Dante’s Inferno is loosely based on the 14th century poem, The Divine Comedy. The Divine Comedy is composed of more than 14,000 lines and it is divided into three parts – Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise). The game starts you out fighting Death himself followed by you returning home only to find out that Beatrice (the love of your life) has been murdered. As you discover what transpired during your absence Lucifer shows up and takes her away. This is when your journey begins as you descend into the depths of Hell to try and save Beatrice as well as yourself. Throughout your journey in Dante’s Inferno you will go through the nine circles of Hell: Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud & Treachery.
As soon as you pick up the controller and play you will immediately recognize the similarities between this title and the God of War series. Both of them are action titles and a lot of the combat is exactly the same. Your primary weapon throughout your adventure will be the scythe that you took from Death after you defeated him at very beginning of the game. You will hack and slash through wave after wave of enemies and the combat gets repetitive really quickly. Depending on how you play the game there is also a whole bunch of button mashing. If you are going around trying to absolve everyone and everything you can you will find yourself continually hitting the “B” button while your enemy is trying to turn the tables on you. As you progress through your adventure you will come across some historical figures that are currently residing in Hell. You can go up to them and decide whether you want to punish or absolve them of their sins. If you choose to absolve them you will be presented with a mini game where you have to capture their sins. The more sins that you successfully capture means the more bonus souls that you will collect.
Souls are the currency in the game and they are what allows Dante to level up. When you grab an enemy with your scythe you have the option to punish them or absolve them. If you decide to punish them you will gain unholy points and your unholy level will eventually go up. This will give you access to special unholy powers such as Retribution, Death’s Reach, Mental Sap, Lust Storm and many more. If you decide to absolve someone then you will gain holy points and your Holy level will eventually go up. Going this route will give you access to powers such as Holy Devastation, Divine Armor, Sacred Justice, Divine Tempest and much more. As you continue to level up you will be able to unlock new powers as well as power up your existing spells. Each path has its own merits, depending on your play style and what type of abilities you want your character to possess. If you want you can alternate between absolving someone and punishing them and that way you could have a healthy balance of powers between the two sides. You will also periodically run across fountains strewn throughout the environment. These fountains will provide you with either life, magic or additional souls. Another thing that you will want to keep an eye open for will be hidden relics. These relics will play an important part in your strategy throughout all of the battles that you will go through. They offer different abilities or stat boosts such as being to absorb damage, having a longer reach with your scythe and things of that nature.
With the above being said there are a couple of issues that I have with the game. One problem is the lack of camera control. There were times when I wanted to look around the environment and since the camera was fixed I couldn’t do that which was annoying. There were also battles where I couldn’t see the enemy because they are out of the camera’s view so I just basically had to spam my attack button and hope it hit. Fortunately some of the moves such as “Holy Cross” seemed to auto target enemies which definitely helped in those situations. Also the controls didn’t seem to be as intuitive as they could be. There were times where it seemed to take a moment or two to respond which isn’t good in the heat of battle.
Overall Dante’s Inferno is a pretty fun game. There is nothing really great about it, however, I enjoyed my time with the title. Once you beat the game some new modes open up for you which could briefly extend the replayability of this title. You can also bring over your stats if you want to go through the game a second time which is always a nice feature to have. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to see the movies that you have unlocked as well as some pretty cool concept art. One thing that I liked was that I can now watch the ending at any time I choose without having to go through the final battle again. Every game should do this and I don’t know why most developers don’t support this type of feature. On a final note this game is rated mature and Visceral Games definitely tested out how far they could get with that mature rating. Keep that in mind if you are playing the game around kids. With two other parts left of the Divine Comedy it should be interesting to see where the developer goes from here.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network