A review of Dante’s Inferno

This is first and foremost not a comparison to God Of War. Yes, they share similar elements and are both of the hack’n’slash genre, but that doesn’t mean they need to compared at every corner.

Dante’s Inferno, made by Visceral Games, the same people who made Dead Space, is loosely based of  the 13th century epic poem The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. In the game, you take on the role of Dante, an Italian crusader who treks through Hell in order to save his murdered Beatrice from Lucifer and face his own sins of his past. In Hell, there are 9 circles, each representing a different moral sin that one can commit. If you commit that sin, you are sent to that circle when you die. The worse the sin, the farther down you go.

Gameplaywise, it is very sound. At the beginning you only have a halberd to kill human enemies on the surface but after some plot progression it will be replaced by a scythe. This will be your one and only melee weapon. Soon after, you will obtain a holy cross. This will be your ranged weapon, firing bursts of holy energy. You will go through hell armed with only these and take on Hell’s army. Later on, you obtain magic attacks that are much more powerful than your cross or scythe attacks. Common with most hack’n’slash games nowadays are QTEs or Quick-time-events. A QTE is a scripted sequence where you will input certain button commands shown onscreen, either to open something like a door, or kill a beast rider to take his mount, or just to simply tear an enemy in half. I find that without these QTEs, the game would be a lot more bare. They are a crucial part of this game and without them, it would still be a good game albeit a little hollow.

Souls are the main currency in the game but not in the sense of normal currency. You will spend them to get upgrades on either a holy skill tree or an unholy skill tree. The unholy skill tree is more designated to the scythe, scythe attacks, and dark magic while the holy skill tree is more for the cross, cross attacks, and light magic. It also allows allows health and mana upgrades. Playing through the game normally, you are capable of maxing out one tree but in my opinion, do the smart thing, make an even spread and get them both halfway. Don’t worry, there is a New Game+.

Relics are skill modifiers. When you equip them (max of 4 at a time), they enhance you and your abilities. Some open windows for hit combos, some garner you more souls, some change how you distribute and receive damage. They are scattered across Hell and aren’t always in plain sight so it’s up to you to locate them and combine them to get some outrageously powerful effects.

I’m not gonna spend too much time on the graphics as they aren’t important to how good a game is. The graphics themselves are very sharp and very clean, they spared no expense. The textures on the other hand, I’m gonna talk about a little more. They are absolutely breathtaking. They are what makes the atmosphere what it is. Without them, this game wouldn’t be what it is. The walls have souls clawing to get out, the rock faces are broken and worn, the dripping, slimy ooze is shiny and gross. This is how any game should look. And the best part is; There’s actually colour in this thing.

The music is by far one of the best modern video game scores I’ve ever heard. Majority of it being written and conducted by Garry Schyman, the same man who scored Bioshock 1 and 2. The beginning track, Donasgdogama Micma instantly gives you a sense of where you are and how big it is. It is so grand and so powerful it sucks you in and keeps you there until you finish the game. From there, it only gets better, leading up to the final confrontation with Lucifer.

Overall I think this game is much more than people see it as. People see it as a God Of War clone, I see it as perfection. It takes hack’n’slash and makes it it’s own. There is a ton of replay value with some serious DLC on the way. A prelude chapter entitled The Dark Forest is already out and an arena fighter/co-op release is due out later this month. So I say buy it, give Visceral another reason to make a sequel.

I give this game out of 5. This is my Game of the Year.

About Ian Long

Ian Long is the resident Canadian. Likes new games but prefers old ones. He is also usually the one that has an opinion that the rest don't agree with.