Ad Infinitum was provided by Nacon for review. Thank you!
When I checked out Ad Infinitum originally, I was ready to go into a first-person horror game revolving around World War 1 that focused on psychological torment to tell its gruesome story. What I didn't expect was exactly how gruesome it would be, thanks to its horrific monster designs and top-notch atmosphere that captures just how horrific the war was for the soldiers involved.
Ad Infintum is probably one of the few games that have captured the senselessness and atrocities of the First World War. I felt completely immersed in the world thanks to its atmosphere and how well it conveys the dread of these events while telling the story of a German soldier trying to save his sanity. From the random explosions on dark fields only lit by fire and mustard gas to the dark, damp trenches decorated by dying men hanging from barbed wire, the environment is a step up from other similar games. It is paired wonderfully with the sounds of explosions and screams in the distance and incredible monster designs.
The biggest knock against it is the gameplay loop. If you enjoy games like Amnesia, where most of the game is puzzle solving, walking, and hiding, Ad Infinitum will be one you also enjoy. Some parts feel a bit clunky, like interacting with some doors or using the pickaxe, but it feels pretty standard. It isn't a very gameplay-heavy experience, mostly falling on its story and visuals, which it does exceptionally well. The gameplay does its job of helping move the story along, and it is a good time on the Steam Deck with some tweaks.
Ad Infinitum can run pretty well on the Steam Deck in almost every area, though there are a couple of little issues I noticed that need to be addressed. The biggest one that helps performance is turning shadows all the way down to "Low." Keeping them anywhere above that setting will slow the game to a crawl in most areas, but personally, I liked it better with the shadows at Low since the game felt a bit too dark otherwise.
I also noticed some larger areas that had slowdowns, like the garden or running around the fields and trenches. There was also significantly more battery drain whenever inspecting any items you picked up, which I found weird, considering it was zeroing in on a single object instead of rendering a full area. Regardless, after all the testing, I found a solid spot that keeps the framerate steady, the battery drain lower, and the visuals look lovely.
With high settings other than the Shadows and Motion Blur, FSR on Balanced, a 30 FPS lock, and a TDP Limit of 9, Ad Infinitum will stick to around 10W - 13W battery drain and stick to a solid framerate the entire time. There may be one or two spots where the framerate can dip for a split second, like when breaking a wall or wooden barricades with the pickaxe, but the game will quickly bounce back.
As for settings, you can change text language and voice language (English, French, German), subtitles, toggling crouch and sprint, crosshair size, camera sensitivity and inverting, and audio settings. You can also change the "Grain Intensity" so the picture doesn't look as grainy.
The game does support 16:10 resolutions, as well as cloud saves and full controller support!
Ad Infinitum is a great horror game that captures the terrors of the First World War. The atmosphere and sound design blend with each other to create an experience that not many games based on this event compare to. It doesn't have much depth gameplay-wise, but it more than makes up for it with its psychologically scarring story and design. And while it needs some compromises to run well on Steam Deck, the game still looks and feels phenomenal, making it worthwhile to take on the go.
Our review is based on the PC version of this game.
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Ad Infinitum is a great horror game that really captures WW1's terror, and it runs quite well on the Steam Deck with tweaks.