The story of Inferno: The Odyssey Continues picks up where the original game Epic leaves off. The Rexxons had captured the human "champion" and genetically altered him to be one of their own. Flying into a rage, the modified champion kills all of the Rexxons on the station, and regains his human form. His newly modified genetic structure now allows his body to be rebuilt from the "information vortex" should his ship be destroyed in combat, but it will only work two times.
Inferno is a space-sim shoot-em-up game that is based on a updated version of the engine used in TFX (Tactical Fighter Experiment). The action takes place across a varied set of locations throughout the solar system, with the potential for a single mission to take place in space, inside ships/bases, and across a planet surface.
The game was comprised of three modes of play:
Director‘s Cut: The standard mode of play where the story evolves around the outcome of each mission. This mode was special due to the large number of permutations that the developer added into the game to give each game a unique feel. There are a total possible 700 missions included in the game, and more than 16,000 total permutations that can slightly modify the experience on each play session. The pre-rendered cut-scenes that play between each mission have a unique art style that provided an almost sculpted quality to the look of the characters.
Evolutionary: This mode of play changes the game slightly and allows the player to prioritize the defense of the solar system by choosing which planets to protect over others.
Arcade: The last mode of play is a basic arcade mode where the only goal is to garner the highest score possible.
The game takes place across the span of an entire solar system which is comprised of 12 main bodies. These are: Solaris, Magnox, Hydra Verdi, Terra Nova (and moon Terra Luna), Protus Maxima (with moons of Romulus, and Remus), Silica Voss, the Van Troop Belt, Troon, and Sibex. Each location is different in terms of look, but more or less behaves the same. Some planets even have unique wild life on them should you look closely enough.
In addition to the planets, space zones, and asteroid belts the player will also be tasked with entering friendly and hostile interiors. Some of these locations are small capital ships, but others are sprawling bases and battle stations. These claustrophobic encounters require the player to navigate tight hallways filled with enemies to meet various objectives. Some might be as simple as interfacing with an enemy computer, or more dangerous such as destroying the reactor and then running for the exit before the facility blows up.
Enemy installations are even more difficult as the layout is has very few visual cues, and the map is also usually inoperable upon entry until the computer room is located. The feel of the game is very different while navigating the interiors, and offers an interesting shift in pace during the course of some of the longer missions.
Weapons and Pickups
The Inferno space craft comes equipped with eight weapons in total throughout the game. These are:
- Laser 1 - Unlimited usage, non targetable precision fire laser weapon. This is the default weapon that draws on the ship energy reserves to fire, and is a short range beam weapon.
- Laser 2 - Mid power, non targetable pulse laser weapon. This version of the laser fires pulsed beams that cause more damage, but are slower to reach their target. This weapon has it‘s own limited ammo supply.
- Laser 3 - Maximum power, non targetable pulse laser. This version of the laser causes the most damage, and is fired in larger ball shaped pulses.
- Torpedo 1 - Short range, close combat homing projectile. Your standard lock-on missile weapon.
- Torpedo 2 - Medium range, high yield homing projectile. More powerful than the previous torpedo, and can fly further.
- Torpedo 3 - Long rage, maximum damage homing projectile. Capable of causing the most damage, and fires the furthest of the missile weapons.
- Cluster - High power, heat seeking splinter bomb. Not really so much a bomb, but a missile that splits into multiple pieces and tracks enemy ships. Very useful in large clusters of enemies, but only if there is enough space for them to move. Not as useful while inside bases and installations.
- Megadeth - Limited usage, Ultra damage pulse weapon. When you need something dead quickly, this is the weapon you choose.
- Each of these weapons has a limited amount of ammunition for each mission. Once you are out of ammo, you need to rely on Laser 1 to get all of your business finished, but if you run out of NRG, than even that will be of limited use. Fortunately you can find combat pods scattered about most of the missions that can be collected and deployed manually when it would be most useful. These pods are:
- Shield - When low on shields, it is always great to find one of these on the map to help keep you healthy.
- NRG - When your energy reserves are low, use one of these to boost it back up to maximum level. This pod will also charge all three of your laser weapons.
- Invincibility - This pod will make the Inferno ship impervious to enemy attack for a limited period of time.
- Weapons 1 - This pod will boost the Laser 2 and Laser 3 weapons back to maximum capacity.
- Weapons 2 - Boosts Torpedo 1, 2, and 3 back to maximum.
- Weapons 3 - Boosts the cluster and Megadeth weapons to full capacity.
- Turbo - Boosts the turbo of the Inferno.
The soundtrack of the game was heavily publicized during the period of its release for being composed by British deathrock band Alien Sex Fiend.