It has only been two months into the year, and we have had a lot of action games come our way. We first got Darksiders from Vigil games, then we got Bayonetta from Platinum Games, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle from Grasshopper Manufacture, and now we have another action game in the form of Dante’s Inferno for the Playstation 3 and Xbox360. Now, a lot of criticism has revolved around this game in the form of being a God of War clone. Well, I would have to disagree, but also agree at the same time, but before I get into that part of my review, let’s dive into the story. Is this game worth picking up? Or is it lost in the circles of Hell?
The story takes place during Dante’s part in a war in the city of Acre where he is assassinated by an unknown person and is now dead. As Death comes to pick up his soul, Dante does the most logical thing, fight and kill Death himself, and take his cool looking scythe. As he rides on home to see his love, he finds that his father is killed and Beatrice is also found dead outside the home. Her soul then appears before Lucifer takes her down into Hell, where Dante gives chase. Dante must find his love and save her soul before something happens. It’s interesting, since I have read Dante’s Inferno, and it’s nothing like this, but I can see why they gave the story a somewhat action-game feel. Visceral Games made this game. They are famous for the famous Dead Space series and the two Godfather games.
The Gameplay featured in Dante’s Inferno is a hack-and-slash action game, like Bayonetta, Ninja Gaiden, Devil May Cry, and of course, God of War. Your main form of attack is Death’s scythe that can stretch and has a pretty big attack range. Your other form of attack is an unlimited-powered cross from Beatrice. This acts as your long-range attacks. During the game, you will pick up four different magical powers that come in pretty handy in situations with stronger enemies. While exploring the circles of Hell, you can find relics with which Dante can equip himself to make himself stronger in some areas, like stronger magic, better defense, and what not. There are, of course, quick-time events that can take care of the monsters, but these are unique. You can either kill the enemy with the cross or your scythe. If you do the quick-time event with your scythe, you gain unholy points where you can upgrade your scythe. If you use your cross, you gain holy points to upgrade your cross. You will also find souls that are trapped in the different circles of Hell that you can either kill with your scythe or purify their soul with your cross. You will also have to do some major puzzle solving, like pulling levers and moving stuff, and avoiding the fires and spikes that can kill you. In some other areas, you can ride the Minotaurs, and even phlegyas for a short period of time.
A definite high note for the game is the visuals. Everything is very creepy and disturbing looking, and I just love the designs for all the monsters and bosses. Dante looks really cool, and Lucifer looks creepy. This game does do a good job at grossing you out, especially with the glutton monsters. Ugh. Those are just super gross monsters. The music is also very dark and creepy, kind of like the music from God of War. The composer for the music is Garry Schyman. He is known for soundtracks for the Destroy all Humans series, Voyeur 1 and 2, and Bioshock. The voice work is also well done, with everyone having a voice actor that pretty much fits his or her role.
Now, it is time to talk about the bad parts of this game. I hope I don’t go to Hell for this. The overall feeling of the game is very God of War and Ninja Gaiden-like, but I’m not going to hold this against the game. The puzzles in the game really halt the pace of the game from time to time. I just did not like going through many of the puzzles. In the second to last circle of Hell, is the circle of Fraud, and you have to go through 10 different challenges. The second challenge is probably the most annoying challenge ever, and it is just not that fun to do a 100-hit combo when it’s really hard to do so. I think they should have used the Glutton monster more often, because I really like the design for the monster itself. I would have just made Dante fight a monster made of all the bosses you have fought so far, instead of some of the challenges in this section. For now, the replay value is very thin. Until the DLC or unless you get the Divine Edition for the Playstation 3, there isn’t much of a reason to play through it again. Why didn’t they throw in different armors or more weapons, like in God of War or Ninja Gaiden? This game has been known as a God of War clone, but I like this kind of combat. It’s now mainstream for an action game to be like this, since a lot of other games have done it, like Conan, and Hellboy the Science of Evil. What I’m trying to say is that it’s pointless to call this game a God of War clone since other games have somewhat the same style of game play.
Overall, Dante’s Inferno is pretty good. Most of my expectations were met when I played through the game, but there are some disappointments that hold it back from being a super title to get right away. Either way, it is really worth checking out. If you do buy it, I wouldn’t feel disappointed, since I would recommend this over Army of Two: the 40th Day and Dark void combined. It has a good combat system, great acting, and a solid ending. It leaves itself open for a sequel, and we will have to see what they do IF they make a sequel. I hope they do, because I think they have a good potential franchise at Visceral Games, and not just Dead Space.
This game gets a solid 8 out of 10.