You'll play through the same level, only slightly different, about 50 times in iRequiem as you hack through its side-scrolling beat-'em-up combat. While a role-playing game type system that has you upgrading your equipment and abilities is nice, the game never really reaches beyond being decent at what it does.
That's not to say it isn't fun. You're placed in control of a warrior sent to hell after the end of the world, bent on retrieving his soul from Lucifer himself. To do so, you'll fight hordes of demons and zombies, plus skeletons, giant spiders, snake monsters and the devil's generals to get there. The vast majority of your time in iRequiem is spent fighting the monsters that spawn all around you, with your only real goal being to survive for a set amount of time so you can advance to the next level. It can be pretty challenging and engaging in a classic arcade game kind of way, but only after you've committed a little time to the game.
The time commitment comes in the form of playing through the first set of levels or so, in order to gather money from your slain enemies to purchase new weapons, spells and abilities. Once you start to diversify your arsenal, adding both ranged weapons like a shotgun and a crossbow to your close-range weapons like claws and swords, iRequiem offers you a lot of strategic options for taking on everything hell has to throw at you.
The fighting itself can be kind of dull. Various enemies crawl out of the ground to kill you. There are tons of different types, all with various weaknesses, abilities and attack styles, and there are definitely better ways to kill some than others. As you unlock new skills, rituals and dark powers — which grant you temporary bonuses like skulls that help disintegrate your enemies or a health recharge — the fighting can get pretty intense, with different kinds of enemies being mixed together to force you to upgrade your equipment and vary your strategies.
If you like classic side-scrollers like you might find on the old Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, you'll want to check out iRequiem. It's old-school and super-hokey in a lot of ways — the main character spouts lines like "Born to be wild!" and "Time to kill!" as if he were a low-rent demonic Duke Nukem – and while it can be slow and a little plodding, it has a sort of 1990s sensibility that definitely has an audience.