Evil Dead Necronomicon

Infernax from Berzerk Studio is easily one of the best games of the year. The title launched seemingly out of nowhere, but it provides an awesome 2D action-adventure experience inspired by Zelda II and Castlevania, with a little bit of Souls-esque flavor for good measure. Aside from being a dope fantasy action game, though, Infernax leans heavily into its horror influences, even if you may not realize it at first.

Splatter-y Gore

Infernax Pixel Blood

The combat of Infernax consists of satisfying hacking and smashing. You’ll bash enemies’ skulls in, send heads flying, and paint the town (or village) red. It’s fun seeing pixelated blood squirt out of the spot where your foes’ heads used to be.

Like a good splatter flick — Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive comes to mind — it’s always awesome seeing our hero covered in his enemies’ blood. The bigger the baddie, the more gore you’ll see spray the screen. Case in point: Killing an oversized boss results in mushy, pink organs and buckets of blood splattering every which way — including all over the player character.

The Necronomicon

Necronomicon Ex Mortis - Evil Dead

H. P. Lovecraft is credited with creating the concept of and naming the Necronomicon, also known as the Book of the Dead. This spellbook is said to resurrect the souls of the deceased in grotesque and demonic ways. Different versions of the Necronomicon have appeared in comics, games, and movies including the Friday the 13th and Pumpkinhead franchises. That said, no other horror film series utilizes the Necronomicon quite like Evil Dead, which makes this cursed tome the center of its lore.

The Necronomicon also makes an appearance in Infernax, and it’s a pivotal part of completing an ultimate good playthrough, as well as an ultimate evil playthrough. Interestingly, the Necronomicon here looks a lot like the one used in the Evil Dead series as its cover appears to be a face etched with absolute pain and fear.

Similarities with Army of Darkness

Army of Darkness Skeletons

Speaking of the Evil Dead movies… Some of the enemies you encounter as you adventure through Infernax are simple skeletons. Well, they may be nothing but bones, but they’re still tough, and they tend to come at you in groups. The third Evil Dead film, Army of Darkness, had a climactic final battle where protagonist Ash Williams led his troops against countless skeleton soldiers. Likewise, Infernax is loaded with skeletal baddies for you to take on in your quest.

Plus, given the game’s somewhat medieval fantasy look and feel, and the fact that everyone is bugging the hero for help, there’s no denying the similarities with Army of Darkness.

Religious Horror Themes

Infernax Exorcism

There are quite a few dark themes featured prominently throughout Infernax. The game doesn’t shy away from religious horror, either. As you play, you’ll encounter victims of possession that can only be saved by an exorcism. Even in pixelated form, seeing possessed humans levitating as a result of being consumed by dark forces is really creepy. In addition, some of the game’s bigger bosses are named after mythological demons, so there’s that, too.

It Comes at Night

Infernax Day-Night Cycle

Infernax features a simple day-and-night cycle. It’s nothing too crazy, but when nighttime comes, you’ll have to deal with different enemies than you’d see during the day. These are usually ghosts that roam the lands, but there are other monsters that come out at night, including a hopping creature that’s pretty aggressive and can take a beating if you haven’t upgraded your damage output.

Yes, you need to be careful at all times, but like a good horror movie, you’ll see a lot of things that go bump in the night in Infernax, so be prepared for anything and everything when the moon rises.

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