Review – Dante’s Inferno

With souls writhing in the walls, and demons at every turn, Dante’s Inferno assaults your senses with highly detailed enemies and gore beyond belief. It’s a game designed around the tortures of Hell and the sins that can lead you there, so be sure to note the M rating when purchasing this game for someone else. This is definitely not a game for kids.

Dante & The Grim Reaper

Who is Dante?

Dante is a Christian crusader that has ravaged the middle east in the name of God and by order of his Holy Pope, only to find that things were not what they seemed. He only wants to return to his beloved Beatrice to live out his days but finds that she has been savagely murdered and her soul has been taken by Lucifer. He finds himself, upon death, cast into an epic battle against the Grim Reaper, conquering him and acquiring his famed scythe. He is then cast into Hell on a Holy quest to save his beloved, Beatrice, from Lucifer and must travel through the many rings of hell to save her.

Dante, Beatrice & Lucifer

The storyline doesn’t really follow the poem that the game is named for, but there are plenty of references if you have ever studied the poem. The statues of Rodin are also well represented, which should be of note to any art students that might venture into this game.

The graphics during gameplay are very sharp and exquisitely detailed, but the cutscenes could have used some more polish. Granted some cutscenes are cartoonish by design, but the regular video cutscenes appear to be last-gen at best.

The level design and artwork are highly detailed and very creative. To see actual human souls writhing within the walls might bring nightmares to some players and the blood oozing out while climbing around on the walls is a nice touch.

The enemies are well designed, but whatever the female thing is that has some sort of phallic weapon sticking out where a penis should be, is just wrong on so many levels. The Gluttons, another disgusting but original bad guy, clearly live up to their name when they are attacking you with vomit and diarrhea.

Dante’s Holy Cross Attack

The gameplay itself is very reminiscent of the God of War series, and if you enjoyed the hack-n-slash style of GoW, you’ll enjoy this and should be able to pick it up and play without a problem. There are collectibles, called relics, that you’ll pick up along your journey, and these will enhance your abilities as you progress along.

There are some puzzles along your path, but none of them required too much thinking. Pushing and pulling objects around are the basics of most puzzles, but one puzzle might keep you busy for a little while. Once you walk through a cloudy mirror, you’ll find out which one I’m referring too.

Virgil is a wise sage who shows up along your path and explains most of what you are seeing. Be sure to speak with him multiple times everytime you see him, as he holds several relics and you’ll have to speak with him at least twice in an encounter to get your hands on them.

A new addition to this game style is the choice of paths you can take. When finishing off your enemies, you can choose to either punish or absolve them, and you’ll earn points for either your Holy Path or Unholy Path, depending on your choice. This in turn, allows you to purchase and upgrade your special attacks that you’ll use within the game. There are also lost souls, called shades, that you can either punish or absolve, and absolving these will bring up a button mashing mini-game where you can earn some bonus souls. Souls are the currency that is used to make purchases and upgrades in the game.

Death Is Not Pretty

The soundtrack to Dante’s Inferno is a work of art in itself. The score follows the darkness of Hell fittingly and enhances the overall mood of your journey. From harsh and violent outbursts, to eerie and haunting tunes, the developers did a great job of setting the desired tone with the music that was created.

Hell is a dark and terrible place to be, and this game portrays it accordingly. Taking an age old piece of literary work and turning it into a video game doesn’t exactly sound like a real winner, but EA and Visceral Games took Dante’s Divine Comedy and created a journey that is not only haunting and dark, but is also full of anguish and pain that could not be found anywhere but in Hell.

Kudos to both.


8


Pro’s

Incredible artistry in both graphics and sound

Intriguing story line

Choice of paths adds another dimension to this type of gameplay

Great leveling system

DLC has already been announced

Unique enemies (could be a con if you are referring to the women, but I’m really trying to forget them)


Cons

Short in length

Some cutscenes really looked last-gen

The puzzles were a little too simplistic and could have been made much harder



* We reviewed Dante’s Inferno on the PlayStation 3. Dante’s Inferno was developed by Visceral Games and published by EA. It retails for $59.99 and can be purchased at any video game outlet. It is available on the PlayStation 3, PSP and Xbox 360.