Anime And Video Games
HomeNews & MoreCalendarGalleryFAQSearchMemberlistUsergroupsRegisterLog in


 Dante's Inferno

Go down 

Posts : 8
Join date : 2010-05-05
Age : 24
Location : Woodlawn, IL

Dante's Inferno Empty
PostSubject: Dante's Inferno   Dante's Inferno I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 25, 2010 9:30 pm

Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Dante's Inferno is inspired by, rather than based on, the first part of The Divine Comedy. Players take on the role of Dante, who has just returned from the Third Crusade having visited all manner of violence on the population of the Middle East. He's also impressively managed to kill Death and steal his Scythe. Upon arriving at his family's home, he finds his lover, Beatrice, murdered and he falls to his knees in sorrow. Suddenly Satan appears in the form of a sneering miniature dust storm and spirits Beatrice's soul away into the underworld. Guided by the spirit of Virgil, who looks and sounds like the soul of Obi Wan Kenobi at a toga party, Dante cuts his way across hell in search of the soul of his lover. Hilarity ensues.

Video game developers have a long-standing tradition of ransacking ancient myths and legends for ideas, so it was only a matter of time before they moved around to medieval religious texts. In the case of Dante's Inferno, Visceral Games have a better fit than most for the medium. At just a cursory glances, the first part of Dante Alighieri's fourteenth-century epic poem offers decent rubric for game level design, heaps of inspiration for story and characters and tons of ideas for horrible creatures for players to fight. Best of all, the source material is over 600 years old, so there's no worry about copyright infringement. However, given how much grist Visceral have for their hellish mill, the most puzzling aspect about the finished game is how derivative it all is. While the plot is inspired by events in Dante's epic poem, Visceral's title also takes a lot gameplay and presentation cues from another classic – this time, a video game from 2005, God Of War. Once again, this sort of practice isn't unheard of in video games as developers constantly take inspiration from their contemporaries. However, in order to transcend their influences, developers also need to produce a game which offers an experience that is significantly different from its source of inspiration, otherwise all they're doing is making a clone.

Allow me to be blunt; Dante's Inferno is a God Of War clone without shame and not just because its protagonist is a muscle-bound warrior sporting red tattoos and a malleable, multi-purpose weapon. The combat slavishly follows God Of War's format, involving mêlée – which makes an attempt to be balletic and flowing and fails – and magic, which is mapped to the face buttons and R1. The game progression is a mixture of mêlée combat, platforming and abseiling, puzzle solving, boss battles and action set pieces involving quick-time events. The levels of hell contain tons of levers, pullies, pressure pads, zip lines and movable stone slabs. The game puts a premium on collecting orbs. Dante replenishes health, magic and XP by breaking fonts; to do this players holding a shoulder button and tapping the circle button rapidly – this is also how the protagonist open doors. Dante's Inferno apes so many gameplay and presentation tics from the God Of War games, that if you've ever played any of them you can have a rather fun afternoon listing them like I did.

However, even if you argue that most of the heavy lifting in Dante's Inferno has been done by Kratos, there's still plenty to admire about it. After all, just because a game is an out and out clone doesn't necessarily mean that it will be awful to play (if you want proof of this, pick up a copy of Saints Row 2). While the combat is certainly derivative, it's also satisfyingly brutal and bloody. Most of it involves using combo attacks to slice up opponents with a scythe, but Dante can also use Beatrice's crucifix to blast foes from a distance. Dante has the option of absolving or punishing some opponents for their sins, and either way the player decides will open up more attacks which can be bought with souls – which double as experience points (XP). Players will also come across the odd sinner (in the form of Pontius Pilate or Filippo Argenti) who they can damn or send to heaven with a little mini-game for more XP. The combat has several issues – the target lock-on is rubbish and if anyone attacks Dante in mid-combo they score an automatic hit – but on the whole, they don't eat into one's enjoyment of the action too much. There's also a series of relics that the player can collect that bestow extra powers.

The game's production values are top-notch. The soundtrack – which includes visceral combat effects, grinding industrial clanks and the ever-present screaming of the damned – is note-perfect and the menacing orchestral score by Garry Schuman (who also composed the music for the recently released BioShock 2) is excellent. The visuals are fantastic – the in-game graphics are crisp, the cut-scenes well rendered, and the story parts which are revealed through a series of grisly animations are excellent. A lot of the environments look superb; especially in the early stages. The designers deserve a lot of credit for making the realm of the Damned in their game look epic, disturbing and repulsive in equal measure. From the gnarled, twisted forest of Anger, to the mixture of burned rock and rivers of molten gold in Greed, to the disgusting fluid-filled stretches of Gluttony, the first few circles of look, feel and sound like a credible vision of hell. What's better is that in some stages – particularly Lust, Greed and Gluttony – the creatures match their environments. In Greed, Dante is attacked by apparitions chained up to gigantic boulders of gold who bleed coins rather than blood, and in Gluttony he's set upon by lumbering, obese horrors who spew acidic faeces from both orifices. The latter of those two may sound disgusting, but they're nothing compared to the wretches found in Lust. There is an element of gratuity about the game's vision of hell – breasts, blades and copious amounts of blood and other bodily fluids are on display a lot of the time. However, the developers could quite rightly slap down most of these accusations (give or take the odd needlessly exposed breast) by pointing out that they're depicting a vision of hell. Their efforts wouldn't exactly be helped if they exercised much restraint.

What lets the game down, however, is that the level design starts running out of ideas somewhere beyond the midway point. This is first signposted around the time the player reaches Anger; enemies which seemed to be an integral part of other environments, such as the slimy worms of Gluttony, start showing up. This impacts on the game's power to disturb the player, as foes which made one's stomach churn when they first arrived on screen, pack far less of a wallop visually by the fifth or sixth time one sees them. It also makes the combat feel repetitive as many of the tactics that proved effective against earlier foes, will invariably be used again. Perhaps to combat against this, the game has a nasty habit of filling the screen with enemies, and then tossing an annoyance into the mix, such as having to avoid a the fists or fire-breath of a massive demon in the background. The final few levels of the game are a genuine slog; it's here that the player encounters a series of arena battles, some of which have to be beaten with a handicap – exclusively with aerial attacks or without magic, for example.

It's this downturn that ultimately decides our score for Dante's Inferno. Even though the game's controls, visuals, subject matter and its penchant for blood-strewn combat scream God Of War, the first two-thirds of the game are genuinely entertaining. It may have been derivative in the extreme, but halfway through the game it seemed for a while that Dante's Inferno could have been considered a guiltily pleasurable alternative to God Of War. But these hopes were dashed in the final third where poor design, repetitive waves of enemies and button-bashing gameplay took all my enjoyment and curdled into a numbing disappointment. In the end, the final credits were a relief as I'd only completed the game for the sake of this review. Dante's Inferno is by no means a terrible game, but it's not an essential title and I wouldn't recommend paying full price for it. If a sequel is on the cards – as is hinted by the ending – the developers would do well to institute a more consistent level of quality. Until then, one can't damn the players of Dante's Inferno for trading the nine circles of hell for a trip to Hades with Kratos.
Special thanks to wikipedia for supplying this information.

NogardDragon598 Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven cheers
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Dante's Inferno
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Otakutech :: Electronics :: Gaming & Technology-
Jump to: