Infernax: Deux or Die Review – Retro Gory Action With a Friend

    Title: Infernax: Deux or Die
    Developer: Berzerk Studio
    Release Date: April 5, 2023
    Reviewed On: PC
    Publisher: The Arcade Crew
    Genre: Retro Action

Playing Infernax requires a certain mindset when taking on its retro difficulty. For some, this is all too familiar as it lines up with games they may have experienced growing up. In contrast, others will likely have trouble navigating the almost punishingly restrictive movement and persistent enemy design. Regardless, for some reason, I found enjoyment in the ever-expanding list of skills, choice system, and pixelated gore. Sure, it might not be for everyone, but I’m glad Infernax found a following.

Now, it’s time to return to the adventure, but this time with a few different systems. Infernax: Deux or Die is a significant update that adds another character for local co-op or the option to switch during single-player. This new mode delivers a unique adventure whether you’re playing again or for the first time.

Infernax: Deux or Die allows players to play with a local partner or single-player, where they can switch between characters with the press of a button. The game begins as normal, but alongside Alcedor is a new hero named Cervul. After the intro, the environments are pretty much the same as the base game, but the enemies have definitely received some rebalancing.

I would say that including Cervul has increased the difficulty a bit, but luckily his loadout provides a new way for players to approach that challenge. Unlike Alcedor’s mace, Cervul wields an axe that can be lobbed in the air. These can be controlled to a degree whether you are moving, crouching, or jumping, but precision takes some practice. It ultimately allows you to remove enemies from across pits or on higher ledges, creating a false sense of safety.

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This is due to the enemy designs and how they force the player to dodge and react to their various movesets and speeds. Cervul doesn’t really play nice with enemies that rush in close as they pass under the arc of the axe. Luckily, he gains access to new equipment that allows for a different approach to combat.

Given that Cervul doesn’t have access to spells, his equipment provides the necessary tools to help out Alcedor. For starters, the crossbow allows for direct attacks but needs to be reloaded, and the Pavise proved an additional layer of defense for players to combat the greater enemy difficulty.

Cervul also brings additional benefits that aid in buffs and healing, which can all be upgraded as you progress. As the adventure began, I was curious to know if I could just get through the game as I typically have, but Cervul’s skills and equipment make encounters exceptionally fun. However, remembering to use them during a tense fight took some time.

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Now, we were told that this might be a spoiler, so you could totally skip to the score from here, but Infernax: Deux or Die expands on the morality system, and evil Cervul is an absolute beast. Throughout gameplay, you’ll make choices that could eventually lead to additional perks. In the case of evil Cervul, you’ll acquire a Void Shield, which pretty much blasts through anything in its way, along with poison daggers that deal extended damage to enemies.

I don’t want to spoil all the cool skills you can unlock, but it makes it enjoyable as you juggle how to utilize each character in combat properly. This is needed to handle the added layer of difficulty brought on by the enemies, but I will say that evil Cervul is way more fun to play as than the good path.

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I’ll also say that local co-op is significantly more fun, given that two players can combine their skills during combat and work together across each screen. However, the drawback is that platforming sections can be annoying if you wait for your partner to make a specific cycle. The single-player option gets the job done, as switching characters is seamless, but it’s clear this was made for two people.

Aside from this, you’ll be experiencing a very similar story to the base game. The graphics are just as gory, and the music is just as good. Aside from that, you can unlock a Contra-like mode by inputting the Konami code, which is just icing on the cake for this free update.

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Infernax: Deux or Die only adds to the thrilling experience the base game offers. The inclusion of Cervul adds a new layer of challenge to the adventure, but his skills and abilities are enough to make your way through. The local co-op option is the best way to experience this update, with new ways to manage enemies, but you’re sure to have a frustratingly enjoyable time no matter how you play.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Azario Lopez

Hanging out max, relaxing all cool.