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Dante's Inferno is one of those games that'll make you think. When playing through the game, I found myself constantly shouting at the screen in surprise because of highly imaginative and horrifyingly brutal looking creatures and bosses. But even more so than the shockingly hellish looking beasts, the game brought out an even deeper fear in me. What will happen to me when I die? Where will I go? With each new circle of hell explored through a man with many problems, I found that I myself was shaken if not a little bit by what my eternal fate might be when the end comes. That deep fear, which isn't usually shoved in gamers faces by most games is what helped make this game somewhat memorable. This "scare tactic" coupled with great boss battles, amazing cinematics, and a few hours of fun button-mashing madness is something visceral games should be proud of.
Although visceral games does a pretty good job keeping the player engaged in the story, they don't do the greatest job of introducing new monsters to fight. They start off decently strong with introducing bosses and new creatures in the beginning, but as Dante goes from circle to circle, lower and lower, new creatures are ultimately left with poor introductions, and pop up in random battles that sometimes don't fit their theme and what level of Hell they belong to. Dante will fight Lust demon's in Hell's Lust level, and Gluttonous demon's in Hell's Gluttony level, naturally. The creatures become a problem when they appear out of their circle. These random appearances in seemingly random places that makes one question if visceral games ran out of creature ideas, or if Hell is really good about recycling it's monsters on varying levels. It leaves the player wanting to see more, and results in battles feeling repetitive and less horrifying, and more of a workout for your fingers than anything.
The button-mashing mechanic, unashamedly taken from the God of War series brings a certain familiarity to the game, and fits with it's brutal hellish theme. It loses it's power when it comes time to purchase upgrades in attacks. A player can arguably make it through the entire game without having to really work to get most of the upgrades. They come off as an unnecessary add-on which isn't pushed to be used like they should be. Some puzzles have a similar feel to them. Although the puzzels in Dante's Inferno are, for the most part, fun and different because they rely on timing rather than just solving a riddle, they don't completely feel like they belong to the game. They tend to be rooms that don't serve a great purpose in the game as a whole, and ultimately become just one more thing to get over so you can get back to owning more creatures from Hell.
Overall the game gets the job done. It's a solid title with some blandness and a few tack-on's which don't detract from the experience for the most part. The creatures may be repetitive, but the scenery is breathtakingly horrifying, and the cinematic cutscenes look like something out of Hollywood. If you're a fan of the God of War series I seriously suggest picking up this game and giving it a shot, you just might find that Hell can be an eerily fun place.
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