Friday, March 5, 2010

Dante's Inferno Review

Platform: PSP
Genre: Action

"Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate"

After finishing the demo a few ... too many times on the XBOX 360, falling asleep at the movie ... well, I mean animation, I got my hands on the PSP version of Dante's Inferno. This action game was rumored to be a nice contestant for God of War.

So ... is it any good ? Well ...we shall see.

The story of the game is based on the first part of Dante Alighieri's lenghty poem "Divine Comedy". It starts with Dante being killed while fighting in the Crusade. After obtaining Death's Scythe he returns to his home to witness his beloved Beatrice taken away by Lucifer. The story of the game represents Dante's journey through the nine circles of Hell trying to redeem himself from the sins he commited and saving Beatrice's Soul.

In the massive publicity campaign surrounding the game a animated movie appeared. Good thing I slept half of it ... because it can spoil the whole story. Even the boss-finishes from the game are in the movie.

As a action game, Dante's Inferno isn't revolutionary or very good. There are few combos, only 2 weapons and some upgrades. The game offers you some moral choices by letting you absolve or punish the souls trapped in Hell, but their only use is to upgrade one of the two weapons. If you punish them you will get points to invest in your scythe, if you absolve them you will gain points to upgrade your other weapon. The other weapon is Beatrices cross and it's a raged weapon. But whatever you choose you will get the same ending. And I find it logic, the game has to go after the poem, and judging by the "To be continued..."... there might be a Dante's Purgatorio.

The thing that has drawn me to the game was the artistic concept. I haven't read the poem only after finishing the game and researching the matter. I was amazed at first of how christianity mixes with the pagan believes. You are guided by the poet Virgil, and during the game you will get to meet/fight Cerberus (represented by a three headed worm), Minos (the judge) and get a trip on .. Charon, all which are realted in greek mythology to the passage in the realm of Hades. Most of the circles have their unique theme ... like the forest of the suicides where you have to keep Dante from taking away his life and so on. Even the enemies add some color to this gruesome Hell, you will be attacked by babies with swords instead of hands (the unbaptized) or huge fat creatures (representing gluttony). The only problem I have is that after you encountered them, they appear in other circles as well, which represent something else.

So, I liked the graphics, at least the artistic design. Even so, for the PSP is one of the pretty games I ever saw. The sound is top notch and the loading screen ... well ... that crying Beatrice slightly turning her eyes at you ... that's deep. The levels could've been bigger, or at least more opened (many corridors). Also, I heard a lot of complaints about the game abusing of tits. Well ... yes, you see tits every 2 minutes .. in cutscenes, monsters, huge-bosses, but i felt that it gave a more deeper feel of .... sin.

On the other hand the game's difficulty is kinda unbalanced, and if you change from normal to easy ... it should be called Dante's Walk-in-the-Park.

I almost forgot, the CGI cutscenes are great... and even greater are the cartoon bits which come in from time to time and represent Dante's past, his days in the crusade.

the bad: not much of a action game, story can be spoiled
the good: artistic touch (GJ guys)

again...I do not own the screenshots, all rights go to their respective owners

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