Review by imagine606

Reviewed: 01/17/12

Much More to the Story than I Expected

When I was in college I obtained a minor in Philosophy. In a class I took there was a major unit on the actual Divine Comedy. Of course, being a child that grew up on heavy metal music and loving dark imagery, my favorite part of the Divine Comedy was Inferno. It was a trip through all of the levels of Hell as told by Dante Alighieri as he was supposedly led through by Virgil, who is probably best known for writing the Aeneid, Eclogues, and the Georgics. I've been a huge fan of Inferno ever since first reading it, and have probably read it 7 or 8 times now. I highly recommend it to anyone out there. It's written with a lot of metaphors and such, but it's also a fairly quick read as well.

Anyway, before I'd even owned a PS3 I remember seeing a commercial for this game. My very first thought was how awesome it was going to be to have a game based on Inferno. I mean, they could have the minotaurs as guards, centaurs shooting arrows into people, the ice cold final level with the devil right there with the heads of Brutus, Cassius, and Judas there. I expected there to be nine circles, and I expected them to all be in the correct order. I was really thinking that this could be really true to the poem. However, then I said to myself, "Hey, this is a video game." By that I meant that it was likely going to only vaguely based on the poem, maybe only as much as the theme itself. It's a video game on an old poem. That sort of thing isn't going to sell today, right?

Well, I was partially right, but I'm happy to say I was mostly wrong. While this clearly wasn't written going word for word off of the poem, it contained a lot more as far as details from the poem actually go. The first thing I realized that was there was Limbo. No, I'm not talking about the party game or the side scroller video game, I'm talking about the outside circle of Hell. It's an area that in the poem is pretty much full of good people who lived before Jesus, and therefore they were unable to be saved by Jesus (according to the poem again). As a sidenote, I always thought that was kinda a raw deal there for those guys. Anyway, not only did it seem like this was the case while playing the game, it was actually specifically stated by....you guessed it, Virgil. So okay, I guess Virgil really was the first part I noticed being true to the poem, but oh well.

Anyway, as I went along I realized that things were going very well with the circles of Hell. The second one in the game was indeed Lust. The following ones, in order, were Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence Fraud, and Treachery. I must say that I was quite impressed no only by that, but beyond even that there where the 10 Bolgias. I don't think that was something I would even think would be included when I first started thinking about the game. On top of that, the 9th circle, where Satan himself resided was indeed an icy place, and not only that, but there was wind involved throughout that area.

Now, as a whole it still wasn't very true to the poem. The biggest difference being that Dante is just a poet being guided through Hell in the poem where in the game you're fighting your way down as a Templar to save your dead wife's soul while other less savory sides of your character come out in the process. In fact, the actual story of the game really doesn't resemble the poem much at all, but then again, that's to be expected. I mean, it's a video game people. How good would a game be if you were just being guided down and could occasionally look at stuff?

Anyway, as for the gameplay itself, think God of War. In fact, that's pretty much what it is down to most of the controls. It's very simple action/slashing type of stuff throughout the game. There are some puzzles to it, but there are even fewer than in the God of War games. This is much more battle based. There's a whole power up system as well as relics you can use to give you a boost in some areas. On top of that, the relics can be powered up as well.

As you go through, the graphics are very beautifully done. That was one of the most impressive parts of the game to me. The graphics and sound really, both were done beautifully and everything worked out like it should have for the game.

The game did have some weaknesses too though. The biggest one to me was that it was too short. Also, it's a pretty easy game to master the combat in. There's nothing horribly advanced as far as combat goes, and I have yet to have any problems there. Also, the story itself, while it did have some really cool elements to it, also had some really cheesy elements to it and at times just didn't seem to be going anywhere.

As a whole this was a very fun game to play while it lasted. If you can get it for cheap then I highly recommend it, because you will have fun while you're playing it, even if that doesn't last for a long time.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: Dante's Inferno (Divine Edition) (US, 02/09/10)

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