Ad Infinitum, World War I Horror Game Pre-Alpha Demo Coming Along
Ad Infinitum
(Last Updated On: May 11, 2017)

For some reason World War I has become popular again. It’s all the rage right now. It might have something to do with Battlefield I being a pretty big seller last year with the whole alternate-reality take on the event; but whatever the case, there’s now a new horror-themed first-person game on the horizon that’s also set during the deadly trench battles of the Great War… and there are some supernatural monstrosities to accompany you in those dark, wet trenches.

The name of the game is called Ad Infinitum, and it was originally announced as part of the Greenlight concept campaign to give gamers an idea of what to expect from the title.

You can check out a few of the concept images and test renders over on the Steam Greenlight page.

A bunch of people are actually quite excited about the game given that it has its own unique look and themes, and it’s actually quite different from a lot of other games out there. During mid April the developers, StrixLab, a small indie outfit from out of Hamburg, Germany, posted up some new images on Twitter of the game running in real-time as part of the upcoming pre-alpha demo. You can check them out below.



The developers haven’t been updating too many of their channels lately as they’ve been neck-deep in development, aiming to get a playable version of the game up and out as soon as possible.

Ad Infinitum is currently running on the Unreal Engine 4, and some concept footage was released a while back to give gamers an idea of what they’re gunning for. You can check out the trailer below courtesy of MathChief.

It reminds me of P.T. Demo set within a Battlefield 1 map. It could work.

There’s no release date yet, and it doesn’t sound like the platforms are wholly decided either, but they definitely have the right look and feel for the game based on the images and video… so far.

As far as gameplay is concerned, you won’t have any weapons to fight against the monsters, but you will be able to hide and solve some puzzles to escape from the trenches and attempt to reach safety.

Ad Infinitum will supposedly contain a lot of realistic machinery, scenarios and environments, but of course mix in the supernatural monster elements to give the game that true horror feeling.

You can check out the official website for a few more images. Hopefully they’ll update it soon and give an ETA on when we can expect the pre-alpha demo to go live.


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About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Timur S
  • Get better writers

    Was this article written by a 5th grader? Garbage.

  • tajlund

    I think with the WW1 setting you should have weapons, the trenches should be filled with them. Just make them practically useless or at best a way to slow down whatever horror is coming.

    I love the setting, two of my favorite games are the Necrovision games, and I’ve always enjoyed horror set during WW1 and 2 (and the old west), otherwise I’m not a horror film person.

    • I think with the WW1 setting you should have weapons, the trenches should be filled with them. Just make them practically useless or at best a way to slow down whatever horror is coming.

      I was thinking of something similar, sort of like in the movies Outpost or Deathwatch.

      They should definitely have weapons just make them less than effective against the poltergeists or monsters.

  • Hawk Hopper

    you won’t have any weapons to fight against the monsters, but you will be able to hide and solve some puzzles to escape from the trenches and attempt to reach safety.

    Why do so many first person horror games completely shy away from combat? Most of them only have run and hide options, but I think it’s more interesting to have the choice between fight and flight, instead of just flight.

    • it’s more interesting to have the choice between fight and flight, instead of just flight.

      This.

      When you have the option to fight most people weigh that option because it’s sometimes tough to tell if the game wants you to fight or not. It’s a lot scarier not knowing if you’re on the right path or not as opposed to doing what the game wants you to do.

    • Phasmatis75

      Balance/budget or lore. To make an AI that is both responsive to combat and have working guns and physics that are balanced along with everything else for a small team might not be cost effective.

      Resident Evil 7 did it sort of okay. At the expense of depth. When you shoot someone in the head with a shotgun, a weapon that in all other instances would cleave a good chunk out of it’s head. Only to have it just change the texture of the face is entirely a immersion killer. Fun game, but realizing the absolute unrealism of the combat removes a lot of the horror feel.

      Getting a good balance can be rather tricky. Yet getting a good run, hide, and solve puzzle balance can be remarkably easier to accomplish without the need of combat since you are factoring in less elements into the equation.

      • Hawk Hopper

        There have been only two (as far as I know) recent FP horror games that included actual combat: Resident Evil 7 and Alien Isolation. The rest have shied away from combat in favor of having the player run and hide. Are all the rest of these games just lacking budget and resources to implement combat?

        Older FP horror games like Call of Cthulhu had combat, like in many horror games it wasn’t good combat, but it still had it. I don’t think this was even a well funded game and had a troubled production.

        Cry of Fear, a free fan made game had combat.

        Outlast, Slenderman, Amnesia, Pendumbra had no combat outside of throwing a chair or whatever at some monster. I don’t see why more and more new FP horror games are stripping out mechanics that are in older or fan made games. In Ad Infinitum I would imagine there would be weapons somewhere inside WWI trenches.

        Resident Evil 7 had enemies more similar to Nemesis or the Regenerators, which guns had limited effects on, which is inline with the Resident Evil’s world.

        • Are all the rest of these games just lacking budget and resources to implement combat?

          Not at all. It’s easier than ever before to implement combat into games with very minimal effort, especially with tools like Unity 5 and the Blueprints in the Unreal Engine 4. Simple things like shoving or a basic melee attack shouldn’t be too difficult.

          Heck, college students add custom melee attacks to Garry’s Mod all the time, usually it takes a few weeks to model, animate, script and test the implementation (depending on the skill level).

          For super indie titles budget could be an issue, but most horror games lacking combat are made by mid-budget studios, which is what doesn’t make any sense.

          I noticed this trend really came into fruition after McIntosh and Sarkeesian started decrying violence and firearms in games. We’ve seen a lot of the removal of them since then. Guerrilla did the same with Horizon, removing Aloy’s ability to use personal-carry firearms, which were in there originally.

          • Hawk Hopper

            For super indie titles budget could be an issue, but most horror games lacking combat are made by mid-budget studios, which is what doesn’t make any sense.

            Even wack ass games developed by insane Russians(?) had combat. What’s recent FP horror game developers’ excuse?

            https://youtu.be/NaCjg0N0b6w?t=19m49s
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdYoy_bL0pM

          • Phasmatis75

            Cryostasis is hands down my favorite game of all time.

        • Phasmatis75

          Both Resident Evil 7 and Alien Isolation had decent budgets and large teams, but I don’t believe that is the reason why they have combat over other games. Yes for some it’s definitely going to come down to not having the budget or resources to implement combat, but for other its that their intent is not to make an action horror and not to deal with the pitfalls of combat.

          A good for instance is Aliens Isolation where as a result of combat the game loses a good chunk of atmosphere, plausible doubt as to the threat emerges, and then dissonance occurs when you can’t drop the alien. Horror, good horror relies on Fear, Suspense, and Anticipation, while Action Horror relies on shock value and off putting imagery. This is why early Friday the 13s are favored over Jason in Space.

          The problem with a lot of those games you mentioned is they also lost a lot of the same elements as a result of combat. Combat is difficult to balance and implement if you want it to fit your universe. Not impossible, but it is time consuming to balance a horror game with combat and most do not achieve a result that is very satisfying in this regard.

          Now imagine you’re trying to balance for Ad Infinitum, first how do you want the combat to feel and how will you balance gameplay around that to keep tension? How will combat effect your monster and the players experience? Why can’t the player just kill the monster?

          You see for Resident Evil and Silent Hill games combat worked because the monster was the town, the city, the hoards, your own dark inclinations. If you want to have a select number of monsters you need to go with clock hunter and the chase genre which had combat only in certain situations where you could take on the boss and win.

          Even then these sections would feel a natural part of the flow, but a break in the horror element. Knowing what you are going for and how you are going to achieve it can be difficult when it comes to gaming, so a lot of developers chose not to use combat, but the reasons will vary from: in game lore makes it pointless, it doesn’t fit our vision, balancing, and money.

          • Hawk Hopper

            Now imagine you’re trying to balance for Ad Infinitum, first how do you want the combat to feel and how will you balance gameplay around that to keep tension? How will combat effect your monster and the players experience? Why can’t the player just kill the monster?

            The lore of WWI is filled with death. Imagine you were in WWI trenches. Soldiers around you are going mad. You don’t know whether you’ll live or die. You don’t even know if you’ll die a quick and easy death or suffer for days while caught in the barbwire of no mans land. That’s scary. Now imagine you add monsters to the mix.

            The only way I can see avoiding combat in this setting is by making the player be a Johnny Got His Gun type who got his arms blown off during combat.

            Horror, good horror relies on Fear, Suspense, and Anticipation, while Action Horror relies on shock value and off putting imagery.

            Combat adds all these things. If you are down to your last round with low health, it is very tense wondering if you should take the shot, knowing full well you could miss and be left defenseless and force to make a desperate escape. If you do make the shot, you could be treated to a gory splatter of blood. Or you’ll miss and the gore will come from your own body when the monster gets you.

            I think there is a lot of jumping on the bandwagon in regards to FP horror games. I remember a few years back when Amnesia and Slenderman came out and these games were all over the place. Most FP horror games have stuck to the style of these two games and it’s boring. Every time a new game in this sub genre is announced it’s basically the same damn thing: Run away from 2spooky4me.

            Not much even really changes throughout the game, especially the main character. If my character was defenseless at the beginning of the game and is defenseless at the end of the game, what changes did the character actually go through? Is the lore of the character being chased by monsters that he got better at hiding under beds?

          • Phasmatis75

            The lore of WWI is filled with death.

