Also available on PlayStation Portable and Xbox 360
I picked this game up on a whim at Gamestop several months ago after seeing it for like $7 in their bargain bin, and I wasn't sure if or when I'd ever actually get around to playing it. I bought it primarily because I thoroughly enjoyed the actual Dante Alighieri's epic poem The Divine Comedy of which Inferno is the first part (followed by Purgatorio and Paradiso for those interested). I've got a thing for Judeo-Christian mythology, you see. I'm not religious, but I find the myths and lore surrounding angels, demons, the afterlife, etc. to be fascinating, so I naturally gravitate towards games that play into that theme. It's why I loved Bayonetta so much and why I'm such a huge fan of the Shin Megami Tensei series.
The game obviously takes some creative liberties with Alighieri's work, but for a gritty video game, it's really not a bad rendition. The gist of the game's story is that Dante was a crusader fighting under King Richard in the Third Crusade, and he did some really fucked up shit, and he comes home and everyone's dead, and some dude caps him, so he's all dead and shit, and he's going into Hell to save his wife's soul because she's being punished for his fuck ups. Apparently. For some reason. That part never really did make a whole lot of sense to me. Anyway, that stuff aside, the bulk of the game consists of Dante's journey through the nine circles of Hell, fighting his way towards Lucifer, meeting infamous sinners throughout history (and either absolving them or laughing at their eternal damnation), and confronting his own sins.
The game plays like your standard dark, gritty hack and slash. It's basically God of War with Judeo-Christian mythology replacing Greco-Roman mythology. Depending on whether you decide to be merciful or an ass hole, you can either "absolve" or "punish" various enemies and historical figures you encounter during your descent through Hell, and those choices will get you either Holy or Unholy points. You can level each side up to a maximum of 7, and each level unlocks different upgrades you can purchase. In addition to these upgrades, each of these levels grant passive bonuses; Holy levels will power up your projectile cross, and Unholy levels will power up your melee scythe.
The visuals are pretty good, and while the sound design is just average, the overall atmosphere of the game is great. While there is some enemy variation as you move deeper and deeper into Hell, for the most part, you'll be fighting the same few enemies over and over again, and that can get a bit tedious. Fortunately, the combat is fun enough that it never really starts to feel stale, and the game is straight up metal as fuck. You kill the grim reaper, you fight a monster that spews demons out of her nipples and has a giant spiked tentacle hiding in her vagina, you literally tear demons in half, you get hit Lucifer's dangly goat penis with a scythe.... Good times.
I thought Dante's Inferno was an absolutely fantastic time. I'm probably much more fond of it than the average gamer would be because it just happens to speak to my particular interests, but I had absolute ball with it from start to finish. Only a couple of spots throughout - mostly towards the end - got frustrating. By and large, it was an brilliant experience and a great way new take on a Renaissance masterpiece. It's not a terribly long game - maybe 7 or 8 hours - but it's great fun if you're into gore, hack and slash gameplay, and religious mythologies.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.