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Dante's Inferno

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Dante's Inferno

Post by Mr007 on Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:10 pm

Dante's Inferno - Xbox 360, PS3



Back in the good old 14th Century, the poet Dante Alighieri wrote and starred in the epic three part saga, ‘Divine Comedy’. It told the tale of how he braved the three kingdoms of the afterlife. Somewhere along the way Visceral Games decided to pimp the poet out into a steroid pumped hack and slash crusader that stars in Dante’s Inferno.


I don't think this guy can even read, let alone write poetry...


The game begins with Dante hack’n’slashing his way through the Great Crusade with just a halberd and his own manliness for company, kind of weird seeing as the actual Dante was never in the crusades. Anyway, your combo gets cut short when a slave stabs you in the back, but it doesn’t keep you down for long. Nope, when Death comes to claim your soul you give him a faceful of pain and, using his own scythe against him, you cut him in half. That’s right, you kill Death. The game never answers the blaring question of ‘What happens to all the souls of the people who die from now on?’ and just seems to think that the idea of you killing Death would distract you enough. Oh well. The scene then jumps a few years into the future, when Dante trots home to his beloved fiancé Beatrice. Unlucky for him all that is there to greet him is her half naked corpse. Actually, that could be lucky for him, depending on your preferences, but he doesn’t seem too happy. And to top it all off Lucifer is going to take her to hell for the sins that Dante committed, and so, in a fit of rage, Dante decides to descend through the nine rings of Hell, facing his past sins to save her.

The level design really makes this game. Each ring of Hell is entirely unique, starting with limbo, then the four indulgent sins; lust, gluttony, greed and anger, then the two vicious sins; heresy and violence, and finally the two malicious sins; fraud and betrayal. Each one is completely different from the last, although keeping the same game play features, the look and feel of the levels differ massively. One minute you could be jumping between platforms of fat floating in stomach acid, and the next you could be fighting over souls that are eternally drowning in molten gold. Unfortunately when I say minute I really mean it. The game is really quite short. I beat it in around six hours, which really flies by when you have nine different levels in that time. It’s a shame, because they could have gotten away with adding more to each level.


Yeah, this isn't even the weirdest ring of Hell...

The game play itself is really made up of around 80% combat, 20% puzzles and scaling walls. Seriously, the amount of time you spend on walls it’s like there’s no floor in hell. If you’re not fighting you’re clinging to the scaffold made of souls that line every wall. The combat can get really repetitive, fighting the same five or six different types of enemy again and again. I thought that maybe each ring would house different styles of enemies, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case.

You fight with the scythe that you stole from Death and a crucifix that Beatrice gave to Dante before he left on the crusade. They’re kind of an odd mixture, but they’re meant to resemble Dante’s holy and unholy sides, shown through the upgrading system. Killing enemies grants you souls to use as points in two tech-trees, Holy and Unholy, which grant certain skills, spells and combos, but in order to access the best abilities you need to specialize in one of the two. Since pretty much everything can be killed be just spamming the cross the holy tree seems the better idea. In order to unlock the higher level upgrades you need to either absolve or punish enemies. There are also shades, which are real people from history confined to the pits of Hell that you can find hidden throughout the game. Absolving shades gives you a fun little mini game that resembles DDR, and yet seems really out of place. The higher you score the more bonus souls you acquire.


5, 6, grab your crucifix.

Luckily the combat is padded out with various puzzles and challenges. Some are as simple as moving boxes and none are very mind bending, but they give a bit of variety to the repetitive combat. In true Hack’n’slash manor the game contains its fair share of quick time events, requiring you to press the right button at the right moment or suffer the consequences which tend to be more annoying than fatal. The boss fights are full of them, which is good, because again, it helps to lessen the monotonous combat. The way I keep droning on about how repetitive the fighting is really makes it all sound bad. It’s not. For the most part the combat is quick flowing and there are quite a few moves at your disposal, especially when everything is upgraded. This is only ok if you play properly, but as the cross is so very over powered and combat is so frequent that I found myself using it as a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card. It makes fighting way too easy.

Overview:

+ Brilliant level design
+ Creative creature concepts
+ Fun boss fights

- Repetitive
- Really quite short
- Not a lot of replay value

7/10

Conclusion
There is also a lot of random nudity, so you can decide if that is a pro or con yourself. Oh, and Divine Comedy is a trilogy. The next section, Purgatorio, is being debated as to whether it’ll be made into a sequel. Knowing EA’s love for series’ I can see it happening.


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Mr007

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