The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
If ripping off the gameplay of another title was a sin, there’d be a
circle in hell reserved exclusively for Dante’s Inferno. Its combat,
magic system, finishing moves, and various other gameplay mechanics
unapologetically ape God of War to the point where Kratos fans will
feel right at home in Lucifer’s den. Inferno mimics even the most
mundane and inexplicable tasks, like requiring the player to mash the
action button to open doors, cementing this title’s status as a
bonafide God of War copycat.
The result of this imitation
however, is that by and large the game is fun to play; the combat is
tight and satisfying, and the finishing moves are brutally graphic.
Despite being a poet in the source material, Dante is transformed into
a badass warrior, almost rivaling that of his Greek counterpart. Minor
additions to the formula, such as branching skill trees for learning
new moves, hidden relics that can be equipped to boost various stats,
and the ability to condemn/absolve souls give Dante’s Inferno some
individuality, even if it’s never fully realized.
gameplay is largely unoriginal, Inferno’s story is unique to say the
least. Tapping a 14th-century poem as inspiration for a hack and slash
action title is enough to make even the most forgiving gamer cringe,
but Visceral Games uses Inferno’s premise to good effect. The game is
scandalous and over the top, but as controversial as the topless lust
demons and unbaptized spider babies might be, they are also
entertaining and more or less justified – this is supposed to be hell,
after all. Literature buffs will likely be offended by the many
liberties taken with the source material, but if you can get over the
story compromises made for the sake of gameplay, Inferno’s creativity
may pleasantly surprise you.
The classic work serves as more than
a starting point for the game. Your ability to judge characters that
Dante meets in the original poem (which are used to independently level
up your Holy and Unholy powers), and Virgil’s monologues add some
authenticity in light of the sweeping story changes. The poem also
inspires the game’s vision of hell, and fortunately the developers
pulled no punches in bringing their interpretation to life. Although
the level of detail for the character models is oftentimes
underwhelming, the early environments are unique, twisted, and
memorable. The game lacks the brilliant level design of the God of War
series, but there are times when Dante’s Inferno faithfully recreates
descriptions from the poem, resulting in some remarkable sights.
ultimate sin is that the game can’t sustain its early pace. Of its nine
circles of hell, the first three – Limbo, Lust, and Gluttony – contain
the game’s best ideas and most impressive creative vision. Later
circles offer memorable sights as well, but for every river of boiling
blood or ride on the back of Phlegyas there are a dozen drawn-out
battles against groups of recycled enemies. After the variety
introduced in the beginning, it was disappointing (and nonsensical) to
see the same enemies popping up again and again in later circles,
requiring little in the way of fresh tactics to beat.
problem ironically culminates in the circle of Fraud, which is composed
of 10 different challenges in identical arenas. Each challenge
introduces a different element, but most can be beat with either your
heavy attack or projectile combos. Despite the plethora of moves to
unlock, these two techniques will get you through the vast majority of
the battles you’ll face, making the game feel like more of a grind than
it has to be.
Dante’s Inferno features some interesting aspects
(like its combat), but early innovation loses out to repetition. The
game’s biggest strength – Visceral’s recreation of hell – wanes during
the second half. Some entertaining unlockable content adds to the
replayability, but for most gamers, Inferno doesn’t have enough new
ideas to warrant a return trip through hell.
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
Dante’s Inferno is a difficult game to score. In terms of gameplay,
Visceral Games did a solid job creating some well-worn but enjoyable
button mashing. Despite being a mostly entertaining experience for the
eight hours it lasts, several circles of Hell – Greed in particular –
demonstrate terrible platforming and lackluster level design. However,
problems with the gameplay don’t come close to matching the stupidity
of the story. I’m not against adapting classic literature for modern
formats, but this delicate process must be handled with a certain level
of respect that Visceral lacks. The enemies and locales of Hell are
interpreted in visually interesting ways, but the great poet himself
has devolved into a knuckle-dragging Kratos clone with a dark
sin-filled past in the Crusades. As he works through each circle of
Hell, Dante relives flashbacks that are supposed to make him more
complex, but end up making him unlikable. If you can get past EA
crapping on the source material (and its author), Dante’s Inferno holds
a brief, but mostly fun, hellish journey. This English major couldn’t