Holy Smoke: Infernal For Free

Nerf the pyro

Fancy a free game involving shootage? You probably do. Gametap have 2007 heaven-vs-hell shooter Infernal available to play for free-o-pounds. Described by the RPS lounge as “not great” yet “an acceptable enough manshoot”, you can literally play it now. Yes. Anyway, a video beneath the cut to get an idea of what it’s like via the medium of moving images.

That certainly is some shooting.


  1. Ian says:

    That video depicts what can only be described as gameplay of Infernal.

  2. Dave says:

    Yup. A lot of dudes being shot by another dude.

    As far as I can tell, you need a GameTap subscription to play it. How is that free?

  3. bansama says:

    Meh, I still don’t feel like going anywhere near Gametap.

  4. SirKicksalot says:

    They still haven’t added PhysX support for Nvidia cards, rite?

  5. Toby says:

    This was a very guilty pleasure for me; I actually paid money for it. Riddled with awful design decisions and utterly laughable plot and dialogue, it did nonetheless have a distinct charm. Though really, the way you were encouraged to go through the laboursome routine of sucking out the soul of every person you killed for nuggets of energy was pretty stupid. Decent graphics though.

  6. Dominic White says:

    @Dave & bansama

    A Trial gametap account is free, and they’ve removed the client software they used to use – it’s all launch-via-browser now, so there’s really no reason not to at least monkey around with it. It’ll take you five minutes.

    A free trial account gets you these games:
    link to gametap.com

    Of note:
    Descent: Freespace
    Deus Ex
    Darkstar One
    Shadowgrounds (I really like this – it’s like an updated Alien Breed)
    Mr Robot (Very nice indie platform/puzzle, a bit like Head Over Heels)
    Perimeter (Batshit insane Russian RTS, also quite good)
    Blast Miner (Physics puzzle game by the makers of Gish)
    Thief: Deadly Shadows
    Hitman: Blood Money
    Just Cause
    Psychonauts (If you haven’t played this, do so now)
    Tomb Raider: Legend
    Second Sight
    Soldiers: Heroes of WW2

    That is a lot of free games, and that’s just the ones I think are worth playing

    As others have mentioned, it’s a pretty flawed game, but if you’ve not got anything better demanding your time right now, the price is right. There is much man-shooting and some fun powers to muck around with.

    Also, the plot is retarded but kinda likeable. You’re an Ex-Angel (of the edgy loose cannon variety) hired by Satan to shoot good guys. You do much of this.

    Oh yeah, the reason for the change of face for Gametap is that they were bought up by Metaboli, a similar service based in France, but with a good UK wing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the services merge fully within a couple of years.

  7. brulleks says:

    That’s all well and good Dominic, but the new Gametap won’t let me log in with my previous details or create a new account using them either. So they ‘ain’t all that,’ if I may revert to the colloquial for a moment.

    Shame, as I wouldn’t have minded giving Darkstar One and Perimeter a go for free.

  8. Dominic White says:

    I’d imagine any problems you might be having are of the temporary variety – the Gametap site just went down. Methinks something might have broken on their end. Give it another shot once they’ve put the fires out.

    They’ve been a bit wonky these past few weeks – the changeover to Metaboli ownership hasn’t been completely smooth.

    Also, if all else fails, lie and say you’re American. It’s the key to so many sites these days.

  9. Nero says:

    I’ve played this game from start to finish and I had fun doing it. Nothing special just a good solid game.

  10. Carra says:

    “The graphics rock” – Nvidia.

    Now that’s an objective review.

  11. Dominic White says:

    Because I’m such a nice bloke (with too much free time), I tried making a Gametap Free account right now. Took me under two minutes, and I’m logged in and it’s all working now.

    I’m in France at the moment, so it’s not locking out non-American folks either. In fact, it didn’t even ask me where I was, or who I was – just wanted an email address. It’s much simpler to sign up than it used to be.

    So, that’s 34 free games for approximately two minutes effort. Not bad. Not helping me, personally, as I have a full subscription (at the lifetime – assuming I don’t cancel – price of $60 yearly for being an early adopter), but just letting others know it’s all working as intended now.

  12. Dave says:

    Whereas we Americans tend to lie and say we’re Canadian…

  13. hydra9 says:

    ‘Manshoot’ – I love it :) Almost on a par with the German term for dodgy low-budget FPSs: ‘Trash-EgoShooteren’

  14. Tei says:

    I have played this one. Is the typical linear console FPS/adventure game, where controls are bad, and puzzle solutions are either too easy and lame, or arcane and wrong.

  15. malkav11 says:

    Unless they’ve vastly changed things, they rotate out free games on a regular basis, and many games played through Gametap store their saves inside the encrypted game data so that you will lose all progress if they happen to pick the game you’re working on as something to rotate out.

    So, free games. But you’d better play them fast.

  16. Dominic White says:

    ‘Fast’ seems pretty relative. Some of those games, such as Psychonauts and Just Cause, have been there *forever*. They’ve been even slower since the Metaboli takeover/merger, so I’d expect that current list to stay largely unchanged for the next six months.

    I may be wrong , but that’s what recent experience has taught me at least.

  17. blacktick says:

    Dunno,I bought it when it came out and I liked it. Surely we’ve seen games with more ridiculous plot and flaws than this. :)

    but for free actually sounds good…wish more games were like that. :D

  18. damien says:

    interesting. that was the first time i’ve signed up for gametap where i neither cursed, muttered nor closed my browser in irritation. i’m impressed.

  19. Blather Blob says:

    @Dominic: They’ve been slow with the rotation because they’ve been focused solely on trying to get the site working again for the past two months. But if you look at their forum thread of New and Upcoming Games, it lists those games as already overdue for removal from the free games, and that was when they last updated that list, about three weeks ago.

