Reviews// Dante's Inferno

Posted 5 Feb 2010 17:24 by
Games: Dante's Inferno
Turns out, the control scheme for Dante's Inferno isn't the same as the one for Bayonetta. This seems fairly obvious, but when you're into your third new, big budget hack 'n' slash game in a month, it's mildly bewildering to find that hitting RT doesn't prompt an evade, followed by a splash of bullet time.

It can also be baffling to find that the right analogue stick doesn't shift the camera (Darksiders) although fortunately (if you still have the control set-up for God of War mapped to your hands' physical memory) it does trigger a dash in the direction of your choosing.

There seems, for no reason that I can make out, to be a glut of glossy hack and slash games making their way into the world in the first quarter of 2010. Fortunately, the publishers of the world that aren't Sony have managed to get Dante's Inferno, Darksiders and Bayonetta onto shelves before the real monster hits ? God of War III. Pre-GoW III as it may be ? Dante's Inferno doesn't make an overwhelmingly strong case for your cash. It's good, make no mistake, I'm just not sure it's good enough, given the competition.

If you missed the marketing spiel and didn't study medieval Italian literature ? Dante's Inferno is a game adaptation of an epic poem. Where the source materiel ? The Divine Comedy ? is an allegory for man's search for God, the game adaptation is an excuse to smack demons in the face with a scythe you stole from Death.

The game, shockingly, diverges pretty wildly from the poem. Where the historical Dante was a scholarly sort prone to wearing dresses (robes), Visceral Games' Dante is a hardcore former crusader who's handy with a blade and sewed a cross into his chest just because he was a bit fed up. In the game his woman, Beatrice, has been slain and dragged into Hell as punishment for Dante's sins. Dante's not too chuffed with this, so off he trots into the pit to bring her back. In the original, she doesn't pop up until he gets to heaven, but heaven doesn't feature in the game and I guess Visceral wanted to get a girl in there somewhere.

As you descend into Hell, you have nine different circles to descend through. I would love to tell you how closely these circles resemble the circles of the poem, but I'm not so devoted to my job that I can be arsed to read an entire epic poem for the purposes of reviewing a game. Faithful or not, the levels look good. More on that shortly...

First, let's take a moment to get the God of War comparisons out of the way, shall we? Yes, it's a lot like God of War. It is a hack and slash game. It features (almost exclusively) fantastical elements such as big monsters. The control set-up is very similar to GoW. You get to jump on top of great hulking things and control them. So if you want to spume endlessly about how Dante's Inferno is a GoW rip-off, go ahead. Personally, I don't care that much. They're both members of the same genre. It's a genre that doesn't have masses of notable games in it (as, for example, the shooter genre does) and God of War set the standard in recent years. Yes, Dante's Inferno adheres to that standard. Yes, there are some strong similarities.

Personally, I don't think it's worth whining over any more than the similarities between FIFA and PES or Call of Duty and Medal of Honour. It's just a thing happens when a game does a particularly good job of setting a standard in a genre. If the similarities between Dante's Inferno and GoW are going to upset you, they're just going to upset you.
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Games: Dante's Inferno

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i got it today, and its sitting above average but below great 6 Feb 2010 01:52
well i got it but it was a choice out of the 3 you said. darksiders, i read a couple of reviews and comments on the game and some people just put me off it. bayonetta i was unsure about.
the remark about it being a rip off of GoW: is that really a bad thing?
GoW was a brillant game so having another game like it is bad? ive played it for about 4 hours so far (been busy with uni stuff) and i do like, i do agree the constant quick button gets rather old realy quickly and a couple of other nit picking issues but otehrwise a good game. reading this i might try to pick up darksiders now (as the price has plummeted in some places) and save bayonetta for when i have the cash.
DoctorDee 6 Feb 2010 09:02
I think Mark was pretty fair on the GoW comparisons.

Having spent the last couple of days having crafty bashes on Dante when Mark put the joypad down to write his review, I must say that I like it, but I prefer Bayonetta. Darksiders, I couldn't get any enthusiasm for... But I might go back and give it a try... because as the review states,I can;t get enough of the hacking and slashing".

I'll have to finish Assassins Creed 2 and Dante's first though.
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