RETRO – Inspired by the famous poem Divine Comedy, Dante’s Inferno literarily invites you to go to Hell. At the beginning of the game, a fallen crusader arrives back from the Holy Land, only to discover his home devastated, and his father and lovely bride brutally murdered. While he was fighting at the Crusade, a lonely Saracen killed those dear to him for revenge.
Hopelessly, he can only watch as the spirit of his wife leaves her body, and Satan takes it. He is not willing however to let his wife go, and he is ready to enter the bowels of Hell and fight through hordes of grotesque and horrible monsters to save her soul. That is the premise of Dante’s Inferno, a brutal hack’n’slash action game.
God of War in Hell
Those, who are familiar with the God of War, or Devil May Cry series, will immediately recognize that Dante’s Inferno is very similar to those games. The fighting style, the fixed camera views, and the quick time events are all there. Being a copycat is not always a bad thing, but Dante is not so good, like those classics. Still, the combat is bloody and brutal, and the monsters are really grotesque and inspired.
At the beginning of the game you will combat Death itself, and at the end of the fight, you will take his scythe. Even if it will be your only weapon throughout the whole game, it feels so cool and fitting to the style of Dante to use Death’s scythe. Killing Death feels rather dumb, however.
In addition to the scythe itself, you can use different kind of magic, which you can learn throughout the game. Besides the health bar, Dante also has a magic bar, and you have to watch it because it is easy to empty it fast. As you go deeper and deeper into the dark bowels of Hell, you will gain different skills, magic, and even special items, which will grant bonuses. With this arsenal, you will be a real dark superhero: Dante’s Inferno is noticeably easier, then the Devil May Cry or God of War games.
The difficulty sometimes isn’t well balanced at all: killing some enemies, like this big gross fellow is kid stuff, but decimating others can be a pain.
“At the midpoint of the journey of life, I find myself in a dark forest.”
The beautifully rendered cut scenes are all first class and are highlights of the game – even if some of them are really gruesome. We can almost feel the pain of Dante in this scene, where he is sewing up his cross on his own chest. Yuck!
As we advance through the game, we learn more and more about the life of Dante, his own motivations, those of his father and what really happened to the family. The story is excellent, and even when the fighting gets boring in last part of the game, you will want to know, what will happen to Beatrice and our hero.
Besides the CGI cutscenes, there are excellent cartoons as well with a top-notch art style which really draw us into the mood of the game.
“Who made you a priest?”
Some boss fights gave us a hard time, and besides finding the right strategy, we needed first-rate reflexes just to survive the fight. On the other hand, some other bosses are way too easy to kill.
Virgil, the famous poet, will be our guide throughout our journey through Hell. He will not help us with the puzzles, however, which are either too frustrating, or too easy, but never really fun to solve.
As a whole Dante’s Inferno is a rather good action-adventure, but it is still unfortunate, that it cannot hold a candle to the God of War games.
+ God of War-like gameplay
+ Cool backstory and universe
+ Solid level design
– God of War copycat
– Difficulty spikes
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Visceral Games
Relase date: February 4, 2010