‘INFRA’ is a freshly released first-person puzzle adventure game. It was initially created as a Portal 2 modification, but became a standalone Source engine title after Steam Greenlight success in 2013.
Last month, Infra finally came out on Steam, and so far, it has received a fairly positive response from the community, including a nomination for IndieDB’s Indie of the Year Awards in December 2015. We take a quick look.
Infra is the work of Loiste Interactive, a group of Finnish Source modders, who recently setup their independent game studio after securing finance from investors last year. Infra is their first shipped title, and right now, they are working on the second instalment of the game, Infra: Part 2, which will be released as a free update to the existing game.
The story puts you in the shoes of a structural analyst called Mark. The plot synopsis describes you as somewhat of a pencil pusher, who has been given an assignment to save the degrading infrastructure of Stalburg, a fictional metropolis, that is rundown, and on the brink of economic collapse. It relates heavily to themes of corruption, deception and corporative monopolization. You can get a in-depth understanding of the backstory by watching the official trailer, above. Here’s a separate video of some of the gameplay too:
The gameplay focuses on environmental puzzles, challenges and decision making exercises. Your main ‘weapons’ or tools in this case, are a camera and a flashlight, which you use the navigate and document your way around with. It’s also gun-free, which means it’s probably not for everyone either.
“Instead of large explosions and powerful guns, you will rely on your cunning to survive puzzles in an incredibly detailed world.”
Much of Infra takes place in eerie abandoned warehouses, sewers and industrial plants. The setting is very expansive, and contains significant attention to detail and environmental beauty within the level design. If you’re a fan of the visual aesthetic and style of iconic Valve locations, such as the depths of Black Mesa Research Facility, City 17′s Underground or Old Aperture Science, you will likely enjoy what Infra has to offer. If you’re sharp enough, you may even notice some Half-Life references too. Here are some images:
The concept of Infra is certainly very different from your average first-person Source game. You could say that the lack of violence and amount of decision-based exercises within Infra align it’s style and genre towards that of The Stanley Parable and Dear Esther as well as classic puzzle-adventure titles such as Myst and Riven. Officially, Infra has been assigned the Steam store genres of ‘indie’, ‘puzzle’, ‘adventure’ and ‘horror. It’s important to note though, that despite the dark and isolated appearance of the overall setting, the game is not a jump-scare horror title by any means.
We are planning to be interviewing some of the team about Infra’s development in the near future. We’re also going to have a more detailed review of the game up sometime next week, by hscsguy, so stay tuned for that.