Go to Hell.
Dante’s Inferno takes inspiration from the epic poem, The Divine Comedy, written by Dante Alighieri in the 1300’s. The player takes the games character, Dante, through the various different levels of Hell, facing off against everything that the underworld can throw at him.
The game looks gloriously stylised and menacing, capturing the essence of the poem. Although I am sure that people will find fault with this interpretation of the vision of Hell laid out in the Divine Comedy, I am equally sure that most people won’t look into it that deeply and enjoy the setting for what it is. The graphics are nice and crisp and well detailed for the most part, but the backdrops are what really stand out. Although perhaps not as varied as they could be, they really do look stunning and set the scene for what really should be a hopeless quest.
Dante’s Inferno certainly takes its mature rating to the limits. Coming across such bizarre and disturbing adversaries as a creature that shoots babies from its nipples and the use of frequent use of breasts may seem gratuitous and designed to promote the shock value, but it really is no different to the visions of Hell that have been portrayed by artists over the years. It fits well within what is a mature setting and at no point seems “over the top”.
The game features a glorious orchestral soundtrack that only serves to promote the sense of doom that should be felt in Hell. The voice work is of high quality and the demonic, gutteral sound effects that are experienced throughout the game are great.
It is tempting to compare the gameplay to other button mashing, hack’n’slash games out there, but I don’t really think that is fair. Realistically there is very little difference between Dante’s Inferno and the God Of War games, when it comes to the games mechanics. But saying that the game is very similar to a game that has such a devoted following and immense popularity is surely a good thing.
Button mashing is the name of the game, with light attacks and heavy, slower attacks used to take out most adversaries. A ranged attack is provided in the form of shooting off a glowing cross, with no limitations to the number of uses. The ability to block and dodge are also available, and will be well used during the course of the game. The combat in the game feels good and works well.
There are also a number of nice touches included in the game. The magic system is great and allows for some real “get out of a tight spot” moments. The inclusion of a skill tree that allows the player to learn new moves helps Dante to progress along with the game. Being able to either absolve or punish your adversaries allows for different upgrades to be available. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the game, though under used in my mind, is the ability to become a beast rider. When attacked by a huge beast with a rider on their back, Dante may try to unmount the rider and take their place. Then Dante may control the beast and have it breathe fire and crush enemies. Its a great feature of the game, but one which does not come around often enough, in my mind.
The story progresses slowly through the various levels of Hell. In reality, though, the story really does play second fiddle to the action. Some more depth would have been nice. As the player progresses, the game seems to run out of ideas, with theÂ variety of settings becoming less and less. I would have expected the different levels of Hell to be more unique from one another.
My main annoyance with this game is one that can be leveled at a few other games aswell. The size of the text that appears on the screen is stupidly small. I played this on a large flat screen and had to really squint to work out what was written. Thankfully, this fault becomes less evident as the game progresses,as the writing is only really important at the beginning of the game. But this is not the first game that has suffered from this issue, so it really should not have happened.
Dante’s Inferno may be very similar to certain other games out there, but that does not detract from what is a very enjoyable hack’n’slash game within a unique setting. there are a few minor annoyances along the way, but the game plays really well and will provide the player with a decent few hours of entertainment along with plenty of demonic hellspawn to slay.