The Crumbling Of America: Infra

Infra is a first-person game about structural and infrastructural decay. The devs explain that Infra is “what we like to call a gun free exploration game. Instead of large explosions and powerful guns, you will rely on your cunning to survive puzzles in an incredibly detailed world.” Furthermore: “Your tools are simple: the camera around your neck and the wits to navigate a virtual labyrinth of debris.” In the video you can see the player studying the innards of collapsing building, and taking photos of the damage with his camera. The devs explain that the game is inspired by notorious documentary The Crumbling Of America, which details the extent to which parts of United States’ infrastructure has been allowed to decay.

More details below.

Here’s a gameplay video:

Here’s the teaser if you need more:

And the game is on Greenlight if you think it should have your support, which I personally think it should.

71 Comments

  1. golem09 says:

    On the day the world celebrates it’s latest cinematic violence masterpiece, I’m glad to see this game.

    • Bloodoflamb says:

      It’s my understanding that the violence in The Last of Us is quite visceral, making you experience its effects more so than many games where violence is a central gameplay element. I assume you’re talking about The Last of Us, yes?

      • KirbyEvan says:

        It’s still fundamentally about violence, it uses violence to drive the story, it doesn’t matter how violence is treated.

        That’s like saying The Walking Dead isn’t a zombie series because it treats the zombies as a “visceral” plot driver instead of an antagonist.

        The last time I saw a game get as much critical acclaim before it even came out was Bioshock Infinite, a game that had a great story yet poor, almost incongruous game play.

        I think the 10/10 reviews are reviewing the story rather than how the game plays these days, which in my opinion is quite the fallacy, as it is only one part of a game.

        The Last of Us could make us all tear up at a most poetic story, yet it’s still a game based on inflicting violence.

  2. beatdarwin says:

    This is so Adam Foster-esque. Looks lovely.

  3. trout says:

    “…a gun free exploration game”
    SOLD!

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Please add in some monsters that we can talk to.

    • Premium User Badge

      Henke says:

      I’m always wary of games that list what they _don’t_ have as a feature. No guns is all well and good but that doesn’t automatically mean that what it does have is gonna be any good.

      • Uboa Noticed You says:

        What it does feature is free exploration, survival mixed with puzzle solving, and a moral choice that is actually challenging.

    • honky mcgee says:

      My hope is that once something like the Oculus Rift shows up we’ll be seeing a lot more of these. Personally I’d like to someone to go back and re-work Myst or Riven as a VR environment.

  4. DickSocrates says:

    Urban decay is right up my alley. Off to vote for it right away.

  5. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    To be fair, it’s hard to maintain infrastructure when you’re riding a horse and herding cattle. That is what Americans do, isn’t it?

  6. TychoCelchuuu says:

    I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. It’ll be nice to have another first person game where I won’t have to click on heads to make them explode – that’s fun, but after a while I’d like something new.

    • Phendron says:

      That reminds me, a game inspired by Scanners would be pretty neat.

  7. Zelius says:

    Now this is what I call original! We need more of this stuff.

    By the way, is this a Source engine game? The graphics gave me a HL2 – Episode 2 vibe.

    • LimEJET says:

      It’s definitely a Source game. The sound assets give it away, they are all part of the standard library.

  8. Hillbert says:

    Well, this just looks super.

    I’d love to see a genre version of this. Something like the initial bits of Prometheus. No violence but lots of puzzles, investigating, teasing apart stories.

    Maybe a SPACECHEM! style of minigame to open locked doors.

  9. edwardoka says:

    It does look very pretty, the surface bit at the end is very reminiscent of Polphail, a real life abandoned village in Scotland, which I recommend visiting before it gets pulled down or collapses of its own accord…

    However, the protagonist does seem to be a bit of an arse. Urbex is all about exploration, the motto being “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints”.

    He deliberately caused some quite severe damage and then pulled out the camera to take pictures of the aftermath as if to say “look at the state of this”. I was reminded of the priest in Father Ted who attacked Ted’s furniture with reckless abandon (and, in one case, a sledgehammer) only to say that it was caused by shoddy workmanship…

    • Lanfranc says:

      Apparently, the game protagonist is a professional structural analyst, so presumably he knows what he’s doing. Although it does seem like he likes to take a rather hands-on approach to the “analysis”.

    • Wedge says:

      Where exactly is he deliberately causing damage? By operating the machinery that should be functional were it not in disrepair?

      • edwardoka says:

        I’m not an engineer but there seems to be little method to poke-all-the-buttons-pull-the-levers-hmm-a-closing-hatch-ill-run-through-it-press-moar-buttons-pull-moar-levers-what-does-over-pressure-mean-oh-dear-im-dead sequence of events…

  10. DXN says:

    HELLS YES. God, please, please, please let there be more games like this going off the beaten track of GUNS HERO SPLOSIONS GRAVELVOICE and finding the infinity of worthwhile things that are out there waiting to be made.

  11. Ernesto says:

    Hmm… The player takes pictures of damaged places, but they don’t say what for. Hopefully it’s not just for a highscore. In the videos it looks like the camera has no purpose, except structural analysts must have one with them on their tours.

