Poor guy... glad I didnt meet him alive, though!
Afterfall: Insanity was released on 25th November 2011, developed by an indie developer Intoxicate Studios, and published by a relatively unknown Polish publisher Nicolas Entertainment Group. The game had it's moment on the E3 with a trailer. An interesting fact about the promotion of the game before release, is the price - Nicolas Entertainment Group challenged the world of gamers to pre-order 10 MILLIONS of copies of Afterfall: Insanity by the 25th November. That might seem stupid, considering that Battlefield 3 reached "just" 3 million pre-orders, but the game was available for only 1$. Yes, one dollar! If they reached that number, they would have donated 10% to charity. If they failed, they would be forced to donate all the collected money. As you can probably imagine, they did not reach the needed number of pre-orders, despite the price, and all money was given away - claiming the promotion was not actually to get more sales/profit, but to support the charity organizations.
Enough of the background story of the pre-release promotion. Afterfall: Insanity is set in a post-apocalyptic world, after a nuclear war between Cold War nations (in the game the conflict never disappeared, and by 2012 a war began). Player takes on the role of one of the survivors, who all live in an underground shelter in Poland. The playable character is Albert Tokaj, a psychologist dealing with every-day mental problems of all the other people - more specifically with their insanities. The story is actually quite good - it drags you into the mysterious events that start to happen in the beginning of the game, and should keep you hooked right till the end. Lots of different enemies will appear at the most unexpected moments, trying their best to kill you. Here comes one downside of the game, though - the combat system. Long-range combat is not that bad, and may actually be considered good. Close-range combat, on the other hand, was quite annoying in my opinion. The movements during an attack are extremely slow (not due to the game speed), and sometimes bugged. It is possible to give a hit with a huge hammer from the side, and actually not damage the opponent (even though you can clearly see it touching their head, or rather going "inside" of it)! Despite this downside, I still liked the combat system of the game.
A major point as to why Afterfall: Insanity receive very low ratings from game critics is the voice acting. When I was reading about this game, I thought it would not really be a bother to me. I was mistaken. During dialogs, characters might talk with absolutely emotionless voices, even if there should be tension in their talk. The voices often do not suit the characters, not even talking about situations. So what was good about the sound of the game? Perhaps the voices of the enemies were decent. The creepy and really crazy laugh of certain enemies gave the title of the game the right meaning - insanity. The sounds of the game were good for the atmosphere, contributing much to the whole feeling the player receives from playing Afterfall.
Another largely criticized side of this game are the animations. Once again, I thought it would not bother me, since I have played several 'below average' games that had been criticized for animations. Even though it was not as bad as some say, it was not good either. The environment was un-touchable in 99% cases, but that might be due to it being a shooter (I have not played those for a while). Hitting a metal box on the wall will simply create sparks - nothing else. Running was slow, but was compensated by the sprinting option. The sudden surface movements that were supposed to scare, were not that sudden and therefore had no effect, at least on me.
Now about the good part. The graphics of Afterfall were above average - especially when on high settings AND in 1920x1080. Unfortunately, later on in the game my computer no longer allowed me to use such settings, so I had to lower my resolution considerably. The graphics are also good atmospherically: when walking into a room, you can see particles flying around and the lightning is great.
Taking all of those aspects together, I have to say that I am a bit disappointed in this game. Despite the story and atmosphere being very good, other parts of the gameplay lowered the enjoyability of Afterfall: Insanity. The overall feeling of the game reminded me very much of Doom 3 - especially the beginning of the story. Even monsters were similar. If Afterfall at least had an option for first-person gameplay, I would certainly have liked it more. As it stands, though, I would only recommend this game for it's story - play it at your own risk of being disappointed.
The exit... or perhaps the entrance?