In early 2010 EA Games released Dante’s Inferno for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. It was developed by Visceral Games and the story was loosely based on “Inferno”, the first canticle of the Divine Comedy from Dante Aligieri. In the game the player plays as Dante, who is a Templar Knight during the Crusade, he is in search of his beloved Beatrice and guided by the poet Virgil. Dante fights his way through the circles of hell to rescue Beatrice from Lucifer himself.
I downloaded this to my Xbox One, just to see if the game holds up 10 years later. With the 360 and Xbox One, we see a big jump in game play and graphics. Dante’s Inferno has the issue of a fixed camera that should have died in the days of the original Playstation with the Resident Evil titles, but it didn’t. Rather than using the right thumb stick to look around, no it is to dodge, oh well. The game is very linear, very few things to search for off the beaten path, like there are in so many games. I think Dante’s Inferno was perhaps an edge game, on the edge of the age of gaming where multiplayer is king and single player story driven games are lesser. This is the current age we live.
When the game began you could feel that good old Xbox 360 gen feeling. From the title screen to the graphics. But, I will say, I think the graphics hold pretty well. While Dante’s Inferno is not as gorgeous as Star Wars Battlefront II or Red Dead Redemption 2, it doesn’t look bad for 2010. It is great, because it feels like an arcade style hack n slash, plat former from back then. It breathes life in the old gaming, where story was king, especially with the amazingly animate cut scenes, I adore them.
I talked a bit about the fixed camera angles, but honestly, after 15 minutes of gameplay, it is like riding a bike and it doesn’t suffer like Resident Evil titles from the 90s and early 2000s. But the gameplay itself is still satisfying as hell. Dante wields Death’s scythe, a few magic spells and the holy cross to absolve the minions of hell. Actually there are some really interesting things you can do that makes the game a little more entertaining, like grabbing enemies with the scythe and you can chose to punish them(rip them apart) or redeem them. This fills a skills tree with points, basically light side and dark side points. It is super gratifying and some of the animations are bad ass.
One of the best things about the game, the demonic monsters and bosses. Wow, the team at Visceral games went deep into their heavy metal and horror collections to find these bad ass a character designs. Dante himself, the former Templar Knight has sewn a piece of cloth to his bare chest, which is where the game opens. But again, the bosses…holy fucking shit! These bosses will haunt your nightmares for a long time after you finish the game. They are generally larger than life and yeah, there are button combos, but the cinematics on the boss battles and what they are fighting for, pretty amazing. One boss, drips little babies with blades for arms, from her nipples. Yeah, Dante’s Inferno is nightmare fuel, which answers the question, is it a horror game. YES! The deeper you get in to the depths of hell, the worse things get. Sure there is mindless hacking, wall climbing and puzzle, but, you hear the screams of the damned, there are bodies in the walls you climb on trying to get out, think of Freddy’s death in Dream Master. You see souls fall from Earth to hell. Each soul is assigned to a different level of hell, wow. It is a great game for any horror fan in my opinion.
I think Dante’s Inferno holds up, the graphics are kind of rough when compared to the current gen of gaming. But it is fun and a bunch of the animations are pleasing. I think the hero of this game is level design and character design for sure. I mean, there are some messed up looking things within the confines of this game and I am telling you, it gets worse and worse while you descend into hell. It is great for you gore hounds, lore hounds and those who love naked women. Yeah, many topless women and demons in the game.
I say, check it out if you haven’t. You can still get physical copies allover the internet, Ebay, Amazon and Gamestop, mostly used copies of course. You can also download it on Xbox One and probably the PS4, worth the money. It totally holds up after 10 years. It is fun and you’ll no doubt get sucked in to hell while playing. It really makes me wonder how Darksiders holds up. That is another good one from around this time, yeah religious themed as you play as War, of the 4 Horseman of the Apocalypse. There are two sequels.
So, yeah check out Dante’s Inferno and fight your way through the 9 circles of hell! Absolve or punish and have a good time!