By D.J. Ochoa
How far will people go to save their one true love from spending eternity in the land of the dead?
The newest development by Electronic Arts uses the classic literature of “The Divine Comedy” to create “Dante’s Inferno,” a slash-‘em-up video game that takes players through the nine circles of hell.
You play as Dante, a young crusader who has been engulfed by war for years. He longs to be reunited with his beloved fiancée, Beatrice.
When he finally does return to Florence, he finds his home destroyed and his love lying lifeless outside. As he approaches Beatrice’s corpse, the fallen angel Lucifer appears and drags her screaming soul into the depths of hell.
Fueled by rage and his love for Beatrice, Dante chases them. As he travels downward through the circles of hell, Dante faces his own demons before the final showdown with Lucifer.
The game doesn’t follow the classic literature exactly, but does give the player incentive to rescue Beatrice from the horrid fate placed upon her. It offers a story that is both interesting and compelling.
The game is rated ‘M’ for mature audiences, and pushes the envelope through hours of gameplay. It includes countless scenes that will make anyone want to attend church, so they do not suffer what hell has to offer.
Players pass pools of souls being tortured, experience jaw-dropping violence and see loads of nudity through the levels. Much of the violence seems over the top, but this is hell you’re venturing through. There are no fields of daisies on the horizon in this game.
In any action game, combat is the most important component. Dante’s primary weapons are a demonic scythe and an enchanted cross. Both weapons can be upgraded while obtaining souls.
You might notice gameplay similar to “God of War.” If you have ever picked up GOW, you will have no problem playing “Dante’s Inferno.”
However, “Dante’s Inferno” adds originality by giving players an option to either punish the demons or absolve their souls.
If you choose to punish, Dante performs a punishing maneuver that will surely have you saying, “Oh my god!” By punishing the soul, you gain unholy points to upgrade your scythe.
If you choose to be virtuous and absolve souls, Dante uses his cross to set them free. This gives you holy points that will upgrade the cross.
The combat is very entertaining, especially when you mix up combos with both the scythe and the holy cross. Although the game play is fun, however, there is no real complexity to it. For the most part, there will be a lot of button mashing throughout the game.
“Dante’s Inferno” also offers puzzles that will have players using their brain in order to proceed. It is entertaining, but that part of the game really feels like a knock-off of GOW.
It is as if “Dante’s Inferno” is the younger sibling of GOW, trying to fill its shoes but getting left in GOW’s enormous shadow.
The game is not a complete failure. “Dante’s Inferno” gives a gruesome interpretation of afterlife in the land of the dead, and is enjoyable to play from beginning to end.
However, its resemblance to GOW prevents the game from standing out in a pack.