Tara Voelker's thoughts. A lot about video games, a little about life
Lately I have been loving Dante’s Inferno. It’s really got me at the moment. The graphics are great, I find the epic soundtrack often playing on repeat in my head, and look forward to it at the end of my day. It’s really well done, and even non-Christians could enjoy this title.
Game Name: Dante’s Inferno
Developer: Visceral Games
Genre: Hack and Slash
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Platforms: PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
Kat’s history with the game: The local Blockbuster is on its way out of business (RIP!!) and that means everything must go. I have been looking at this title for some time now and recently got the concept art book to add to my collection. I was very impressed and intrigued by the art style, and knew this would be one I would want to check out after seeing the work. $9.99 with 10% off was my Dante’s Inferno ticket, and before long, the Xbox 360 version was in my home and on my big screen, and I was flinging crosses out of my hands and killing the damned every which way.
OK, so it’s obviously a game themed around Christianity, which many people may be turned off by… I’ve heard some people say they won’t play it because it’s “too much like God of War” but lets be honest here, yes it plays a lot like God of War and yes, the tone is religious… But it’s sad that people are missing out on Dante because of those things (I was among those thoughts for a while, until I found out more about the game)… It’s really a good game that I’m afraid a lot of people pass up with an ignorant eye and a closed mind. It really is worth a go.
Story: ***includes spoilers*** The story is really about a man who has done terrible things under the impression that he would be forgiven by God.. Things like, cheat on his girlfriend, kill people, partake in huge feasts and drinking binges.. Just when everything is looking pretty OK for Dante, he gets killed whilst in battle. Death shows up to escort him to the underworld, which doesn’t make sense to Dante because he has been under the impression that living a life that isn’t pure is OK because his army and religious leader told him he would be forgiven, as long as he fights for God. Death is pretty much like “Nope” and they fight it out. Dante wins and takes Death’s Scythe, (Hence Boxart) and runs home to see his girlfriend Beatrice. When he gets there, he quickly realizes how badly things have been going at home, finding his father and Beatrice slain in their own house and backyard. He is outside with Beatrice‘s body (AWESOMELY detailed cut scene) when her soul rises and begins to speak vague things to him. Suddenly, this unknown, dark guy shrouded in smoke shows up, and wraps his arms around her, and she says to Dante, “Sorry, I have to go with him..” and he pulls her off into the distance before you can say “Oh no you don’t!” But you know Dante has to save her.. Damsel in distress, anyone?
*** Pick up from here if you skipped the spoilers*** So the story goes, Dante is trying to repent and save his girlfriend, whom he cursed along with himself when he sinned. I will say, at the very beginning of the game, you will be confused.. But not to worry.. it will all come to light once as you get further into the game. There is a unique blending of animated 2D scenes that cuts into the 3D game play, which seems a little strange at first, but you will come to appreciate the more you play the game.
As Dante, you must descend each level of Hell, confront and overcome his demons, fight all kinds of unique bad guys and bosses, solve rather simple puzzles, and all the while get to know more about Dante and his broken past. You use various Holy and Hellish magic abilities which you earn points to upgrade by slaying enemies in certain ways, and deciding the second fate of sinners who each possess their own scenario of why they are in hell.
Game play: Smooth and easy to pick up. If you played God of War, then you will pretty much be set. If not, you can expect to have quick attacks, heavy attacks, projectile attacks, a double jump, 4 different magic spells equipped at a time, blocking, countering, running and all the other basics, in case I missed any..
Graphics: The picture shows a dominant red and gold color a lot of the time (as one could imagine). I played the game on an HD television, and the graphics are crisp and the textures are surprisingly smooth (In HD, some games’ repeated textures are more noticeable, where Dante’s graphics are better blended)
Audio: Ambiance is what you will be hearing most I have noticed. The music is very epic and occurs in the most appropriate places; against the epic bosses and bad guys. It’s all orchestrated and very rich. You barely notice it because it’s so natural with the game. However there is a character named Virgil, the only character you interact with outside of cut scenes, and there are times when he is very hard to hear due to the ambiance. Beware of that if you care about dialogue!!
Overall: It’s a very good game with an engaging story. I would recommend it and hope that the reason people pass it up is because they had a different game in mind to buy that day instead of not being interested because of a stereotype. If you enjoy hack and slash, do yourself a favor and try this game out. You won’t be disappointed.
Kat’s Score: **** (4 out of 5) I can’t give it 5 because the game-play mechanics just aren’t original. It’s God of War with a different skin.. However everything else about this game is very well done and you can tell a lot of attention was given to details. I enjoyed this game very much and I think it is very under-rated.