Developer: EA Redwood
Release Date: 3/1/2010
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The first thing you will notice when you play Dante’s Inferno is that it’s a bold game. The game is one of the darkest, nastiest, most mature games ever created and it makes Christianity look like a damned fool. The game is about a man named Dante who is a crusader and betrays his love, Beatrice. Upon his return to Florence, he sees her dead and watches as Lucifer takes her into hell and Dante follows.
The story is pretty good and keeps you interested, but it’s predictable. The game goes extremely deep in Christian and Greek mythology and pulls out names only hardcore followers would know, but enough of the story let’s get to the gameplay.
The game has a pretty damn solid combat system. You use your scythe as your main weapon and you have a cross-projectile attack. You can do aerial combat, launch enemies into the air, and use your magic. You can unlock moves by following the holy or unholy paths (which doesn’t actually affect the story) and each tree has a different set of moves. You can have four different magic items equipped and all are useful and powerful. One of the first elements you’ll find that they took away is the relics. They are gone! These really helped you in the console versions, but they are nowhere to be found here. Anyways, the combat system is fluid, fast, powerful, and very deadly. Another element they took away from combat was the Redemption meter. Geez, guys why did you butcher this?! With those two things aside the combat is fast and as fluid, as it is on the consoles.
When it comes to exploration Inferno both satisfies and disappoints. The game has you descending into the 9 circles of hell and each is harder, deadly, and more brutal. Some levels are pretty epic like The City of Dis, Limbo, and some disappoint like Lust (just an ascending tower), Gluttony (just fight Cerberus and a few baddies, and your down to the next level). The levels are varied in length and I wish they would have been fleshed out more. Puzzle-solving is pretty rare and when you do get some puzzles they are pretty easy to solve. However, most of the puzzles have been solved for you. Yeah why?! Not only this but a lot of the game’s intense sections are videos of gameplay from the PS3 version. One example is the part when you kill Charon and ride the giant minotaur up the crumbling bridge. You don’t get to play this part; instead, you watch it…lame.
One thing I have to get straight is that the game is pretty epic. Not a God of War epic but enough to keep it very cinematic. There are QTEs in the game such as when you take down a minotaur to ride it, take down bosses, etc. You can punish or absolve most enemies to get feed your tree paths, there are famous historical figures that you find throughout the game that you can punish or absolve upon reading what they ended up in hell for.
The game’s visual style is very impressive. It’s what you think hell would look like…dark, disgusting, and evil. The Gluttony level is a good example since you are walking through the intestines, bile, puke, and so forth. The Lust level has female enemies’ wombs coming out of them to attack you. A giant Cleopatra with tongues coming out of her nipples and evil babies…yes, it’s bizarre, but it works and it’s amazing to look at. However, on the PSP it’s obviously downgraded quite a bit and a lot of the beauty from the consoles is lost in translation.
The game is also extremely difficult even in an easy setting. Wave after wave of enemies come at you from all directions, bosses are extremely hard to beat, and the game can be very frustrating often. However, the game’s major flaws are mainly the length, difficulty, and the fact that the levels weren’t developed to their fullest potential.
So with the flaws of the console still here plus relics, redemption, puzzles, and a lot of other things removed from the game you still get a solid Dante’s Inferno Lite for people who are on the go or don’t own an Xbox 360 or PS3 (you should!)