  12. Fred S. says:

    Sounds like a wonderful first half of a game. The second half would be administering the maintenance and reconstruction of these decaying hulks, while avoiding all the pitfalls of collapsing tax revenue due to business migration, graft, corruption, bribery, union featherbedding, shoddy workmanship, corruption, bureaucratic inertia, political gladhanding, did I mention corruption?

    • oskutin says:

      Great idea for sequel (and prequel).
      Some of that is already used.

  13. airtekh says:

    This is very much my kind of thing, looking forward to see how it develops.

    • felisc says:

      i very much agree.

    • Zaxro says:

      I also have to agree, this looks like it could be quite interesting. Hopefully it can live up to the promise the idea has.

  14. ArtyFishal says:

    This looks alright, but it needs something more. Some assault rifles, Russian ultranationalists, door breaching, and waypoint markers to keep me from getting lost aught to do it. Even then,I really need to see what kind of kill streaks and unlocks the multiplayer offers to get excited. ‘tl then, meh.

  15. jonahcutter says:

    Pffft… infrastructure.

    We’ve got Wall Street to bail out so we’re free from onerous regulations! Plus: TERRORISTS!

    Enjoy us, World, as as we lash out in the pain from our own cancerous rot.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      NOT OBAMA’S FAULT BECAUSE NOTHING IS EVER OBAMA’S FAULT*

      *To be clear, I’m not trying to be sarcastic about Obama himself, but rather those that think Presidents aren’t responsible for fixing their predecessors’ mistakes / neglect. If Romney had won, I’d be sarcastic about nothing ever being his fault, instead**.

      **That said, I would be happier if more bridges were fixed instead of new libraries being built in the middle of nowhere. But that’s technically a congressional spending issue.

  16. jonfitt says:

    So the important question is:
    Is this a first-person-poker or a poke’em up?

    • BooleanBob says:

      From the post title I assumed it was a dessert-themed Cooking Mama knock off.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    This looks incredible.

  18. kulik says:

    One thing I would do if I would be making an exploration game is that I would not advertise it as such. I would even add a gun or a simple melee combat mechanic. Over the course of the whole game could be one instance to use it, but not more, and you would always have the option to run or hide.

  19. ZeeHogarth says:

    Am I the only one who’s freaked out by that creepy hand? It looks like he’s pressing those buttons with a hand-on-a-stick.

    • oskutin says:

      Yeah, but good thing is that the hand system and animations are reworked.

      • ZeeHogarth says:

        Well I hope so, ‘cos if they can get that hand feeling more natural, then colour me intrigued about the rest of the game. Seems like it could be something really special!

        Hopefully all the codes aren’t Deus Ex references though…that could get old fast.

  20. piercehead says:

    And the first code is…0451 :D

  21. Bhazor says:

    So Penumbra without the terrible monsters? Me likes.

    Hopefully, it gets a bit more varied than that though. I’ve gone urban exploring before and the stuff you see can get pretty fucked. It says something that I’ve been inside a crumbling warehouse that was scarier than most horror games.

    • theallmightybob says:

      I used to do alot of urban exploration my self, and yes real buildings can be very very scary, I will compleatly agree. I remember one time almost stepping into a 150 ft hole that led into the silo under it. fun times. You really have to keep your head about you when you are in a decaying building with poor light. anyhting can happen asnd you cant trust the structure.

      • felisc says:

        this sounds interesting.
        do you just venture by yourself in a random abandoned building or are there organised explorations ?

  22. xfrog says:

    Puzzles should be challenging , this makes me feel like I am working.
    I really love to play an exploration game though.

  23. mrwonko says:

    I quite like the idea of making the player photograph damage, it should make you pay way more attention to your surroundings. I’d love to see that in more games, maybe just leave out the puzzles almost entirely, they don’t seem particularly great in the videos.

    • Bhazor says:

      I’ve always wanted to play a game where you’re an investigative journalist taking pictures. It was the part I was most hyped for and most disappointed by the first time I played Beyond Good and Evil.

  24. Cross says:

    This game really does not appeal to me. Now, don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying every game should be the pinnacle of entertainment or have lots of explosions, but this just doesn’t seem like something i’d invest time or money into, it’s just a whole lot of… nothing?

  25. pupsikaso says:

    I didn’t expect to see such a corridor crawler. When I think of structures and infrastructures I think of more open spaces than shown in the trailers…

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Infrastructure includes a lot of tunnels with pipes and cables in.

  26. Grey Ganado says:

    I feel like I’m well prepared for this game. I’ve survived every puzzle I ever did.

  27. MadTinkerer says:

    So basically: remove all guns and enemies from Bioshock, add in environmental puzzles / challenges from Half Life 1 & 2, and just a dash of Dear Ester minus the narrator. Yes PLEASE. :D

    Should I mention Myst? But I enjoyed Myst! Wait, I’m sorry! I only mentioned it once please don’t ban

    • cpt_freakout says:

      We all know Myst is waiting for us all at the center of the universe, throbbing ever-so-slightly.