            The lore of WW1 is indeed a one filled with nightmares and terrors. From second generation artilery bombardment, to the highly mobile beginnings of third generational german warfare tactics. Throw in gas attacks, land mines, sniper fire, bombs being dropped from planes, and even armor blowing across the landscape and it’s already a dreary and horrific place to be. Monsters as you say would be a truly horrific addition.

            The problem is I’m not talking about lore for WW1, I’m talking about lore for their monsters and universal set up. If a monster can’t be harmed by bullets, if everyone else is dead in your area, if its all a hallucination from some experimental gas attack, then guns are going to be useless.

            We are used to being able to kill, but even in reality there are things that pose significant threat to human life that guns work very little against. Games aren’t bound by the boundries of reaility and can add whatever they desire to the mix, and that takes consideration into lore.

            Now would I like a WW1 with a monster invasion? Hell yeah. Imagine goblins climbing over the lines, after the first thing you see is the other trenches start shooting at something and explosions and screaming coming from that side. Imagine watching it start in your trench. Hoards pouring over the lines, more than you have bullets and the game doesn’t treat you as some kind of messiah or conquering hero with unstoppable killing capacity. You aren’t doom guy, but you might be a doomed guy if you don’t move your ass.

            Imagine surviving, but the world has changed. A extra dimensional invasion has turned the entire region into a living nightmare. The towns you can visit have bodies being eaten, strewn from windows, torn in half and you know you are never going home, if there is still a home left. Now that would be a good game, but that would also cost money to develop. (steal this idea devs if you are reading this.)

            Combat adds all these things. If you are down to your last round with low health, it is very tense wondering if you should take the shot, knowing full well you could miss and be left defenseless and force to make a desperate escape. If you do make the shot, you could be treated to a gory splatter of blood. Or you’ll miss and the gore will come from your own body when the monster gets you.

            Combat adds a flavor of those things, but not the same as being absolutely powerless. Even when you have one bullet you know you can still shoot, you can still fight your way out of it and if you die, owe well reload and aim better.

            I’ll assume you’ve played horror games before, do you remember how different the experience feels until you get your first weapon? When you are weaving between the monsters, praying that it doesn’t see you as you crouch behind some object and hope it’s good enough. Compared to when you get your weapon where you feel you have a chance to interact and even fight back against the world.

            I can’t remember the game, but getting a simple axe was enough to create a sense of relief. Yeah it would allow me to survive against most things, but it gave me the chance to engage the world, it became a security blanket , because I knew so long as I had that weak axe I had a fighting chance. Even if futile.

            Weapons give you that chance to fight back. No horror experience will be the same with the chance to fight back. It can still be horrific, but you will always have that chance. Then there is balancing and threat scale. IF you can kill the monster than to make it tense you’ll need more monsters. If you can’t kill the monster why the f*** not?

            I think there is a lot of jumping on the bandwagon in regards to FP horror games. I remember a few years back when Amnesia and Slenderman came out and these games were all over the place. Most FP horror games have stuck to the style of these two games and it’s boring. Every time a new game in this sub genre is announced it’s basically the same damn thing: Run away from 2spooky4me.

            Those were okay games, but yeah it’s rather stale that every game now follows that formula. It makes me miss even action horror a bit. Outlast is a fantastic example of how having horrible half baked lore kills a series. “It wasn’t paranormal lol it was just nanomachines created in the brain.” Did you even think about that for a second before putting that into your game. An obvious trope that killed it’s sequels sales and rightfully.

            Not much even really changes throughout the game, especially the main character. If my character was defenseless at the beginning of the game and is defenseless at the end of the game, what changes did the character actually go through? Is the lore of the character being chased by monsters that he got better at hiding under beds?

            I hate the idea that everything we go through has to change us in some way. That we have to have this huge revelation on life. Sometimes yeah it happens. Silent hill forced the characters to come to terms with some of their darker parts, and hell I remember thinking while playing the first game if I was even alive anymore of if this wasn’t all some coma induced nightmare as I lay unconscious in my crashed vehicle from the start of the game.

            Resident Evil doesn’t provided changes, it is survival. The satisfaction comes from enduring the unendurable. Emerging victorious over the obstacle. You can’t say any of the character really underwent much of a character change, revelations as to the truth of the world yes, but never really character changes.

            It’s not really needed for a horror game. Horror is required for a horror game. Though I will admit I absolutely hate idiotic characters that keep themselves in this situation for absolutely no reason. Whom only seem to make things worse because of their own mistakes that are separate from my attempt to aid them in their survival.

            Then again good story like Neir: Automata is awesome too. I believe variety is good though for life. Sometimes I want something deep, intricate that makes me really think about things. Sometimes I want an epic where the character comes of age, or discovers who they really are to emerge triumphant at the end. Then sometimes I want the holyshit I’m going die, run, just run! All we can do is run! Experiences.

