"Stranded alone at a gas station in the middle of the desert. Dark Rituals. Demonic Pursuers. No escape," that's the short pitch for Ad Infernum, an in-development immersive sim from Glass Knuckle Games that's rich with strange, occult objects and a kind of horror influence that hasn't yet really taken root in the broader immersive sim genre.
Founded on the idea of player freedom, the go-anywhere grab-anything fundamentals of the immersive sim make it a pretty cool match for horror and occult concepts. Forcing you to know when to use stealth to bypass enemies or go in guns blazing lends credence to two kinds of fundamental horror gameplay, as does a sandbox approach to level design rather than linear story-driven levels.
For now, Ad Infernum just has a release date of 2023, but you can check out more details on the itch.io and Steam pages for it. It's by Glass Knuckle Games, an indie with a history of cool ideas but no huge hits yet.
Glass Knuckle advertises some other features for Ad Infernum, like a system of arcane transmutation to "break down items in to base materials" and then "Use these materials to transmute completely new items." The game world will also focus on secrets and shortcuts, with bits of world story and loot hidden in various corners. There'll also be side objectives to aid or alter how you approach the main story, all under a stated design philosophy of "Exploration is rewarded, but not required."
Over on their Twitter account, Glass Knuckle developer Entropy Phi has some really sick animations and things from the in-development version of Ad Infernum. Like this overcomplicated save station, which I love:
Finally got around to making manual save stations. Like most of the in-game machines, it's got a healthy amount of unnecessary moving parts. #gamedev #madewithunity pic.twitter.com/DrUDbRaBl2April 2, 2023
That also includes a new standard I'm going to use: "It's not an immersive sim if chairs can't be used as shields."
"It's not an immersive sim if chairs can't be used as shields." #screenshotsaturday #gamedev pic.twitter.com/3TLIB17phtFebruary 25, 2023
Again, you can follow Ad Infernum on the itch.io and Steam pages for more.