Released just a few weeks ago, the Dante’s Inferno videogame has caused quite a stir in the gaming community. The subject matter, which is very loosely based on the titular poem, has been met with scorn by some and certain countries even refused to advertise it. However, this kind of notoriety is often a good thing, as it gets audiences interested in what could be causing such an outcry.
The story follows Dante as he journeys through the various circles of hell on a quest to rescue his beloved Beatrice. But as he ventures deeper into the Inferno, darker secrets are revealed and the truth about his quest comes to light. Dante must battle his way through using Death’s scythe, which he took from the spectre having defeated him in single combat!
Now, let’s get this out of the way early- the Dante’s Inferno videogame has been accused of being a rip off of the God of War series, to the point at which the combat system is supposedly almost identical. Well, this is really dependent on your point of view. God of War certainly didn’t begin the hack and slash genre, it just does it best, and thus all subsequent games will be measured against it. If a game can come close to emulating God of War, surely that’s a good thing?
And the Dante’s Inferno videogame is doubtless its own master. The combat system is actually an intricately fashioned tree of possibilities as you employ Dante’s two methods of attack; his scythe and holy cross. These weapons can both be leveled up as you progress through hell. Dante will come across lost souls in both combat and non-combat situations, and the player can choose to either punish or absolve them. This will level up either weapon correspondingly.
Hell itself has been nicely designed, and there are definitely echoes of EA’s earlier horror offering- Dead Space. The landscape is teeming with writhing damned, impaled prisoners and rivers of blood, whilst the different circles will offer their own slant on things. Journeying through Lust will unveil mutated phallic symbols and darkly seductive enemies, whilst Greed will display unfortunates encased in gold.
Dante’s Inferno has had a rough ride at the hands of all the God of War fanboys, but is definitely a great game in its own right. Sure, there are a couple of drawbacks- the game is a little too short and some of the environments begin to look over familiar, but these gripes are cancelled out by an empowering combat system and imaginative boss battles and imagery. The Dante’s Inferno video game should be recognised as a great effort from EA, and I urge you to try it out.