            In the end, a lot of horror focuses on stripping us of the illusion of safety and power. While never expressed there is always that revelation that there are things out there that can reduce us back to the bottom of the food chain. Things more powerful than us, more capable than us. Things that crawl right out of our nightmares.

            My apologies for the length of this post.

          • Hawk Hopper

            The problem is I’m not talking about lore for WW1, I’m talking about lore for their monsters and universal set up. If a monster can’t be harmed by bullets, if everyone else is dead in your area, if its all a hallucination from some experimental gas attack, then guns are going to be useless.

            That’s the problem. Why include monsters that can only “be dealt with” in one way: by hiding. Are all the monsters you face in this game going to be invincible? Are you just going to face one monster that chases you throughout the entire thing? What happened to variety and strategy in horror games? Some monsters could be destroyed, but others you were better off just running away from. It’s a lot more interesting to have to think on your feet and determine the best way to handle situations.

            If the lore of a monster is that the monster can’t be killed, do what Resident Evil Nemesis and RE7 did and force the player to struggle against these threats. It’s a lot more hopeless to have to physically fight against something you know can’t be killed.

            Then there is balancing and threat scale. IF you can kill the monster than to make it tense you’ll need more monsters. If you can’t kill the monster why the f*** not?

            Balancing in gaming now means that the experience will be tightly controlled. “We can’t have the players doing stuff that the developer doesn’t intent or doesn’t want happening.” It’s hand holding game design, the exact opposite of tension.

            I’ll assume you’ve played horror games before, do you remember how different the experience feels until you get your first weapon? When you are weaving between the monsters, praying that it doesn’t see you as you crouch behind some object and hope it’s good enough. Compared to when you get your weapon where you feel you have a chance to interact and even fight back against the world.

            Aren’t there enough games where you crouch behind things? Every cover based 3rd person shooter has you crouching behind things, Call of Duty has to crouch behind things as your health regenerates, and horror games have you crouch behind things because there are no combat mechanics. It’s almost as though the idea of “balance” is just a way of stripping mechanics from gaming and doing the same thing as every other game.

            In the end, a lot of horror focuses on stripping us of the illusion of safety and power. While never expressed there is always that revelation that there are things out there that can reduce us back to the bottom of the food chain. Things more powerful than us, more capable than us. Things that crawl right out of our nightmares.

            You can be powerless while still using weapons and engaging in combat. The RE games are full of action, but it’s all been for nothing since they are STILL fighting zombies and other horrors. One of the few times I was scared in a game was when playing Condemned and I saw the shadow of crazed homeless men running off in the distance. I knew I couldn’t just hide and wait for them to leave the area, I had to go into the darkness, the unknown, and fuck them up.

          • Phasmatis75

            That’s the problem. Why include monsters that can only “be dealt with” in one way: by hiding.

            Simply put because not all threats can be faught. One of the key elements to horror is stripping the experiencer of the illusion of safety, of dominance, of security. Combat, the ability to fight back against the monster gives the player the capacity to experience a level of safety.

            As I said before, in a game where I got an axe, I clung to that axe like a security blanket, but had I never been given the capacity to fight then I would never have enjoyed that tiny bit of safety. The easiest and most efficient way to create a sense of dread is by stripping the player of the capacity to fight. Personally I miss the whole chase genre, RE7 came close to it, but for the most part you were incapable of fighting the monster/person until a certain point. The best of both worlds.

            Simple answer to the question though is the games creators didn’t want to include combat. I’m sure they have their reasons both technical and design wise.

            Balancing in gaming now means that the experience will be tightly controlled. “We can’t have the players doing stuff that the developer doesn’t intent or doesn’t want happening.” It’s hand holding game design, the exact opposite of tension.

            Some games are like that, but not all. Balancing means ensuring the experience remains consistent and on point.

            Aren’t there enough games where you crouch behind things?

            Yeah and there were enough COD clones at one point as well. If it’s popular and sells people will make it. hopefully it will lead to a resurgence in the survival horror genre.

            Now developers are beginning to move away from the whole crouch and hide mechanic back to health packs, limited health, etc. Glad to see that make a comeback.

            You can be powerless while still using weapons and engaging in combat.

            Only if combat is absolutely pointless. I’ve found games that have had it and I honestly wish they didn’t and would have polished other areas more.

            One of the few times I was scared in a game was when playing Condemned and I saw the shadow of crazed homeless men running off in the distance. I knew I couldn’t just hide and wait for them to leave the area, I had to go into the darkness, the unknown, and fuck them up.

            That game was so good, and man did it put the fear into you. Yeah I’d like to play another game like that as well.

  • RichardGristle

    I’m so down for this premise.