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Dante's Inferno Review

Yes, the Dante’s Inferno came out last month, but what can we say? Descending through the nine circles of hell to save your beloved fiancé is just as bloody, and fun, as you would think it would be.

I’m going to cut-to-the-chase and tell you this; if you’re an action adventure fan, and like your games good and gory, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of Dante’s Inferno.

The game is inspired by the real Dante Alighieri, but has been adapted for a new generation, as well as a new medium. In the game, Dante is a soldier who defies death and returns home from the holy crusades to find that his fiancé, Beatrice, has been murdered and her soul pulled down to Hell. He vows to get her back and descends through the nine circles of hell to rescue her.

Throughout the game you will learn more about Dante, and specifically what happened to him, as well as what he did, during the crusade. I actually found that I didn’t particularly like Dante, or the things he did, while away from home serving the Church, but you’ll find that his descent into hell is as much about saving Beatrice as it is about earning his own redemption.

You’re limited to one weapon throughout the game, Death’s scythe, but the holy and unholy abilities you are able to unlock more than make up for this limitation. You’re unholy abilities tend to increase your attack damage and combinations while the holy abilities are more geared towards defense, health and long range attacks. As you travel through hell, you are given the option to either absolve enemies of their sins, which will grant you “holy” experience points, or you may punish them and earn “unholy” experience points.

The scale of the game, especially during the first half or so of the game, is EPIC. The size of the world is amazing, as are the first few bosses that you must battle to proceed through the various levels of hell. The last few levels fell short of the bar that was raised for the first half. By this time we were at the point that we were trying to earn experience points to unlock abilities, as well as finding the other collectables in the game, that we paid it scant attention, but it was more noticeable after our first run-through (what can we say, we wanted to find EVERYTHING).

Visceral Games went all out with their depiction of hell. The graphics and audio are top-notch. Whether it’s a close-up as you blow the head off of a boss, the shear brutality of ripping an enemy in half, or that lady stuck in the filth whispering naughty things to you, they nailed it. To get the most out of the game, you’ll definitely want to have it hooked up to a home theater/surround sound system. The level of detail used for the ambient sounds is simply amazing.

From unbaptized damned babies, to the whores contained within the circle of lust, to huge shambling blubber bellies in gluttony that will barf and fart on you, you’ll have your hands full battling through the various enemies, each one requiring different tactics to get rid of them efficiently.

All is not flowers and sunshine in hell however… We did have a few issues with the game. Most notably was the camera. At times enemies would disappear off screen, or we would miss a platform that we were POSITIVE we had lined up correctly prior to jumping for it. Some of the puzzles are VERY easy, but they do tend to change up the pace of the game, so they didn’t bother us that much, although the fire elevator in Lust did give us fits.

We liked the cut-scenes that allowed us to learn more about Dante, the crusades, and his back story, but we didn’t particularly care for the 2D animated sequences… The CGI cinematics were absolutely beautiful, but we just couldn’t get as excited for the 2D sequences. This probably has more to do with artistic preference than anything, but we thought we would throw that in there.

Dante's Inferno Superbowl Screenshot

Note that the game is rated "Mature." There are some things you'll see in hell that you DEFINITELY wouldn't want your kids to see (babies and whores come to mind)...

Yes, there’s another has-been Greek god that hit store shelves this week, but if you happen to be one of those that finds themselves without a PS3, Dante’s Inferno is more than a worthy substitute. Heck, even if you own a PS3, which I do, I would pick it up as well. This is one of the VERY few games that I’ve actually played through more than once (I’m currently on my third run-through), and still enjoyed every minute of it.

With the promise of a new co-op mode, DLC, and even the ability to create your own levels to play and share with the community, we think we’ll be playing this one for a bit longer.

Did we mention that they left it open for at least one sequel?!
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