Dante's Inferno? I can talk about that.
by, 03 Sep 2011 at 02:20 AM (1213 Views)
When I sit down and think of all the videogames I have played through I also think about the sum total of sense they have made, which if my math is correct, totals out to somewhere over negative 17 billion and a tenth. Dante's Inferno is just another notch in the bedpost, another penny in the pot, another thing in a larger thing that is the absolute ridiculousness of videogames.
First off there is the intro. During the Crusades Dante gets killed. Apparently if you're not ready to die you can choose to pick a fight with Death. I'm using to seeing Death dying in a videogame since I play a lot of Castlevania but somehow I'm not so sure if it should work in this game. Anyway Dante kills Death and takes his scythe, then in a fit of insane melodrama he sews a cross into his skin that details all of the acts of sin he committed during the Crusades. Then he makes his way home like absolutely nothing happened. Now I mean really, isn't his wife going to say something? Maybe Dante will wave it away with some joke like "this is the cross I must bear" then say he won the scythe at a fair.Also since Dante has Death's Scythe shouldn't there be some sort of law that he must therefore become the new Death? Rather than allow the player to contemplate these absurd consequences the game decides to make sure Dante's wife is good and dead when he gets home.
What follows is a roller coaster ride that attempts to over the top what should not be over topped and will leave your head spinning and the expletives will tumble from your lips like skittles. Virgil is your tour guide for this hellish trip and he's always got something to say about damned this and suffering that. It seems Lucifer has shown an interest in Dante's wife and has decided to drag her to Hell. I don't see what's so special about Dante's wife. I'm sure she's nice and everything but really I think this is all because Lucifer is a tremendous dick. This guy could have any woman in existence and yet he picks the one of a random nobody who was in the Crusades. Why? Because this is a videogame.
Oh right the videogame part, I almost forgot. Dante's Inferno is uh...inspired by God of War and similar action-adventure titles. There's the ultra-violence, the sizable number of combos, special moves, and even some magick spells, and a lot of topless women. Although since this is Hell you can expect that whatever nudity you see will make you regret having eyes. The move-set and controls are actually very well done and I was surprised to see more intricate maneuvers like the ability to jump-cancel. People complain about double-jumping but to me jump-canceling is the ultimate in giving the finger to gravity. I'm not sure how important some of these techniques are to master since like these similar games, Dante's Inferno is a pretty easy ride. There are a handful of incredibly useful relics and spells that when used in conjunction with one another can make Dante just a bit too sturdy, if not outright invulnerable. Also while I would have liked to see more weapons I can kind-of understand why Dante is stuck with just two. The cross is frighteningly overpowered and once you power it up you'll liable to forget about all of the one other weapon.
Outside of combat there really isn't much else going on to this game. There are puzzles sure and they are some of the silliest imaginable. One of the reasons why I will never be able to take videogames seriously is how contrived everything can get. For Example in Shadow of the Colossus when a Colossi just happens to be wearing the right armaments or have just enough ridges and hair on their body for some dude to climb all over them to stab their weak-points. In Dante's Inferno I saw a giant ax fly through the air in such a manner that it cut an object at just the right angle and it allowed Dante to progress. I'm seeing the same thing in Uncharted 2 (which I'll likely look at in my next blog post). One day some evil villain is going to get the bright idea to make sure there isn't some easily climbable structure in their lair, and as insurance they will craft their lair in such a way that a random explosion won't cause a pillar or foot-rests to appear for the hero to get through.
There is yet more nonsense to contend with in this game. Apparently in order to save somebody's soul you have to play some sort of rhythm game. It's kind of like DDR but only slightly worse because there's no music. In fact I'm not sure why this was done at all. A common excuse I've read on the internet is "because...gameplay". I guess that applies here. On the other hand I'd never kick bonus experience out of bed so I guess it's a wash.
All told this isn't too bad a game. For the most part I had a enjoyable if unremarkable play-through and if nothing else I enjoyed Lucifer's antics. I already sold my copy of the game not too long ago and that's about the best summary of Inferno's replay value I can muster. Your mileage may vary as it is wont to do however so don't let my final impressions sway you away from giving this game a look. In the "great" pantheon of modern action games I'd put this somewhere above the God of War titles I've played through. This is still well below something like Bayonetta or Ninja Gaiden but you get what I'm saying right?
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