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- Developer – Clinton McCleary of Caustic Reality
- Genre – First-Person Horror
- Goal – $12,000 AUD
- Campaign Facilitator – Kickstarter
As I first read the pitch for Infliction, I saw the name Gone Home pitched as a reference point, and that soothed this anxious heart. Gone Home left me, and the many others who played it in suspense for the entirety of its play-time because many anticipated the moment that horror would kick in, and it never did – I kept this in mind going into my 20minute demo of Infliction in the hopes that no matter what I saw or heard, I’d be safe – I clearly pinned too many of my hopes around the Gone Home reference.
There are Gone Home-ish qualities about Infliction, for much of the demo I was searching the home to uncover details pertaining to terrible events that have transpired. I was felt constant, uneasy dread, a dread of what was to come around the next corner, and more specifically, dread that whatever was hunting me was soon going to find me. I was simultaneously engrossed by what I was playing, and wanting to turn away and leave because I couldn’t take any more of the tension.
Where this Infliction demo excels is in both its detail and in its atmosphere, and both work in collaboration to ease the scares out of you. It’s unsettling to walk into a room and have a picture frame mysteriously fall from its mounted place on a wall, especially moments after you’ve been released from a room where someone or something’s blood lay pooled on the floor. You can hear movement in the distance, a slow, rustling, but can’t ever seem to quite pinpoint the source, and on top of the continual taunting from ringing phones with no caller and much more, I could feel my breathing getting shorter the longer I played.
The attention to detail paid to every piece of the environment is what perhaps struck me the most from my time with the game. Everything looks as it should, but also doesn’t, as though the threat in the home has placed everything in a particular way to traumatise you at every turn. The lighting (and at times, lack of it), is exceptional and elevates the experience to an even higher level.
In development at Sydney based indie startup studio Caustic Reality, Infliction will be releasing in time for Halloween 2018, though with some additional funding, some extra polish can be added. It’s taken two years to get Infliction to the point it is, but despite only playing a very small sample size, I can confidently say (as much as one can when they’ve shrunk into the back of the couch thanks to playing the game) that the sacrifices made have been worth it.