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Spotted some "The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3" (1989) DVDs in a store. Hearing music and sound effects from the game is more amusing than it should be - although the running shrill gets old quickly.
extatix avatarextatix
Diablo 3 patch 2.3.0 equals more grinding. Good.
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Funny coincidence: Last week saw the release of Until Dawn, which talked about a Canadian tribe of Native Americans called the Cree,and last night a Cree woman (Ms. Canada) won the Ms. Universe contest. Butterfly Effect updated.
MeeGhoulz avatarMeeGhoulz
Playing UNTIL DAWN 1st time:I'm alright with QTE,but an option to use direction as choices instead of buttons poppin' on screen would be welcome!Also:NO SHINY ITENS TO INDICATE CLUES!LET ME DISCOVER THEM!All in all,it's fun enough...
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
If I was to play through the NES library, besides being madness, what order do I do it? Alphabetically or Release date-wise? Whats the Dtoid universe think?
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Afterfall: InSanity Extended Edition


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -