Ad Infinitum is a survival horror title that sees you play as a German soldier trapped in the claustrophobic trenches around No Man’s Land. Sometimes. The game is split down the middle between the horrors of the Western Front and your family’s mansion.
While the war half of the game is a compelling and refreshing take on the horror genre, the “spooky mansion” content rarely elevates itself past being a knockoff of better titles, such as Layers of Fear. In that vein, the game broaches many topics through collectibles, such as waging war when your populace doesn’t want to, or the moral quandary of using mustard gas. But the game never really has anything meaningful to say, instead just gesturing towards profundity amid a number of bog-standard surrealist sequences.
The war serves as a brilliant backdrop for horror, as it tends to show the very worst side of humanity. Interestingly, though, there are only a scant handful of human characters throughout the game’s five or so hours. You’ll find plenty of corpses, but living threats are exclusively grotesque amalgamations, deeply disturbing to behold at every turn. The creature design is phenomenal.
Likewise, sound design is exquisite. In moments that call for you to cross No Man’s Land, the game opts for a haunting stillness and silence that perfectly conveys how disturbing that stretch of land really was. The music likewise offers an interesting spin on a classic war sound, deftly weaving horror stings and musical elements in, creating a unique hybrid of sounds. The environments are a mixed bag. Many areas are excellently designed, full of detail and character, but just as many have a muddy, washed-out quality that leaves a lot to be desired.
What everything adds up to is a game that’s half good. If the more unique and compelling idea of the war was expanded upon, the title could have been much better.