On January 1, a significant event took place in the world of entertainment. Steamboat Willie, the iconic cartoon that introduced Mickey Mouse to the world, entered the public domain. This means that the first version of Disney’s beloved mascot is now (mostly) free for anyone to use. As expected, this development has already sparked creativity and innovation among creators. One such example is a video game called Infestation: Origins, developed by Nightmare Forge Games.
The Horrifying Twist
Origins is a thrilling episodic four-player co-op survival adventure game. In this game, players assume the roles of exterminators assigned with the task of eliminating mutated vermin. However, the twist lies in the fact that one of these horrifying creatures is a person-sized monster modeled after the beloved character, Mickey Mouse. As players embark on this journey, they will need to rely on various tools and surveillance equipment to track the source of the infestations and neutralize them. Additionally, they must also ensure the continuous power supply to critical equipment while evading the giant, murderous rodents.
Controversy Surrounding the Game
Despite its unique premise, Infestation: Origins has not been without its fair share of controversy. Initially, the game was titled Infestation 88, as seen in the trailer. However, this choice of title received backlash online due to its perceived ties to Neo-Nazis. The number “88” is a commonly recognized dog whistle associated with neo-Nazi ideology. Nightmare Forge Games swiftly addressed these concerns, stating that they were unaware of the reference and apologizing for any unintentional endorsement of Neo-Nazis. The studio clarified that the title actually referred to the game’s setting in the late 1980s. They strongly condemned Nazism and hate in any form.
Questionable Development Practices
In addition to the controversy surrounding its title, Infestation: Origins has also raised eyebrows due to some questionable development practices. Various outlets, including Motherboard, have highlighted potential red flags, such as the game’s apparent use of asset flipping from the Unity store and AI-generated text-to-speech voice work. Nightmare Forge Games acknowledged that, as an indie studio, they do rely on some purchased assets from the Unreal and Unity stores. However, they assured players that there is a significant amount of original work being put into the project, which will be evident upon release. They also stated that the AI voiceovers are placeholders, and the studio intends to hire real voice actors in the future.
Approaching Infestation: Origins with Caution
Considering the concerns raised about the game’s development practices, interested players are advised to approach Infestation: Origins with some degree of caution. It is essential to be aware of the potential challenges and issues that might arise from a game developed under such circumstances. Similar games that were hastily put together, like The Day Before, have faced criticism for their lack of quality and polish. However, Nightmare Forge Games is hopeful that the dedication and effort they are putting into the project will be evident upon its release.
Release and Platforms
Origins is set to release on PC via Steam. The game will initially launch in Early Access sometime this year. This release strategy allows players to experience the game’s early stages and provide feedback to the developers, contributing to its further improvement and refinement.
Origins presents a twisted and horrifying version of the beloved Mickey Mouse character in a video game setting. The game offers a unique survival adventure experience where players must combat mutated vermin, including a terrifying Mickey-inspired monster. While the game has faced controversy and questions regarding its development practices, Nightmare Forge Games has addressed these concerns and is committed to delivering an engaging and original experience. As players eagerly await its release, they should approach Infestation: Origins with vigilance, keeping in mind the potential challenges associated with its development history.