Dante’s Inferno was one of those games where I had seen mixed reviews, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Sometimes those games turn out great and other times not so much.
Taking it’s cue from the novel of the same name, but making it clear it’s inspired by rather than true to it, Dante’s Inferno see you play as Dante who upon returning from the Crusades finds an unsavoury fate has befallen his loved one.
To regain what he has lost Dante must venture through the 9 circles of hell.
This gives the game designers a chance to show off some wonderfully vivid art styles. The book is dark and the game matches it, with some of the visceral backdrops and enemies inspiring a sense of wonder and disgust – often at the same time.
The gameplay is very much God Of War with a light attack, heavy attack and ‘magic’ in the form of Dante’s Holy Cross, which can be used to smite enemies and tortured souls.
My initial problems with the game were mainly due to a challenging difficulty level that I found led to some repetitive early battles. I expect the makers were aiming for ‘epic’ but for me it was just too frustrating and boring to keep hitting square repeatedly. Switching down to easy meant the enemies took less hits which helped make the game flow better (in my opinion).
Graphically the game is superb and the cut scenes have to be seen to be believed. The first half of the game was really impressive and while it felt like an extension of a God Of War title due to the similar controls/gameplay Dante’s Inferno was holding it’s own against Kratos huge adventure.
Unfortunately from around halfway through things began to get a little tired in more ways than one. Some of the environments started to appear less and less engaging and more like traditional versions of hell.
The boss battles were interesting at times but silly things like timing jumps and leaps accounted for more than a few unwarranted deaths and the last level smacks of laziness. I won’t spoil it for you but to battle through a game like this only to be met by a completely uninspired and tedious final level killed my enjoyment of the game.
Overall then for me this is all about context – if this game had come out last year it may have scored more highly but in a year when I’ve battled my way through Bayonetta and God Of War III, Dante’s Inferno just feels a little bit like too much of the same.
Sadly while there are some great ideas in here a lot of the gameplay is lifted almost directly from God Of War. Worth a play through then but if you fancy some hack and slash you’d be better off sticking to God Of War III.