Dante’s Inferno Demo Impressions

December 14, 2009

EA’s rather controversial game, Dante’s Inferno is based on the Divine Comedy and puts you in the role of Dante. However, the term “based on” should be used very loosely as there have been some very drastic changes. The main one being that Dante is now more focused on kicking ass than writing. The fact that Dante is now a warrior rather than an author leads the tale to be a lot more gruesome and violent.

I loved this idea though. Taking the concepts behind the Divine Comedy but making it more action focused would allow for battles against some fantastically designed and really interesting enemies. That is one of Dante’s Inferno’s strong points that were apparent before it was even released. Both the world and the enemies are brilliantly designed. The bog standard enemies that I came across were exactly as you would expect: weak, frail and not the most exciting, or boring for the matter. Some of the enemies I came across, particularly the bigger ones, looked great though which allows the player to get hooked into the universe.  The world itself also boast a great artistic design and the artists have done a very good job of making Hell look viscous and evil, yet cool and interesting. All of this is supported by the good graphics; they’re not amazing but are definitely good and very gory.

You may think it sounds similar to God of War and you aren’t wrong there. Before actually playing the demo I knew it had definitely had some inspiration from the God of War games but it wasn’t until playing it that I realised how similar it was. It’s okay to take parts of some games as long as you throw in quite a bit of new ideas to make it play differently but Dante’s Inferno doesn’t add in that much (Or at least, the part I was playing).

The controls are pretty much identical and it follows the same heavy attack, light attack structure but that is a given really. Dante moves very similar to Kratos too. The animation is obviously better in Dante’s Inferno (God of War is still good for a last gen game though) and it all looks very fluid. The main similarity does come down to the actual gameplay but the HUD also looks very similar, as does the controls and camera angles.

I heard some people say that just because it’s similar to God of War; it doesn’t mean it will be bad. This was based on the fact that the God of War games are great and to an extent this is true. Yes, Dante’s Inferno is good but it doesn’t feel like anything special because it copies God of War and a lot of the time it doesn’t pull it off as well.  It is still good though. It plays really well and boasts a great artistic design.

One interesting idea that could add extra depth to the game is the holy/unholy system. The whole point of the story in Dante’s Inferno is that you are on a quest through Hell in order to redeem yourself and atone for the sins of your past but there is a clear struggle and duality of feelings going through Dante. Judging from the demo it appears to only affect the abilities you will unlock but it seems to be rather open ended. Depending on your choices regarding enemies, you will either be rewarded with Holy or Unholy souls which you will use to upgrade your character. Holy characters will be more effective with certain equipment and magic while Unholy characters will have their own items to better suit them. It’s a nice idea that hasn’t really been implemented into the genre before.

I had very high hopes for Dante’s Inferno and I have to admit it didn’t live up to them judging from what I played. I still think it’s a good game, despite its heavy similarities to God of War. I can’t help but feel that it will just improve as it goes on though. The demo was relatively slow and only boasted a few of the cool enemies, you barely got into Hell and it was all really just starting. If the game manages to give us even more enemies, even better levels and makes each circle of Hell as enjoyable as the next then I think we could have a pretty good game on its way.


One comment

  1. Totally agree. I thought the demo was good but not great. I suppose it’s because it doesn’t seem new enough. It seems too much like the God of War play style and while that isn’t a bad thing (God of War is awesome) it’s just been done. I never finished the demo. Got a phone call and really never felt like going back to it. I guess that means I don’t plan on getting the game. Thank goodness for demos.

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