    I’d warn anyone considering this that using GameTap now requires installing a browser plugin (IE and Firefox are supported) instead of the previous standalone client. Personally, I’m more leary of that than a client, considering the potential for exploits this opens when browsing the web. I get around it by being forced to use GameTap on a second OS install, since its DRM is 32-bit only, and I don’t really care what it does to the browser on that OS since I don’t use it for anything else anyway.

  20. damien says:

    @ blather bob – i really hated all versions of gametap’s client in the past. when it did run, it was unattractive, very clumsy, used RAM poorly and just felt like a chore. it did itself even fewer favors by not running on any flavor of windows server and its inability to run on any of my older thinkpads (due to its window animations the program “needed” 32mb of VRAM to run). the old client turned what should have been the bliss of emulated dos or console games on a series of 1999 – 2001 era thinkpads into an “issue”.

    i’ll get back to you and eat my words if the plug-in opens anything janky after i’ve nosed around it for a bit; but between sandboxie and my router i’m much more happy gametap actually works for me this time around than worried about potential security issues it might bring.

  21. Blather Blob says:

    @damien: Just to be clear, I’m not saying I know of security holes in the plugin, I’m just worried that if it has any security holes by nature of it being a plugin they would be open to any page you browse to. Of course, I assume sandboxie will keep you safe (I haven’t looked at it before; can you configure which directories the plugin will have read/write access to, or does it present popups everytime you try to download a new game? Or, looking at the website’s description, does it “delete” the not-actually-written-to-the-real-HDD downloaded games when you close IE?), but most folks don’t take security so seriously as you, or assume running Firefox will fix the problems.

    Oh, and I agree that a web-based UI is a much better idea than some custom 3D thing, it’s just too bad they have to create yet another custom plugin (not that I can suggest an alternative, other than a client that wraps an HTML engine for its UI). Oh, and I know what you mean about the grumpiness of the old client. On my Server 2008 install, it would only load when I was using WHQL-certified drivers (my GTX 260 doesn’t support 3D acceleration, you say?). And it then tried to help me by refusing to even download the Windows games into my data folder since I was running a 64-bit OS and they were incompatible, never mind that if they were downloaded I’d be able to restart into XP and then run them, without having to leave my computer on overnight running XP just to download games. And then when I uninstalled it from Server 2008 one time, it helpfully deleted all my downloaded games which had been shared with my XP install.

  22. Mister Yuck says:

    You guys don’t just look a gift horse in the mouth, you get out your pliers and start with the amateur dentistry.

  23. Dominic White says:

    The prospect of ‘free games’ seems to make people paranoid, it seems. I was talking with one of the guys who ran Gametap back when it was under Time-Warner, and apparently one of the biggest problems they had was getting people past that initial suspicion. A lot of folks would (despite the site being owned by one of Americas biggest media corporations) just assume that it’s shady and there’s hidden charges and/or spyware or whatever is the latest internet scare of the week attached.

  24. malkav11 says:

    I don’t mind a time limit on the free play. But I must, must, must always have access to my save files.

  25. damien says:

    meh. i’m back to grumbling. this is probably a minor issue for everyone else who isn’t OCD about their system, so overall gametap is headed in the right direction…

    BUT… it automatically downloads / installs games to your c:documents and settingsall usersapp data blah blah blah… directory.

    on systems like mine, where windows is the *only* thing installed on my c drive, this is not-optimal. at least ask the user what drive he’d like this crap put on.

    i played hitman – blood money for about an hour and then got grossed out at how the regular installing and deleting of throwaway “free” 3gb+ games on a regular basis is going to thrash my C drive all the time and just kinda gave up on it all.

    anyone know of a direct-download place that sells infernal for the states?

  26. damien says:

    @blather bob re: sandboxie.

    you can set up permissions for whole drives, or folders to either be used by sandboxie when sandboxie or a sandboxed program is run or to automatically run sandboxed by default at windows logon (like my \downloads\ directories). things can be installed out of them via settings + popups, but without user consent nothing “gets out” of a sandboxed directory or program that can alter a system.

    it took me awhile to get used to it, but the trojan / worm nightmare i got back (after lending a thinkpad out to a friend for a few weeks) reminded me that its SO much better than the alternatives.

    “what did you do? click every single flashing porn popup you could find???”

  27. Blather Blob says:

    @damien: If you don’t mind editing a few files and the registry, you can change the download location (the old client used to ask the location, and people who still had it installed got that setting transferred over. I believe there will eventually be a UI for setting this, but they’re still very busy getting the new system working for everybody again). If you want to buy it, there’s Steam for $10.

    @malkav11: I haven’t tried Infernal, but it’s recent enough that it probably saves games to the My Documents folder. If that’s true, GameTap won’t suck them up and eat them. It only does that when saved directly in the game’s folder. Or at least, my My Documents folder is full of saved games for many of the games I’ve played on GameTap.

  28. damien says:

    ha! blather bob, thank you for the ini tweak and the steam link. (im an idiot, i was running around from d2d / gg and impulse because i was *sure* i’d seen it on offer at one of them). or rather, steam thanks you. ;)

  29. malkav11 says:

    Infernal may not be one of the games afflicted by that particular issue, I forget, but I -have- played it (through Gametap, actually) and it’s rather rubbish. So I’m more putting that out as a general warning for folks tempted by more excellent free titles.

  30. brulleks says:

    Cheers Dom. Looks like you were right – must have been a temporary glitch as I’ve just logged in with my old details again.

    Now, if only I didn’t have a million other things to play as well… *sigh*